The Advantages of Expatriate Experiences
An expatriate lives and works in a country other than his homeland. Here are some advantages of completing an expatriate assignment.
Expanding Your Horizons
International experiences put your communication skills and adaptivity into play. They take you out of your comfort zone as you navigate another culture.
Living and working abroad develops the soft skills and technical expertise that will help you in your career. In addition, international experience can strengthen your problem-solving skills, autonomy, and self-motivation. It will also develop your leadership skills and appreciation for diversity.
Broader Perspective for Decision Making
You’ll learn different ways of considering problems and crafting solutions. In addition, the experience will strengthen your ability to view issues from others’ perspectives.
You will become adept at interacting with people of different cultures and learn to value their perspectives. You’ll also view your own culture through different eyes. Finally, you’ll become more aware of the positives and negatives of your homeland’s social norms.
Improved Communication Skills
Communicating with non-native English speakers will improve your ability to recognize verbal and nonverbal clues. In addition, learning another language challenges you mentally and reinforces the importance of active listening.
Successfully adapting to a new country and culture can bolster your self-confidence and help you deal with future uncertainty. In addition, the courage it takes to thrive in a different culture will serve you well as your career progresses.
Enhanced Professional Credentials
The skills and experience you gain from working internationally become an asset when applying for a new job or promotion. Managers value the cultural awareness, adaptability, and communication skills that expatriate experiences provide. In your resume, highlight challenging situations that you’ve successfully navigated.
The life encounters brought about by living, working, and traveling abroad prove valuable beyond career considerations. You’ll learn about unique celebrations, new foods, different living conditions, and diverse people — all of which will enrich your life. You might even pick up new hobbies that lead to new and varied experiences.
People with international experience can command higher salaries than those who lack it. Moreover, for the reasons above, managers value the skills that expatriates bring to the job. As a result, an organization’s rising stars often receive expatriate assignments as part of their career development plan.
Working with individuals from different cultures can be challenging at times, but it can also be incredibly educational. Overcoming language barriers when communicating ideas can take time and effort. Doing so may require tools you haven’t previously used. But learning to creatively bridge differences will come in handy when you return home.
The expatriate experience will shape you and provide valuable tools for any path your life follows.