our everyday life

The Advantages of International Jobs

by Lisa Finn

Adventurous, confident people who love exploration make perfect candidates for an international job. While working and living outside your country, you can experience workplace diversity, a newfound cultural awareness and how your industry operates on a global level. These things enhance your skills and talents, and also provide you with personal growth opportunities, such as meeting new people, learning a new language and pursuing different interests.

Business Advantages

As more companies turn to outsourcing and social media initiatives, they seek candidates with international focus or training to lead the way. This gives you a business advantage whether you return to your same workplace or decide to go elsewhere. Working in another country makes you more compassionate about employee differences and helps you capture new clients. For example, after returning from China, your company is sure to use you on the team working with a Chinese client. Not only can you help your team understand the culture, but you also can relate and become invaluable to the client in terms of communication. In addition, you'll be as asset to the human resources department during recruitment. Your travel opportunities will show candidates the company's commitment to diversity and personal fulfillment, which can attract a wider talent pool.

Personal Gain

While working and living in another country, you are bound to make new personal and business friendships. If you have a roommate, she can show you the city's highlights, such as the best shopping destinations and the most popular restaurants. These experiences give you an authentic experience and, therefore, a greater understanding of the culture at large. In addition, living in a new country opens your eyes to different sports and interests, such as cricket in New Zealand, that you otherwise would not have been exposed to. In addition, you'll make plenty of business contacts from workplace and social interactions.

Increased Income and Benefits

Before jumping ship to work internationally, negotiate your salary. Consider any responsibility increases and the cost of living differences. According to Mercer's 2012 Cost of Living Survey, Tokyo, Moscow and Geneva are among the most expensive places to live. Moving to these places would demand a higher salary and mean more benefits. However, a conscientious worker can pocket some of the salary increase by sticking to a strict budget. Perhaps you have a car or food allowance. Buying groceries instead of eating out or swapping your car for public transportation could put some money in your pocket. Other advantages include tuition for continuing education and conferences and reimbursement for family-member visits.

Become More Creative

A 2010 study published in "Personality & Social Psychology Bulletin" supports the notion that learning the practices of another culture helps produce more creativity, The reason? Working internationally lends itself to experiences that would not present themselves at home. For example, having to learn a new set of business customs and acceptable forms of communication gives you a new perspective on how the rest of the world lives ... and views America. Because of this, you may more readily conjure up fresh, innovative ideas. In addition, you can draw inspiration from the physical landscape, people and the country's culture.

Fulfilling a Personal Need

Workers today have a heightened social and environmental awareness of the world. The use of social media and the Internet allows us to research, find solutions and make plans to help out in just a few keyboard strokes. Working and living abroad allows for personal exploration of causes that are in other parts of the world. For instance, a teacher wanting to educate in Africa, for example, will get personal satisfaction from helping young girls in Mali. Her knowledge will help the girls gain control and independence in an industry she is passionate about. Fulfilling a personal need of helping others also benefits you in other ways: it enhances your resume; gives you skills to mentor others; and makes you part of a team.

About the Author

Based in Los Angeles, Lisa Finn has been writing professionally for 20 years. Her print and online articles appear in magazines and websites such as "Spa Magazine," "L.A. Parent," "Business," the Famous Footwear blog and many others. She also ghostwrites for mompreneurs and business owners who appear regularly on shows such as Ricki Lake, HGTV, Carson Daly and The Today Show.

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