The COVID-19 pandemic has brought about a significant shift in our work culture. It has made us realize that the traditional office setup is not as indispensable as we once thought. Many employees have discovered that they can perform their job duties effectively from the comfort of their homes.
With the diminishing need for physical offices, why limit ourselves to working from home? Why not consider working abroad and experiencing the myriad benefits it offers?
Digital nomads, individuals who maintain full-time jobs while working in various countries worldwide, are a testament to the numerous advantages of working abroad. However, these benefits are not exclusive to remote workers.
Even if your job doesn’t allow for online work, you can still enjoy the perks of working abroad in overseas offices.
Let’s delve into Advantages and Disadvantages of Working Abroad!
Advantages of Working Abroad
1. Broadening Your Horizons
Living abroad allows you to gain a deeper understanding of different cultures, languages, and religions. If you work in a foreign office, you’ll have the opportunity to interact with colleagues from diverse backgrounds.
For instance, working in a Japanese office might expose you to a more disciplined and efficient work style. On the other hand, working in Italy might teach you the true meaning of work-life balance.
Even if you’re working remotely in another country, you can still gain cultural insights. The freedom from office constraints allows you to explore the country and meet new people on your own terms.
2. Stepping Out of Your Comfort Zone
While friends and family provide a safe comfort zone, it can sometimes hinder personal growth. Living abroad forces you to step out of your comfort zone and build new relationships from scratch.
This experience can significantly enhance your character, confidence, and independence.
3. Learning Valuable Life Skills
Working and living abroad involves dealing with administrative tasks, financial management, and logistical planning. These challenges will make you more resourceful and equip you with valuable life skills.
4. Appreciating Your Home Country More
Living abroad makes you appreciate your home country more. While there will be many positive experiences overseas, there will also be challenges that make you value the comforts and stability back home.
5. You’ll pump up your CV
Most employers are impressed with a diverse resume! Working and living abroad can set you up for a fruitful career in the future. The new languages you speak, or the multiple international contacts you have, will be instrumental in making you stand out from the crowd when you’re ready to go for that dream job.
The Flip Side: Disadvantages Working Abroad
While working abroad offers numerous benefits, it also comes with its own set of challenges. It’s essential to consider these potential drawbacks before making the leap.
1. Start-Up Costs
Moving abroad for work requires an initial investment. You’ll need savings to cover your living expenses for at least the first month, as you may not receive your first salary payment until the second month. Unless you’re a high-ranking executive, you’ll likely be responsible for your rent, utilities, and other living expenses.
Being away from home for an extended period can lead to homesickness. To combat loneliness, consider scheduling regular video calls with loved ones, finding joy in solitary activities, and keeping your living space clean and welcoming.
3. Physical Illness Due to Environmental Differences
Adapting to a new climate or environment can lead to physical discomfort or illness. It’s important to research the climate and environment of your new location and prepare accordingly.
4. Missing Out on What’s Happening at Home
Living abroad means you might miss out on significant events back home. However, regular video calls and an “Emergency Travel Home Fund” can help mitigate this issue.
5. Never Fully Belonging
Despite adapting to the local culture and language, you may always feel like a foreigner. This feeling is a common experience among expatriates and is part of the process of cultural adaptation.