Feeling adventurous? We all dream about going to a land far, far away to the unknown. With the global movement of workforce becoming the norm, we see interesting studies that demonstrate the impact of global experience.
According to a study, people who lived abroad tend to offer more creative solutions to a problem as their exposure to unfamiliar culture and types of thinking broadening their ability to think outside the context they are used to.
Removing biases in personal/cultural settings extends into biases that often block our creativity. Humans are by nature biased and quick to judge based on the context of their environment. We are limited by what we’ve seen and what we’ve been exposed to. Hence, expanding your own context by immersing in another culture will naturally expand your way of thinking, giving you a distinct advantage not just at work but also in your life.
However, working abroad isn’t easy unless you quit your profession and travel somewhere else to teach English or do menial jobs. Going to grad school in another country is also a popular option but pricey.
For those who want to stay the course in their field while seeking opportunities outside your country of comfort, here are some tips.
#1. Apply to companies who want global expansion/growth
If you find a US or European company operating in other regions, you may have a better chance that targeting local firms who hire local talents who speak the local language. Language barrier could be a huge hurdle but will be much less so for, for instance, PwC, whose global talents all speak English and support expansion of clients who operate on the global stage.
This is still a hard-sell unless you already are employed by a company of your choice that could simply move you from one location to another. One way to strengthen your candidacy is by obtaining additional degrees or certificates relevant to your goals. For instance, if you’re an accountant in the US (so you’re GAAP certified), obtain a degree/certificate in IFRS (International Financial Reporting Standards) so you can demonstrate knowledge and dedication to being a useful resource to the firm outside the current geographic region.
There is a variety of UK online courses you can take that will help you branch out this way.
In addition, utilise resources available such as the US government website for citizens wanting to gain international experience.
#2. Target positions that put you as a liaison
Relocating you is an expensive and risky move from the employer’s perspective. So, if you can find roles that are for their US expansion ro that require building relationships with US clients, you can position yourself as a worthy investment.
It makes sense for them to hire someone who has a similar profile as their target stakeholders/clients/partners so highlight that as much as possible.
#3. Be there in person
If you can afford to take some time off, it’s best if you’re physically there already. There are certain countries where getting a working holiday visa wouldn’t be all that difficult (normally visa fee totals ~$300). It’ll be a lot less daunting for the employer if you’re already physically located in the area for both logistical/administrative (you can start working right away) as well as visa-processing reasons (it’ll be a lot easier to ‘transfer’ you to a different visa).
This can be a scary move but worth it if you’re truly dedicated to relocating.