Job Option: Get Ahead by Going Abroad

During the past few months, I’ve heard from several job seekers who have decided to look for work outside the United States.  It’s a bold move, but it gives job seekers a broad range of intriguing options. 

Getting your head around the possibility of an international job requires some careful thought and planning.  Today’s New York Times column by Phyllis Korkki is full of good counsel for anyone contemplating a global job search.  The column also features a new book co-authored by friend and fellow Arthur Page member, Perry Yeatman.  Perry and Stacie Nevadomski Berdan’s book, “Get Ahead by Going Abroad,” covers the five qualities necessary to achieve success with an international job:

  • Adaptability and flexibility
  • Ability to listen and communicate well
  • Skill at building teams and relationships
  • patience and persistence
  • Curiosity and open mindedness

The book focuses on women working abroad, and underscored the premise that women who work abroad advance further professionally than those who do not have an international experience.   

Two websites — simplyhired.com and going-global.com — help you identify opportunities in countries that may hold the greatest interest for a possible search. 

It’s impotant to realize that an overseas job isn’t as easy as it appears–either landing it or doing it.  Thunderbird University professor of global strategy Mary B. Teagarden notes the failure rate with international assignments is quite high, which isn’t good for the individual or the company making the hire.  So, she and her colleagues developed a “global mind-set” of attributes for a successful overseas assignment.  Individuals who love variety and willing to take risks usually are prime candidates.  “They may be a black sheep or the outlier at home,” said professor Teagarden, who feels the international assignment might fill a professional void in their lives. 

There’s no question that single people can make the move a lot easier to maneuver, but two of my friends are completing their second year of working in London and they even took the opportunity to start a family so it can work for those who set their minds to the opportunity.

Several previous posts provide insights into jobs from London to Japan, and I soon hope to enlist a first-person post from a former colleague who recently moved to Geneva, Switzerland. 

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