Work Overseas: It’s ‘one of the most rewarding things you can do’

By Vikki Banks

Why you should consider gaining work experience overseas

Let me start off by asking you a question: how many of you tick the box for ‘Sydney CBD” as the preferred location when you are searching for a position on jobsites or LinkedIn? For those of you that are brave, you might even opt to include the eastern suburbs and the inner west, maybe even ‘all Sydney?’ Then let me ask you another question: what do you do if you don’t find that ideal job you are looking for in that location? Do you look at other possible options, or simply close the browser and check the Sydney CBD area again tomorrow?

What about widening your search beyond Sydney, or even Australia, to include the whole world? It sounds pretty scary and a little overwhelming, but as the saying goes, ‘the world is your oyster’, and gaining work experience in another country can be one of the most rewarding and beneficial things you can do.

Sure, moving overseas won’t be something that everyone can do right now, but if your circumstances allow, and you’re looking for an internship opportunity or a graduate job, your ideal role or experience might be waiting for you somewhere else in the world. As a former Brit myself, I have learned a lot from my own world travels and from living and working in Australia over the past 6 years. Read on to see my top 5 reasons why you should definitely consider gaining some work experience overseas!

You will challenge yourself and experience huge personal and professional growth

Moving to another country is an amazing and rewarding experience, but it will definitely challenge you along the way. You will be immersing yourself in a new way of life away from your traditional comfort zone, whilst experiencing new cultures and ways of doing things. This mean you’ll quickly learn to be become adaptable, self-motivated, and you’ll build up your professional and personal resilience.

You become globally aware of your work and your industry

A majority of industry sectors are global nowadays, so it is becoming ever increasingly important to be aware of what that actually looks like. Rather than spending your career in one place and one context, you will become more connected to how certain types of jobs operate in different places and gain a greater global understanding of your industry.

You will gain new skill sets

There are only ever so many skills that you can learn in one place. That is why we look to move forward and make changes at certain points throughout our careers in order to learn and develop new skills. Working overseas, in a new context and learning from new people, may help you to gain skills and attributes that you wouldn’t get here, and then you can use them to be super employable when (if) you come back!

Travel is motivating and exciting!

Travelling to a new country is adventurous and exciting! In your down time from work, you have a whole new place to explore and, depending on where you go to, there could be a whole new part of the world that you can travel to for holiday destinations. It also gives you that little bit of extra motivation and positivity when you immerse yourself in new surroundings.

It will open up a whole new world of opportunities

Having lived and worked overseas can definitely give you a competitive edge over other candidates when applying for work. You may have picked up another language, or now better understand the way different cultures work and do business. More simply, employers will value the positive attributes and skills you’ll have demonstrated during your overseas experience such as drive, determination and adaptability. Plus it will provide you with some different and interesting examples of where you have demonstrated your skills and experience when answering those dreaded behavioural interview questions!

 

So if you’re interested in increasing your skills, and gaining some worldly experience, why not consider working overseas? You can check out these 10 tips for finding that international job, or swing by Drop-In for some tailored career advice!

 

Vikki Banks is one of our dedicated faculty Careers Consultants within the UTS:Careers team. She has 10 years of experience spanning across teaching, recruitment and career development roles, and is passionate about helping students develop their employability skills, gain meaningful work experience and achieve their personal and professional aspirations.

Featured image courtesy of Unsplash.

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