Sometimes The Best Way To Advance Your Career Is To Go Abroad

A new study shows that if you want to get ahead in your career, you might just need a change of scenery. Not a vacation, although that’s always nice, too, but actually moving abroad and working on projects in other countries.

The study conducted by ANZ recruitment agency Hydrogen Group found that every single professional woman they surveyed – 2,637 of them – said they would recommend working a broad at least once in your career.

For their book, Get Ahead By Going Abroad, Stacie Nevadomski Berdan and Perry Yeatman found that statistics in regards to women who travel for work and the positive experiences when it came to career advancement were extremely high:

  • 85% said “going overseas accelerated their careers.”
  • 78% found a “significant impact” on their salaries.
  • 95% said that overseas experiences made them “better leaders and managers.”
  • 83% would advise other women to work abroad so as to advance their careers.

While the idea of a woman working overseas may have seemed like not the best idea at one time due to cultural differences in regards to be treating as equals in business  and of course safety issues, those concerns are becoming things of the past. In fact, a recent article, “Women Move Up by Moving Overseas,” Berden is looking to squash those myths of the past.

For example, just because you’re married or have children, it shouldn’t stand in the way of going abroad for a project – it’s not just for young, unattached professionals. Nor should the language barrier prevent you from deciding to go abroad for work. Says Berden, “your technical skills, management experience or in-depth knowledge of your company or industry should outweigh the need for language skills.”

Another major myth, especially when culture is taken into consideration is that men do far better when it comes to international business that takes place in our countries. Not entirely true, explains Berden:

On the contrary, studies indicate that women possess traits deemed critical in cross-cultural situations, such as style flexing, skill at building teams and relationships, communication skills, patience and persistence, and an open-minded approach to diverse and different circumstances.

So what are you waiting for? If the opportunity presents itself, and your fellow businesswomen are pretty much guaranteeing that working abroad can only help your career in most, if not all aspects, you owe it to yourself to go. Seek out the chance to expand your resume, your world view and your experiences; then pack up and head out. No one got anywhere staying in one place for too long.


Photo: Chetan Gole

You can reach this post's author, Amanda Chatel, on twitter.
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