4 Skills You’ll Develop If You Work Abroad

With Orbitz, Expedia and William Shatner, travel agents, who make about $34,000 annually, are dropping by 12 percent.

Guest blogger Sarah Landrum of Punched Clocks is here to help decide whether working abroad is right for you — and how to make the most of it while you’re there.

In today’s competitive workplace, where multiple qualified candidates often vie for the same job, finding ways to set yourself apart is a smart move. One way to develop your resume and show that you have a varied set of skills is to live abroad. Potential employers will see that you have experiences others do not, plus unique skills learned from foreign companies.

Living abroad benefits your career in a number of ways — some obvious and some not so obvious. If you’re thinking about widening your horizons and setting sail for another country, here are some benefits you can expect.

1. It shows your willingness to relocate.
Living abroad shows companies that you’re willing to relocate for your career. If you’re willing to move to another country, then you’re likely willing to move to another state for a promotion. Since many people are unwilling to move around from place to place and away from family and friends, this can open up opportunities others might have passed on.
Just the fact that you’ve lived abroad may benefit you when you search for a job. The employer will see your flexibility and ability to adapt. This can give you an edge over your competition.

2. You’ll learn a new language. If you travel to a country with a different national language than English, you’ll likely have to pick up on the language there to function on a daily basis. Even if the actual job doesn’t require you to learn a new language, simply being immersed in the culture will allow you to begin to speak a second language.

Choosing from popular languages that can benefit you when you return stateside is also a smart idea. French is the most widely spoken language in the world and Spanish is another popular language that’s in high demand among U.S. businesses.

3. You’ll prove you’re not afraid of a challenge. Living abroad may be rewarding, but it isn’t always easy. However, studying or working overseas shows that you aren’t afraid of a challenge and you have the skills to figure out how to achieve your goals even through adversity. Only one percent of college students study abroad, so that may be one reason why employers find this such an interesting addition to a resume.

4. You’ll develop transversal skills.
Transversal skills are simply a broad base of knowledge. Employers seem to value transversal skills because they know these skills can be applied to any work environment and the person will easily adapt to working with people from all walks of life and all types of personalities.

Of students who studied abroad, 97 percent found a job within a year of graduating from college. Only 49 percent of graduates who did not study abroad found a job within a year.

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