Expat assignments are often, if not usually, better paid than a similar job “back home”, but there are more reasons than just the financial one to think about when accepting an overseas position. I’m exploring 10 of the “hidden” or less obvious benefits of working overseas in today’s post.
The decision to accept an overseas job is a very big one, whether you’re single, with a partner or have a family. There are many pros and cons to take into consideration, particularly if a partner is following a career path and children are well into their schooling years.
One of the best ways to assess the reasons for accepting an overseas positionis to draw up a pros and cons table. Some of the obvious but not necessarily easy to answer headings for your table are ‘Income’, ‘Cost of living’, ‘Health’, ‘Education’, ‘Safety’, ‘Housing’ and ‘Ease of communication/infrastructure’.
Those are the more black and white pro and con subjects. Scratch below the surface and you’ll find there are extra benefits of living overseas to take into consideration. These “extras” are the ones that may sway your decision, and that of your partner and older children, if they are averse to moving overseas.
My 10 hidden benefits of accepting an overseas expat job assignment
Living overseas makes it 100 percent easier to learn another language. If you have children, they will thank you for the rest of their lives that you made it easier for them to learn languages.
You and your family will meet a much wider range of people – locals and expats – which can only add interest to your lives.
An overseas assignment provides the opportunity to absorb another culture and hopefully make you more tolerant of other people’s differences.
Living overseas will either be the making or death of your confidence…at first it might seem like the latter but invariably becomes the former as you learn to tackle overseas living issues with ease.
5. An enquiring mind
Most parents have probably witnessed a child growing socially and mentally from a trip away from home. Expat living is a non-stop trip!
6. International awareness
Living overseas will make you and yours more aware of what’s going on around the world because you will feel like a global citizen.
Living in a challenging expat country may make you and your family realise how lucky you all are to have what you do, in comparison to the little that some local people have.
8. Retail therapy
Day-to-day shopping can be a bit of challenge at first, but once you’ve got it organised and have chosen your new favourite brands, you can then enjoy the pleasures of new and exciting food, clothes, shoes, accessories…
It may take some time but eventually living in another culture that’s very different to your own should give you a more flexible outlook, particularly if you live in a country that has a mañana attitude to life and work.
Some children, and adults, can be very damming of anyone who doesn’t have quite the right clothes and technology. Living overseas will help dispel that idea when they see how other people live without some of the famous must-have brands.