Is A Job Abroad For You? 6 Ways To Know

by Maria October 06, 2017

Today’s post is brought to you by Bevan Berning, an Immigration professional from South Africa who’s been residing in Dubai for the past eight years.

The journey our career takes us on is rarely straightforward. We embark on it with plans and ideas of how we would like it to pan out, but once in a while a surprising opportunity arises that changes all this. Often, this opportunity is a chance to work abroad, either arising from an existing employer offering an overseas relocation or a sudden self-propelled desire for a complete change of scene.

A job abroad has plenty of obvious benefits: the opportunity to travel and explore, learn a new language, meet new people, and gain vast amounts in terms of personal growth and career development. Wherever you go in the world, it will certainly be a life-changing experience.

Aside from calculating whether the job offered is the right one for the development of your career, you need to consider whether living abroad is right for you, too.

Working abroad, even if it’s in the exact same role you do at home now, presents all sorts of challenges that we can only just begin to imagine from the comforts of our home country. There is no doubt that living and working abroad suits some of us more than others.

Here’s how to know if a job abroad is for you:

1. You Have a Sense of Adventure

When you get a job abroad, almost everything is an adventure, especially in the initial months. From navigating your first supermarket shopping trip, to attempting to open a bank account, to exploring your new neighborhood, it’s all completely unfamiliar territory. This means every seemingly ordinary task needs to be approached energetically and enthusiastically while you work out the lay of the land.

On the flip side, that sense of adventure means the options are endless for your weekends and holidays. Think of the travel opportunities!

2. You Have Patience and Are Adaptable

You’re going to have to learn to be unfazed by setbacks; setting up abroad needs flexibility and tolerance. That jar you picked up in the market not what you thought it was and dinner now ruined? The bus didn’t go the way you thought it would and you’re now lost?

You’re probably going to find yourself in a few situations like these that will really test your resilience and patience. Your working practices may need to adapt to a new culture, too. However, you’ll almost certainly return to your home country a more patient and confident person.

There’s no “i” in team and you, of course, know that, you team player you! Photo by Takorn / Shutterstock.

3. You Enjoy Working Collaboratively

No matter what your new role will be abroad, even if you could do it pretty independently at home, you will need to work more collaboratively with your new team when overseas. Each country has its own bureaucracy, work cultures and traditions, and you will need help from others to navigate these.

It’s also an incredible opportunity to immerse yourself in another culture, widen your horizons, and make some new friends.

4. You Enjoy Being By Yourself

Moving to a brand new place, home or abroad, inevitably means you’re going to face some alone time, which will be magnified if you are going to a smaller city or town, or if you are going somewhere where your first language is not widely spoken. Perhaps your workplace has a lively, sociable community attached, or there’s an existing expat community in the city that you can tap into.

Even so, you may find yourself needing to cope with feelings of loneliness and isolation more than before, so you need to be prepared for this.

Did somebody say “checklist”? Being organised goes a long way. Photo by: Apiq Sulaiman / Shutterstock.

5. You Are Independent and Organized

You definitely need to be independent and have the ability to think for yourself. As you prepare to leave, you need to spend lots of time organizing your possessions and paperwork, contacting visa consultants ahead of time, reading up on your new country of residence, and making travel arrangements.

Although your employer will most likely help you relocate, and you can also enlist further help from an online immigration consultant, you will still need to fathom aspects of your new community and neighborhood for yourself once you arrive.

Here’s to all (wo)men who dare to go where no (wo) man has gone before…! Photo by: Stanislav Smoliakov / Shutterstock.

6. You Are Gutsy and Bold

There’s no doubt that taking a job abroad is a big step. You are pretty much removing yourself from your comfort zone in every aspect of your life. This is incredibly brave. But also, consider how taking this step (and succeeding ones) looks to other future potential employers; if you can do this, you clearly have a worldly outlook, are confident and assured, adaptable and motivated.

If you see some degree of these six qualities in yourself, you are going to get a lot out of finding a job abroad. Seriously consider the incredible opportunity to travel and for further personal growth employment abroad allows.

Now that you’ve identified yourself in all these six qualities, take another step, sign up at Jobbatical and get that job abroad.


Bevan Berning is an Immigration professional and owner of Pathway Visas, an Immigration Agency dealing mostly with skilled immigration to Canada and Australia. Bevan’s enthusiasm for the industry has kept in the Immigration field for the past seven years. Bevan is South African by birth and has been residing in Dubai for the past eight years.

Looking for more information on getting a job abroad?

We wrote several guides on getting a marketingdesignsoftware engineering, data science or product job abroad. On top of that, you can learn how to get a job abroad here, and read some of our guides.

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