Counting the unseen benefits of an expatriate overseas reassignment

Counting the unseen benefits of an expatriate overseas reassignment

Counting the unseen benefits of an expatriate overseas reassignment

Is taking a reassignment really worth it as regards the unseen benefits?

Nowadays, it seems as though half the world is relocating to unfamiliar lands, whether it’s for career enhancement, a higher salary, an inexpensive retirement or simply the need for adventure and a better view of the world and its beauty. Working and travelling internationally is totally 21st century, whether you’re a millennial, a digital nomad, an expert professional, a retiree or are simply responding to the travel bug. Whatever the reason for the move, the result can mean significant professional and personal gains.

Firstly, studies show that those who’ve taken on international reassignment have experienced faster career advancement as a direct result, as it gives experience and skills unable to be gained by staying in a static job. One valuable asset is that a successful time overseas proves adaptability and the ability to thrive outside your home country’s comfort zone as well as improving your understanding of international business etiquette. This last is becoming even more valuable in the increasingly connected business world.

Improving your language skills via a stint in a non-English-speaking country may not be easy, but it pays dividends far in excess of the time it takes and the trouble it causes to expats whose major talents lie in other directions. Courses back in the home country are useful as starters, but the real learning comes when you’re faced with ‘business-speak’. For many expats, the real bonus of an overseas reassignment is the chance to immerse themselves in a new, unfamiliar culture and learn from it.

In one important way, expats accepting overseas relocation are the lucky ones, as their companies take care of most or all of the tricky aspects of emigrating. Work visas, accommodation, briefings on workers’ rights, assistance with paying for as well as finding international schools for the kids, support for your trailing spouse and private healthcare insurance aren’t easily done on your own, as many unfortunate do-it-yourself expats have discovered. The one unexpected issue arriving from accepting an overseas assignment is falling in love with your temporary country of residence to the extent you’ll do absolutely anything to stay there once your contract expires!

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