Building your career one country at a time
My daughter recently returned back from working in Spain for a year. An adventure? Most definitely. Did she travel? Oh yes. But what was her ultimate motive for going on this journey? She has been carefully planning a path towards a career in international development. In order to reach this goal, she has supplemented her academic achievements with language proficiency that was gained by living and working in a foreign country. The next program that she is enrolled in will take her to a developing country to gain first hand experience that can be put on a resume when she begins applying for jobs.
Why would you work abroad? If you are early in your chosen career, you might to do it to gain work experience. If you are already established in your profession, you might want to work abroad because you are transferred to another country or decide to apply your skills to assist humanitarian groups abroad, or want to return to your family's birthplace. No matter where you are in your career, working abroad allows you to build on skills you already possess or develop new ones. It offers diversity of experiences in your resume, and can set you apart from other equally qualified applicants.
A recent article in the June/July 2011 issue of CGA's Statements magazine, entitled "Developing Opportunities CGA's On Pursuing Careers in Developing Countries and Emerging Economies" by Jeff Buckstein, while giving career advice for accountants, also offers some good general tips for considering working abroad. It includes such tips as volunteering for an organization that does charitable work abroad, using social media such as LinkedIn and Facebook, networking with family and friends overseas.
The downside? Losing some of the contacts that you have here at home if you spend an extended amount of time outside of the country. Staying up on trends in your profession can also be a challenge, especially if you are working in a developing country.
Interested in working abroad? Check out the upcoming annual Go Global Expo. (Toronto's date is September 24-25, 2011). Want to read up more on this topic? Check out the following books available at branches of Toronto Public Library.
And check out Foreign Affairs Canada's webpage on working abroad. Would you consider working abroad? What country would you choose to work in?