I recently returned from a trip to Dubai and Abu Dhabi, where my travel buddies and I were welcomed by a family from Michigan that happened to grow up with one of the ladies I was traveling with. I asked her if her decision to uproot her family of five, inclusive of husband and kids, and move to Dubai was difficult.
She responded that it was actually one of the best decisions she had made. Her children were well adjusted to their lives there, as they moved to Dubai before it became the “DUBAI” that we see on social media and in advertisements for travel. She stated that they feel safer there than they did in Michigan, often times leaving their house doors unlocked. She also stated that, based upon the agreement she negotiated with the university she is working for, she is able to save a ridiculous amount of money to help pay off her home back in the states.
Leslie Waller, Global Director of Trident Gum, accepted a 20-month assignment in Mumbai, India and Singapore. When she expressed her interest to us (as her good girlfriends) in contemplating moving to Singapore, we were NOT with it. I mean, who wants their good girlfriend moving 23 hours away? She ultimately took the brave route, trusting her gut and going for what she had been praying for, which was to see the world and strategically advance her career.
Based upon her experience as an expatriate, Leslie offered the following benefits on both the professional and personal sides of taking an assignment abroad:
* In depth understanding of the landscape of emerging markets.
* The company shoulders a lot of your expenses which leaves more discretionary funds for traveling and exploring.
* Realizing how small the world is. Yes, there are differences but at the core, we are all more alike than different.
* Becoming a global citizen allowed me to realize how insular and closed off the U.S. can be. The world is so big and has so much to offer beyond the boundaries of the U.S. You have to accept that different does not mean wrong.
Without a doubt, I am envious of those who have taken the experiences their jobs have offered abroad. They have seen things and experienced cultures that will take some time for me to catch up with, saved a great amount of money, and also advanced in their careers, whether it be with the same company they traveled with or as budding entrepreneurs. If your company just so happens to have available opportunities abroad, seriously think about exploring them. The time my friends spent away seems short in hindsight, but the experience they gathered will continue to provide lasting memories.
Are you considering leaving the country for a job? What has been your experience? Sound off in the comments below.