Many people are relocated for work at some point during their career. But knowing whether the relocation is a positive thing for your career or not can be hard to decipher. The 2015-16 Ernst & Young Global Mobility Effectiveness Survey revealed that sixty-five percent of international relocations fail or result in early repatriation.
The retention of employees is often the hardest part of the relocation process, with many employees leaving the company upon their return to their home country. So is it worth taking the international assignment your boss has just offered you? Here are some of the benefits to saying yes.
Beef up your resume
International assignments are a great way to make yourself look better on paper. Many employers seek experience and skills that were learned in more developed markets like the United Kingdom and Europe to make up a skills shortage within their business. By working abroad, you’ll be able to include new skills on your resume which may be the skills you need to progress your career abroad, back home and within the company you currently work for. You will also face new challenges which you will need to overcome. The challenges are great learning tools for employees looking to progress their career.
Expand your professional network
Working in a new country forces you to step outside of your comfort zone and face new challenges head on. But that can be pretty difficult without the support of a talented team. The experience of living in a new country with no exiting network to rely on helps to develop and fast track the expanse of your professional network of valuable global contacts.
Slyvia Vorhauser-Smith, the Senior Vice President of Global Research at PageUp and the co-author of the book Cliffhanger: HR on the Precipice in the Future of Work, says international assignments can help increase a person’s cultural literacy and mastery of foreign languages. International assignments provide “field experiences that enable the acquisition of new knowledge, skills and languages the individual needs for more global experiences and helps to achieve competitiveness and growth goals.”
Pursuing international assignments also helps you take an important step in your career development and live an enriched life that comes from experiencing a different culture. Living in a new country exposes you to a new lifestyle where you might adopt a new hobby, find new life-long friends or discover a new sport you are not only interested in, but also really good at. Personal development can’t be measured on a resume but it does broaden your perspective and approach to life.
Ultimately only you can decide whether taking the international assignment is a good decision or not. You need to consider the personal, locational and transitional factors that will be impacted when relocating overseas. However, it’s clear that working abroad is a great way to progress your career.