Are You Seeking an International Professional Experience?
Does the idea of practicing law abroad excite you, make you eager to work and immerse yourself in the customs and cultures of an unfamiliar but exciting setting? Or, are you more comfortable with the familiarity of home and do not see yourself changing your work environment so drastically any time soon? Perhaps you are somewhere in the middle or are not sure where you stand at all. Practicing law abroad sounds rewarding to you and may, in fact, be just what you want to do—but are you up for the challenge?
If you are still determining whether working abroad is for you, but are highly considering, it may be worth thinking about some of the reasons you want to move someplace else and start your career anew in the first place. Are you simply tired of the stress or monotony of your current workplace and crave a change of pace? Do you just want to learn more about the world and yourself, perhaps even master a new language? Or is your reason more specific: for instance, is there a more lucrative or more intellectually stimulating opportunity awaiting you overseas?
Here, we will look at a common reason people choose to work abroad so that you can hopefully better understand your own motivations and come to a decision that will best suit the needs of your career, your family, and yourself. Consider the following:
1. Do you have a yearning for learning and adventure?
You are tired of waking up every morning to the same routine: blaring alarm clock at 8 AM sharp, languid traffic on your morning commute, the same predictable workplace, tasks, and coworkers with no perspective of the world beyond.
If you see yourself in the above, then what you most likely hope to gain from working abroad is a new rhythm to your life. Maybe that new rhythm is not necessarily any less stressful or any more prestigious than that of your current one. It is just different.
As you can imagine, many tired or bored professionals feel similarly and seek employment opportunities in other countries for the chance to adopt a new way of life as a local rather than a tourist. After all, a tourist simply “tries on” a country’s customs and festivities before returning home to his or her usual duties. By working abroad, though, you get to experience the country as it is behind the splendorous natural wonders and bustling attractions.
If this is you, then congratulations! You have found your main motivation for wanting to work abroad.
2. I know what motivates me to seek an international experience, what’s next?
The next step is to determine if working abroad is feasible or even the best way to satisfy your curiosity about the world. Would you be leaving a perfectly stable job behind in pursuit of uncertainty? Or, do you have a clear idea of the kind of opportunities available to you in your target country? More important, consider: does your target country have a healthy market for what you are pursuing? Is its economy stable or in its “growing” stages? Are the particular visas or other legal documents that you need to work legally in your host country? In other words—have you done your research?
As you do your research and are planning your new direction to take, try taking this brief “IQ Test” (International Quotient) posted on Vault’s Career Advice blog. These questions may help you further crystallize your goals and help in your planning.
- Are you single?
- Will you be going overseas with a partner?
- Have you ever traveled overseas?
- Have you ever lived overseas?
- Do you have an interest in other cultures?
- Are you prepared to not see your family and friends for at least a year?
- Have you ever experienced real stress or loneliness before in your life?
- Are you confident of the way you deal with your emotions?
- Are you a tolerant person?
- Do you consider yourself flexible?
- Do you consider yourself a risk taker?
- Have you ever felt like an outsider?
- Do you consider yourself to be non-traditional?
- Do you have a non-traditional career path in mind?
- Are you looking at graduate school a few years down the road?
- Do you have a clean bill of health/are you generally healthy?
- Do you have enough money to support yourself for at least three months without working?
- 15 or more YES answers: Go for it! A job overseas sounds like a great fit.
- 10-15 YES answers: Go for it, but be prepared to be challenged and occasionally frustrated.
- 5-10 YES answers: Think seriously about your plans before you go. This may not be the best path for you.
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Are you interested in working abroad? Do you need some assistance with your job search for an international experience? If so, contact a Career Counselor with Lexacount Search’s Career Consulting Services. If you are interested in learning more about finance and accounting industry opportunities, contact a Search Consultant from Lexacount Search’s Finance Group. Or, if you are interested in attorney or other roles in the legal industry, contact a Search Consultant from Lexacount Search’s Legal Group.