Make a list of the reasons you would want to accept a foreign assignment and a list of reasons you would want to reject it. Do they depend on the locations? Compare your list with a classmate and discuss your reasons. Living in a culture that has a different language, different customs, and a different work style is exciting, and an once-in-a-lifetime experience. It can give your career a significant boost as well as broaden your horizons. But “global” assignments, as many companies call them today, have a downside, too.
It’s true that some parts of the world are dangerous for Americans and other visitors, but in most global postings the challenges have more to do with different cultures and different ways of doing business. The good thing about accepting a foreign assignment: builds the resume when you are invited to take an International Relocation you should take it because there may be no other experience that adds to your resume more, become a multi-cultural pro when you take an International Assignment it gives you an opportunity to add to your multi-cultural tool belt.
Every day you will be challenged by cultures different from your own in the workplace. Learning to manage people of different cultures than your own is an increasingly valuable asset today. While advantageous for some, international assignments aren’t right for everyone. Only you and those close to you can decide if you want to live and work in a different country, and if so, at which point in time. If success on your career path requires international experience and you are unable to take on an international assignment at this time for any reason, there are other ways to gain global exposure.
These might include short-term assignments in other locations, jobs that involve cross-border interaction, or a task force made up of a global team. There’s a downside to working abroad: The difficulty of being away from friends and family. It’s especially hard if you move overseas alone, problems adjusting to living in a foreign country. Many people have a difficult time dealing with cultural differences, extreme disorientation. It can take several days or more to get used to living and working in a different time zone, a chance of getting sick. In tropical climates, malaria and dysentery are common.
Different health care and sanitation practices must be considered, you’re out of touch with the home office. Many changes can occur in the space of two or three years, such as new management, mergers and acquisitions, and promotions, technological change. Technology in foreign countries can be years behind the United States. It could take several months to digest all the changes when you get home, your company may be reluctant to have you return. Keeping an experienced employee in an overseas post is often easier than training a replacement, and returning to your old job could be difficult, both for you and your coworkers.
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