Advertising student Nathan Sarmiento ponders how to adapt in a changing workforce and whether or not you should be working abroad.
“Survival of the fittest” is a phrase that originated from an evolutionary theory as a way of describing the mechanism of natural selection. Herbert Spencer first used the phrase in his Principles of Biology in which he drew parallels between his own economic theories and Darwins’s biological ones. A way to survive in the world is to be more versatile, to be able to adapt and to sharpen your mind. A way to do all that is to work abroad. This will give you experience to be more appealing as well as successful to employers.
Working abroad forces you to adapt, making you more flexible in the long run
The key to survival, in any walk of life, is adaptability. Working abroad helps you hone this quality, molding you in a multifaceted, versatile and resourceful individual. One of the best aspects of this world is how diverse it is, but this is also what makes starting a new job in a different country so challenging.
Not everybody who goes abroad is motivated or able to adapt; encountering a different culture and an unfamiliar environment can be a stressful experience and people may feel overwhelmed by seemingly insurmountable culture differences, leading to culture shock, which only a subset of individuals are able to overcome successfully.
Indeed, working in a new country requires both the ability to recongise cultural idiosyncrasies and the willingness and capacity to adjust to them. Ultimately, this makes people more open-minded, empathetic and versatile, which are invaluable qualities into a globalized world.
Working abroad sharpens your mind and makes you more creative
Exposure to multiple cultures does amazing things to our minds. Different cultures might approach the same problem in myriads ways. Correspondingly, research has shown that people who’ve lived and worked abroad are more creative than others. People who have international experience or identify with more than one nationality are better problem solvers and display more creativity.
People who’ve worked abroad are more appealing to employers
People with international experience have a competitive advantage in the working world. Employers are attracted to people who’ve worked abroad because they appreciate the intrinsic value of having that type of experience. They immediately recognise you have already overcome significant obstacles. It takes a bold individual to leave home voluntarily and completely start over in an unfamiliar country. Not to mention, they’re often looking for employers who are willing to travel, or perhaps even move, for the job. Having international experience also means you have a wide network which is vital in terms of both obtaining employment and moving up the ladder. Success is largely dependent upon one’s ability to cultivate relationships.
Working and living abroad will enrich your life in ways you couldn’t imagine, and help provide the sense of fulfillment that defines success. You will have experiences you never dreamed possible, be exposed to things you didn’t know existed and become encapsulated with the dynamic beauty of this plant and the people who inhabit it.
Don’t just be tourists, or a traveler, stop and stay somewhere for a while. Fully immerse yourself in another country and culture, and learn what makes it tick. There’s no better way of doing this than working abroad.