I’ve been offered a good management assignment overseas. What would accepting the position do for my career? Is leaving headquarters a good or bad career move?
I’m looking in my crystal ball — and I’m seeing good things. Though the costs and benefits of each situation are unique, jumping over the Atlantic — or some other frontier — can jump-start a career.
Sure you’ll face challenges. For one, some countries don’t bat an eyelid at behaviors Americans consider sexual harassment. And uprooting your family may prove to be a challenge.
But keeping a sense of humor can balance out the cultural differences. And there are plenty of overseas relocation services to help your kids — and the rest of the family — land on their feet. In fact, they might end up learning how to speak another language.
But seriously, you’ll learn — or polish your ability — to handle cross-cultural business interactions. In fact, a growing body of research shows that American businesswomen may already have a competitive advantage over men when working abroad. Women’s ability to form personal connections is valued in many foreign countries, according to a study by Cornelius Grove & Associates, an international staffing consultancy. And a study of insurance claims conducted by the World Bank suggests that women handle the stress of international travel better than men do.
In addition, when you’re assignment is over, you may find yourself more competitive stateside, according to Craig Storti, author of “The Art of Coming Home”. His studies show that 25% of returnees leave their jobs for new ones within a year.
Financially, you could also be looking at some nice perks: You’ll be able to sock away money in savings, as companies often pay for expenses, including rent. And your tax situation can improve, because you could pay less on income earned overseas.