Long distance

Why work abroad? The pros and cons of moving for work

Andrea Santiago Orgaz

16 Oct 2020

Deciding whether or not to move abroad is a difficult life decision. Not only is the person moving impacted, but often it effects all those around.

In fact, because it blurs the lines between the professional and the personal life, choices can have lasting impacts. And, if you’ve ever had to make the choice yourself, you’ll no doubt resonate with this.

Here at Ding, we understand the complexities of seeking out new opportunities abroad and the reasons why so many do this. In our commitment to bringing people closer, every day we take it upon ourselves to keep friends and families connected through mobile top-up.

In this blog, we’ll take a look at the reasons why people choose to work overseas, and why working abroad is simply a part of life for many.

Benefits of working abroad

The benefits of working abroad cannot be overstated. For some, it's a way of supporting family and friends back home. For others, it's required for personal or career development.

Greater financial opportunities  

For most, the biggest benefit is the strong economic incentives to working abroad. According to the United Nations, around 244 million people around the world do it. Just to put that into perspective, that’s over 3% of the global population.

In areas of the world where unemployment is high, job security is less readily available, and high-skilled work is harder to come by, the financial incentives tied to working abroad are even greater.

Often the financial gain is sent to family members back home. The UK for example has a large migrant population and in 2018, the BBC reported that: “migrant workers are sending more than £8bn a year to support families in their home countries.“

It is common in countries like the UK, US and Australia to find that aged care workers are from overseas, working to help support families back home.

Develop new skills for career growth

Working abroad almost always requires new skills to be learned. This can often come in the form of learning new languages, improving social and communication skills and upskilling in technology and machinery.

Often the aim is to learn new skills and eventually come back home, where these new skills can be applied.

Experience a new culture

Away from career progression and financial incentives, people tend to work abroad because it gives them the chance to experience a different culture, see more of the world, meet new people, and get out of their comfort zone.

The importance of travelling cannot be underestimated. Being in a new environment, away from your home, can help you feel less stressed and anxious. Moving abroad for many is on their list of 'life goals' and although it can be daunting and scary at times, people often learn a lot about themselves and feel a sense of personal reward by doing it.

For some, working abroad opens a world of opportunities to meet new people and step out of their comfort zones.

Drawbacks of working abroad

Like everything, there are also downsides to working abroad. Due to personal circumstances, misfortune or simply bad timing the downsides can often leave people needing to return home.

Being away from close friends and family

Being separated from friends and family for long periods of time is, without a doubt, the toughest aspect of working abroad. While there are certainly perks to venturing outside of your comfort zone and meeting new people, there will also be moments where homesickness is difficult to ignore. 

Thankfully, in the modern and highly technological world we live in, there are tons of convenient ways to keep in touch with long-distance family members. And, there is also often the gratification of knowing that your work is benefiting those back home or your later self.

Technology has played a critical role in helping people stay connected with loved ones back home.

Immigration challenges

While travelling may seem easier than ever, it is becoming increasingly difficult to work abroad in the 21st century.

Although Western Europe and the United States are still considered to be the top destination for economic migrants, many countries are either considering or implementing laws designed to make immigration stricter and more skills-based.

Cultural differences

Acclimatizing to a new way of life can be a slow process and learning a new language is by no means an easy feat.

Working abroad can sometimes feel like jumping into a swimming pool at the deep-end, but navigating change is an everyday part of life and cultural obstacles can become easier over time.

Is working abroad worth it?

Ultimately, the question of whether working abroad is worth it, is something that must be decided by you alone. Each person thinking of moving has different personal circumstances, different motivations, different travel possibilities... the list of reasons, both for and against moving overseas is endless.

Working abroad is common for the Filipino diaspora, some of whom eventually go back and others end up calling their new country home.

Family-orientated people who like a sense of familiarity and routine in their daily lives will undoubtedly find working abroad harder than those that are more relaxed outside of their comfort zone.  With that said, financial dependences can often force people, who may not be suited to a life abroad, into needing to move.

Ding brings you closer to home

When it comes to working abroad, keeping in touch with family and friends back home can be a challenge in itself. We make it easy to stay closer to your loved ones, all you need to do is choose a number, send a top-up, and get in touch!

As the number one international top-up website in the world, Ding keeps you connected with your loved ones back home.

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