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Common mistakes to avoid when pursuing a career overseas

Updated: Oct 25, 2023



People often make a series of common mistakes when building a career abroad. Fundamentally, one should not automatically replicate practices and mindsets from their previous location, as each new work and cultural experience should be approached with adaptability and continuous learning.

  1. Repeating Past Habits: Thinking that work abroad will be the same as in one's home country is a mistake. Each company, employer, and work environment is unique, and success relies on the ability to adapt and learn continuously.

  2. Imposing Opinions: Assuming that one already knows everything can lead to failure. It’s essential to learn and be willing to change perspectives according to the situation and environment.

  3. Expecting to be 100% Operational from Day One: Expecting to perform perfectly from the start is unrealistic. Adapting takes time, especially in a foreign environment where culture, language, and dynamics may differ.

  4. Not Adapting to Local Culture: Rejecting the local culture and not participating in customs and activities can be detrimental to building a network and professional development.

  5. Not Learning the Local Language: Even though English is widely spoken, learning the local language can open doors and facilitate integration in the community and workplace.

  6. Boasting About Career: Exaggerating past achievements and experiences can create a negative impression among colleagues and superiors. Humility and authenticity are key.

  7. Viewing Career as a Straight Line: Understanding that a career is not always a straight line and being open to unexpected turns is important for professional growth.

  8. Lacking Clear Goals: Not having clear goals can lead to a lack of direction and purpose in one's career.

  9. Not Setting Limits or Setting Too Many: Finding a balance between taking risks and maintaining personal values is essential.

  10. Comparing Oneself to Others: Constantly comparing oneself to others can be discouraging and detrimental to personal and professional development.

  11. Fear of Failure or Success: Fearing failure or success can limit growth and exploration of new opportunities.

In summary, it’s important to enjoy life in the host country, maintain a balance between work and personal life, learn from experiences, and be flexible and authentic. Ultimately, building a successful career abroad requires adaptability, a willingness to learn, and an open mind toward new opportunities and challenges.


SOURCE: Expat.com


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