I was a self-initiated expatriate. Meaning, I choose to go abroad. And the contract I was given was that of local foreign hire, not an American expat.
This nearly blew my grandmother’s mind.
She had known expats, and they were much older than me (and mostly male), always sent by their companies, and usually accompanied by a rich expat package.
The fact that I was essentially volunteering to move abroad to work for Dirhams was ludicrous.
But I am not alone.
A recent PWC study found that 71% of millennials would like to work outside their own country during the career.
And their willing to do it on much different terms than generations before.
One reason is because today globalization and technology have created a nearly borderless world.
What was once nearly impenetrable – finding an apartment in Shanghai for example – can now be done by just asking Siri.
The barrier to entry to be a global citizen has decreased dramatically.
The second aspect is that the economic downturn has changed millennials relationship and expectations with their employer.
In previous decades it was normal to work a decade for a company in hopes of securing a comfy international assignment.
But today, millennials have seen that corporate loyalty doesn’t always bring long term security.
So they’ll find their way abroad with or without an employer.
The economic downturn coupled with rapid globalization has created a hotbed for international talent.
Today’s global careerists are setting the tone and pace for where and when to work and for how long.
For those looking for a dynamic, global career, the world is now their oyster.
“The world is now a giant employment pool, where international experience acquired through continuous global mobility is not only a critical asset, but also part of an increasing and irreversible trend.” – Expat Reseach
What I am most looking forward to are the potential positive impacts of having a more globalized workforce.
And I passionately believe that it can make us a more empathetic and compassionate society.
To step outside of your comfort zone and success abroad takes both humility and humbleness.
As Mark Twain said,
“Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts. Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one’s lifetime.”