3 top reasons to work overseas
If you worked a 100 years ago it was unlikely that anyone cared about your skills or qualifications. The focus was mostly on character and if you were perceived as honest, altruistic and hard working you would have done well. In fact the concept of a job didn’t really exist and people performed chores. Sounds easy, right?
Career as a life-long relationship
Since then the jobs and careers have changed considerable. With industrialization and urbanization people moved to the city and looked for a job in a factory. Only after WWII and once the economy started growing were the world introduced to corporations, bureaucracies and the corporate ladder. For the first time people were thinking and talking about a career. A career meant a life-long relationship with a company in which you gave them several decades and they gave you a pension. Jump forward to the present time and things have changed again. Few people form a long lasting relationship with a company and companies don’t have workers but rather jobs and workers could be permanent, contract, part-time, external or freelance.
Opportunity to take ownership
For the individual this means some loss of security but it also gives them the opportunity to work on different projects and to take ownership of their career. No corporate ladder to climb but you have a career path and the opportunity to bend and twist that path. My own career path reflects this.
My first degree was in commerce law and for a while I thought I would end up a lawyer. However an opportunity arose in my final year to help a family member with a start-up educational technology company. And without planning it, after completing my degree, I became a full time self-taught educational software developer and that was what I did for the next 10 years. During that time I completed a master's degree in IT and my dissertation was on technology based learning in the third world. A topic I enjoyed very much, especially because of my interest in how technology impacts people.
Chase a dream by relocating to Europe
Later when I moved from South Africa to Europe my focus shifted from educational technology to web-based system development. It was not the only change that happened - my view of the world including jobs and careers also changed. Well not immediately, it took many years to get out of the ‘survival mode’ that is common for many people growing up in Africa. When I finally felt more secure and were able to view the world differently I realized I had the opportunity to think about what I want and to dream. One of my dreams have always been to study in Europe and that is why I recently made the leap and signed up for a degree in psychology. This may seem a bit strange since I am working in the IT sector but I have always been as interested in the people using the technology as the technology itself.
The the next step by moving to another country
I can't say yet exactly what the next part of my career will be but I don’t think you need to have things planned out exactly or predict how it will turn out. You just need to take that first step, whether it is moving to another country, taking a different job or studying. When you do something and take that first small step the opportunity arrives and the real change happens. Wouldn’t it be boring if we all knew exactly what the rest of our careers would be?