25 Pros and Cons of Working Abroad You May Need to Consider

nur halimah
Nur Halimah

Published on 15 November 2023

Pros and Cons of Working Abroad

Working abroad is a dream for anyone. As a report by World Economic Forum regarding ASEAN youth employment, youth face challenges securing employment after completing their education. The issue stems from the country's inability to accommodate all new job market entrants, resulting in limited job opportunities domestically. Additionally, many youth are attracted to higher-paying jobs in other countries, which is causing a "brain drain" in ASEAN.

survey of youth from Indonesia, Singapore, Malaysia, Philippines, Thailand working abroad

However, if you want to work abroad, you need to consider the pros and cons. Just know, not everything is as beautiful as you hear, and not everything is as bad as you think. By considering the pros and cons, you can prepare yourself well before starting to work abroad and be ready to face all its own risks and challenges.

pros and cons working abroad

Pros of Working Abroad in Foreign Country

Working abroad offers numerous advantages for ASEAN youth. It provides opportunities for career advancement, higher income potential, cultural immersion, and the development of language skills. Here's the other reasons why you should consider to work in foreign country.

1. Career advancement

Working abroad opens up new opportunities for career growth and professional development. For example, working as a software engineer in Silicon Valley can gain exposure to cutting-edge technologies and work alongside industry leaders, accelerating their career progression.

2. Higher income potential

Many countries offer higher salaries and better remuneration packages compared to ASEAN countries. Working abroad can provide ASEAN youth with the opportunity to earn more and achieve financial stability. For instance, a nurse from the Philippines working in the United States may earn a significantly higher salary, improving their quality of life and allowing them to support their family back home.

3. Improve language skills

Working in a foreign country provides an excellent opportunity to improve language skills. Interacting with native speakers on a daily basis enhances language fluency and proficiency. For example, working as a marketing executive in Germany can become fluent in German through daily interactions with colleagues and clients.

4. Personal Growth

Getting your dream job abroad challenges individuals to step out of their comfort zones, fostering personal growth, independence, and self-confidence as you navigate daily life in a new, unfamiliar environments, adapt to new situations, and overcome challenges. For instance, getting a vacancy as a journalist in the United Kingdom may learn to manage their finances, find accommodation, and adapt to the local transportation system independently.

5. Networking Opportunities

Building a professional network in a foreign country can open doors to future career prospects and collaborations. For example, as a finance analyst in London, you can connect with professionals from diverse backgrounds, expanding their professional network and creating opportunities for future collaborations.

6. International Work Experience

Having international work experience on their resume makes ASEAN youth more competitive in the job market. It demonstrates their ability to work in diverse environments and adapt to different work cultures. For example, when you work as a graphic designer in New York, you can showcase their experience working with international clients, making them a desirable candidate for future design projects.

7. Cross-Cultural Collaboration

Working in diverse teams abroad enables ASEAN youth to learn how to collaborate effectively with people from different backgrounds and perspectives. This enhances their intercultural communication and teamwork skills. For instance, an engineer in a multinational company in Dubai can navigate cultural differences and successfully collaborate with colleagues from various countries to achieve project goals.

8. Personal Fulfillment

Having your job abroad offers the chance to fulfill personal dreams and aspirations, experiencing new adventures and creating lifelong memories. For example, a travel blogger from Indonesia living in Australia can explore breathtaking landscapes, try new cuisines, and share their experiences with a global audience, fulfilling their passion for travel and storytelling.

9. Enhanced Problem-Solving Skills

Not only personal fulfillment, but also you will require to adapt to new challenges and finding creative solutions. This enhances problem-solving skills and resourcefulness. For instance, living and working as an architect in Canada may need to find innovative ways to design sustainable buildings that can withstand harsh winter conditions.

10. Expanded Knowledge of Global Markets

Apart from those benefits, this one will value the most. Working abroad provides insights into different markets and consumer behaviors, expanding knowledge of global business trends. For example, a marketing manager as a foreigner in China may gain a deep understanding of the Chinese market and consumer preferences, which can be valuable for future business opportunities.

11. Opportunity for Entrepreneurship

Yes, you can inspire others to start their own businesses or pursue entrepreneurial ventures. For instance, working in Singapore may gain exposure to a vibrant startup ecosystem and decide to launch their own tech startup, leveraging the resources and support available.

12. Access to Cutting-Edge Technology

By working abroad, you can get access to state-of-the-art technology and research facilities, fostering innovation and technological advancement. For example, working as a scientist in South Korea may have access to advanced laboratory equipment and research tools, enabling groundbreaking discoveries.

Cons of Working Abroad in Foreign Country

The experience of working abroad for youth comes with a range of advantages and benefits. However, it is also important to consider the potential challenges and drawbacks that they may face. Explore these disadvantages if you are considering to move to other countries.

1. Homesick

Being away from family, friends, and familiar surroundings can lead to feelings of homesickness and loneliness. For example, you work in the United States may miss celebrating important cultural festivals with their loved ones back home.

2. Language Barrier

While working in a foreign country can improve language skills, initially, the language barrier can pose challenges in communication and daily interactions. For instance, working in Japan may struggle to communicate effectively with colleagues and clients due to language differences.

3. Cultural Adjustment and Lack of Familiarity

Adjusting to a new culture, traditions, and social norms can be overwhelming and may require time and effort. Being in an unfamiliar environment can make it difficult to access familiar services and amenities, leading to potential inconvenience. For example, for ASEAN people, working in one of companies in Europe may find it challenging to adapt to the country's cultural norms and etiquette and having limited access to healthcare facilities and other essential services.

4. Lack of Support System

Working abroad means being away from the immediate support of family and close friends, which can be difficult during times of need. For instance, you may face a personal crisis and feel isolated without the support of their family and familiar social network.

5. Legal and Visa Issues

Navigating through the legal and visa requirements of a foreign country can be complex and time-consuming. For example, living and working in the United Kingdom may encounter challenges in obtaining the necessary work permits and visas, leading to delays and added stress.

6. Work-Life Balance

Some countries may have different work cultures and longer working hours, making it challenging to maintain a healthy work-life balance. For instance, you work in South Korea experience long working hours and high expectations, leading to limited personal time and increased stress.

7. Workplace Discrimination

In some cases, some ASEAN people working abroad may encounter workplace discrimination based on their nationality or ethnicity. For example, when you are working in United Sates, you may encounter prejudice and stereotypes that affect their professional opportunities and growth.

8. Financial Considerations

Living abroad can be costly, and managing finances, especially in expensive cities, may require careful budgeting and planning. For instance, working in Singapore may struggle to afford the high cost of living, impacting their financial stability and savings compared to Indonesia.

9. Professional Setbacks and Social Isolation

Being in a foreign country without a strong social network can lead to social isolation. You may involve starting from scratch, building a new professional network, and facing competition, which can result in professional setbacks. For instance, in the United States, you may struggle to find employment in their desired field and may need to take on lower-level positions initially.

10. Limited Social Support

Being in a foreign country without a strong support system can make it challenging to cope with personal and emotional difficulties. For example, in Germany, you may struggle to find friends who understand their cultural background and provide emotional support.

11. Housing Challenges

Finding suitable and affordable housing in a foreign country can be a daunting task. For instance, in Hong Kong, it is quite difficult in securing affordable accommodation due to high rental costs and limited availability

12. Career Uncertainty

Working abroad may involve sacrificing stability and familiarity in terms of career prospects and advancement. For example, an ASEAN youth working in the United Kingdom may face uncertainty in obtaining a long-term work visa, which can impact their career progression.


How to Find Jobs Overseas

Finding a job overseas can be an exciting opportunity for ASEAN youth to gain international experience and broaden their horizons.

One of the way you can use our job platform to find jobs from remote, full time, and freelance jobs in foreign countries such as United States, Singapore, Malaysia, Philippines, and Malaysia. Here is the step to get jobs overseas with Epicareer:

  • Login into your Epicareer account. You can create a Epicareer account anytime if you don't have one.
  • Then, you need to fill in your contacts information, and upload your resume.
  • Choose Job Recommendation, and wait our smart tech recommend vacancies that suit you the most.
  • If you don't find it, you can always filter based on location, job title, salary, and more.
  • Scroll down and click the job card that you think it's the best for you. After you find the jobs that suit you, click the APPLY NOW button.

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