Career capital is the combination of skills, connections, and abilities that come with excelling in a field. It’s the combination of rare and valuable skills and experience that make you a competitive candidate, or a valuable person in a company.
Working abroad gives you more career capital, since you are acquiring more unique and unusual life experiences that set you apart from the typical candidate.
Plus, even if you’re a mediocre employee, consider the options: to a potential employer, who’s going to stand out more?
The mediocre employee that works locally, or the mediocre employee with international work experience?
Clearly the latter.
#2 It’s an Alternative to an MBA
Many 20 somethings do an MBA program because they feel stuck or trapped in a career and don’t know which path to take next.
But going $100k into debt when you aren’t sure which path to take is potentially a life-changing (or ruining) decision.
Working abroad as an expat gives 20 somethings great opportunities to do the following:
- Hone in on what industry they really want to work in
- Discover job positions and roles they might not have ordinarily discovered
- Make international connections
So rather than potentially investing $100k into discovering you don’t actually like the career you’re in, working abroad can be a "mini-test" - a quick proving ground to test your ideas about careers and job roles you’re potentially interested in.
#3 A More Productive Gap Year
The "gap year" is a pretty popular phenomenon among 20 somethings who want a bit of a chance to "get out there" before finally settling down for good.
But working abroad is sometimes a better, more viable option for several reasons.
Whereas a gap year is focused mainly on enjoyment, relaxation, travel and pleasure (and thus doesn’t necessarily push you forward professionally), taking a working abroad gap year will give you experience you won’t get in your typical gap year.
A primary concern for 20 somethings is often figuring out "What kind of work am I passionate about?"
And rather than just figuring this out by traveling, it’s often much easier to discover through job experimentation and trying various careers.
So rather than technically "wasting" a year, where time is very valuable, it can be a worthwhile alternative to just your typical gap year. A working abroad gap year can give you powerful insight into potential career paths to follow in the future.