Do You Want to Look for Work in Other Countries?
Like everything, international work has its pros and cons. It frequently pays better than work closer to home. On the other hand, it’s much harder to keep projects nearer base going when you’re on the other side of the world. Of course, being away from home for protracted periods also affects your family and your social life. And then there’s all that hanging around at airports, losing your luggage, delayed flights, and the like, to deal with. Yet you get paid to travel to places you may not have visited otherwise, and you may be able to tack a vacation on at the end of your trip. Consider the following two scenarios. They both happened to me.
- Through a convoluted series of events, I ended up being flown to Siberia on a project paid for by the European Commission. The assignment was to run a practical training course to teach Russian engineers how to make their factories more energy efficient. Nervous and on my own, I landed in Moscow and was met by my contact, Dmitri. We took a taxi to Domodedovo Airport, a nerve-wracking experience in itself, as the driver reeked of vodka. We finally boarded a plane out to Chelyabinsk in Siberia, my destination for the next two weeks. I could write a book on that experience alone. I am English, and everyone was interested in me—and therefore wanted to ply me with vodka and talk about soccer. “It is very rude to refuse the vodka,” Natalya, my gray-eyed and frankly gorgeous interpreter whispered in my ear while managing to avoid most of the drinks herself. To cut a long story short, I got the job done sort of, while adapting quickly to the Russian way of working about two hours per day. It was certainly an experience but very disorienting to begin with—and even more so when the vodka kicked in each day.
- In association with another consulting company, I ended up spending two weeks in various locations with a major brewing company in Venezuela. We were looked after every step of the way, picked up and dropped off by designated drivers, and housed in top hotels. And the work was interesting and engaging. All that didn’t keep the Canadian consultant I traveled with from being paranoid the whole time, to the point of distraction, that we were going to be kidnapped. Needless to say, we were fine throughout, but I came to the conclusion that he should never have set foot outside North America.
Your reaction to the above two stories will tell you a lot about whether you want to pursue this type of work. If your reaction is that there’s no way you want to go to Russia, period, and you feel the same as my colleague in Venezuela, perhaps this sort of work isn’t for you. Or perhaps it’s location dependent, and you would be happy working in, say, Australia. On the other hand, if you relish the thought of being paid to go to some far-off places and having some out-of-the-ordinary experiences, maybe this sort of business is for you. Personally I’ve enjoyed most of the international travel I’ve done through my career: twenty countries so far, with trips to China lined up.
As a highly experienced consultant and author of “Consulting Made Easy”, Adrian assists consultants, or would be consultants, to achieve success on their terms in their own consulting businesses. Adrian helps consultants increase their fee rates, find more clients, have more free time and have more fun.
Contact Adrian at firstname.lastname@example.org to learn more.
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