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Expat Stories: Success and Challenges of Working Abroad

Posted on August 12, 2023
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What advantages to expect when working abroad?

  • Learning new perspectives
  • Improvement in self-confidence
  • Acquire adaptability skills
  • Improved collaborative skills
  • Superior career prospects
  • Widened professional network

Expat Stories: Success and Challenges of Working Abroad

An expat, short for expatriate, is a person who is based outside his/her home country. When these people work abroad, they initially would have to overcome the cultural changes at both workplaces and the places where they live. This involves developing relationships with the natives of that country by overcoming language blocks. At the same time, they would have to overcome homesickness.

Many expats say that though it would seem challenging at first, they feel delighted when they are able to adapt to a new location. To begin with, they need to cope with the culture shock, accepting a new lifestyle and a new work culture, making their life unpredictable where they experience both successes and lows.

The real struggle for married people arises when they have to maintain a work-life balance, whether it is with their kids or their parents. Here both the husband and wife have to manage caregiving roles between them. It cannot be just one of them who manage the needs of the loved ones at home. Both should feel responsible for taking care of the family together for their life abroad to be successful.

At workplaces, they have to worry about being accepted by their peers as one of their own. Though all modern-day companies talk about inclusivity, where people from diverse cultures work, not all can entirely put it into practice. There will be some rotten apples within each company that will try to disrupt progressive activities. Some people could be reported and thereafter punished, and others get away with it.

The practice of inclusive policies in any multicultural workplace is a must for its smooth functioning. After all, we are living in a globalized world where people from different cultures converge. It is true with most of the large multinational companies for whom merit is the basis for selecting employees, and all the suitable candidates do not belong to one single country.

In fact, many expats feel excited about working in a multicultural environment, and the results are mostly notable.

How can expats improve both their professional and personal growth?

Various successful expats say there are advantages and rewards to being one in today’s work environment.

They are as follows.

  • Opportunity to learn about new cultures and lifestyles
  • Improving language abilities
  • Higher adaptability, which leads to improved skills at solving problems, superior memory, and better creativity.
  • Ability to create a multicultural network that is caring
  • Leading to the discovery of new pastimes and pursuits that may not be available to expats in their native countries
  • Acquiring novel professional opportunities and capabilities, which improves better career opportunities and personal growth
  • According to various studies, the significance of talent movement for economic development and determination indicates that countries with the ability to fascinate and retain talented professionals globally are more successful in the global markets.
  • This cannot, however, be achieved without creating a robust, important network that is necessary where expats would be able to enjoy their standing entirely.

As has been discussed before, a journey of an expat includes both rewards and struggles. Battles could be both personal as well as at the workplace. Those who are able to conquer their struggles will be successful and will, in turn, become role models for aspiring expats.

There are approaches to triumph over challenges and have a life that is fulfilling for expats. Some of the suggestions that many successful expats would agree to have been compiled, and they are as follows.

  • Participate in local community activities by joining clubs, being present at events, and volunteering in local charitable activities where they would get to befriend new individuals and form a support group.
  • Picking up the language of the place you are in will help in improved communication and make you feel more belonging to that place.
  • Being in touch with close family members and friends in your home country so that you do not feel disconnected and continue to belong to your native country.
  • Feeling a sense of belonging to your home country despite the changes you are going through.
  • Taking good care of your mental wellness is critical when residing in a new country.
  • Ensuring to set aside time for taking care of yourself through exercise, meditation, or any other activities that relax you.
  • Involving in physical activities so that you can keep active bodily as well.
  • Accepting the new culture wholeheartedly by trying out new foodstuffs, attending local events, and acquiring knowledge about your new home’s history and customs.
  • Finally, the most crucial activity is to involve in developing a friendly network of expats who can empathize with others coming from different countries. Alternatively, you can join virtual or physical expat communities.
  • Participate in social activities and connect with other expats.

One thing you have to remember is that being an expat is not anymore a novel experience. You will find people like you whom you can be friends with and help each other.

If this article has encouraged you to be an expat who wants to work abroad, get in touch with Y-Axis, a premier overseas career consultancy, to get counseling and assistance. 


Thousands of professionals approach Y-Axis every year to help them realize their overseas career ambitions. Our suite of services includes:

  • Resume Writing Services: Ensure your resume meets international standards and showcases your strengths
  • LinkedIn Marketing: Improve your chances of getting discovered online by recruiters and companies with our LinkedIn marketing solutions
  • Resume Marketing: Be present in your target country’s job market with our Resume Marketing services that apply for jobs on your behalf through overseas job boards, classifieds & job postings
  • Providing job search services

With Y-Axis, you not only discover opportunities that are best suited for you but also get the tools and experience to help you with the highest chances of success. Talk to us today to begin your journey of working abroad.

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