6 Tips to Advance Your Career While Working Abroad


The modern world is very different from the world even thirty years ago. For starters, technology has made everyone extremely interconnected. In addition, how countries have evolved over the years has resulted in more open borders, with freedom of mobility for most countries’ nationals.

It is not uncommon to find people from your home country living and working abroad. Some countries even offer attractive benefits to attract expatriates to relocate there, even if temporarily. For example, Middle Eastern countries like the UAE and Qatar have large expatriate bases, and these countries incentivize workers from other countries to move there by offering them considerably higher salaries than they would receive at home. In addition, these countries also provide other benefits, such as tax-free income.

While Middle Eastern countries have been attracting foreigners to work there for quite a while, some Asian countries have also started turning to migrant workers to address critical skill gaps in their economies. For instance, Indonesia employed over 100,000 foreign workers in 2022.

So, if you’re a migrant worker living and working in Indonesia and want to improve your career prospects, this article has a ton of helpful information. From discussing the importance of an international network to explaining how you can gain an MBA online in Indonesia from a reputable international university, we will cover everything you need to know.

How to Advance Your Career While Working Abroad

1. Advanced Education Always Helps

Whether you are working abroad or in your home country, getting a graduate degree can help you advance your career. For example, let’s say you graduated with a bachelor’s degree in business and started working as a digital marketing executive. After a few years, you get promoted to digital marketing manager. But eventually, you realize that you need a graduate degree to keep moving up in your career.

The good news is that getting a graduate degree online is now easier than ever. Many reputable online international universities offer graduate programs in business, marketing, and other fields. And because these programs are online, you can study from anywhere in the world.

In fact, getting a graduate degree online can be a great way to advance your career while working abroad. You can study at your own pace and on your own schedule, which can be helpful if you have a busy work schedule. And you can still earn a degree from a credible university, even if you are not physically present on campus.

2. Learn to Accept and Adopt New Ideas

It’s important to understand that moving to a foreign country means embracing change if you want to settle in. More importantly, it requires learning about the country’s local culture, language, work practices, etc.

Working abroad exposes you to a new group of people with different thought processes and business etiquette. As a result, you’ll undoubtedly be exposed to new ideas while working abroad. In addition, some countries have different markets than others, meaning identifying a business opportunity in these markets might give you an idea to innovate and take that idea back home with you.

3. Learn About How Company Cultures Differ Based on Location

Let’s assume you’re moving from the USA to Indonesia for work. You might be surprised to learn that the company culture in Indonesia might vary from the US. For instance, the average holiday time in Indonesia is around 12 days. Meanwhile, most US companies offer employees double that.

In addition, the company culture might also differ based on local culture. For instance, Indonesian workers might not pay much attention to Thanksgiving holidays but actively celebrate and take time off for Eid al-Fitr.

Indonesian society is hierarchical, and this is reflected in the workplace. Employees are expected to respect their superiors and to follow the chain of command.

4. Find an Employer Who Has Previous Experience with Foreign Workers

Moving abroad to another country for work isn’t easy. You’ll be leaving everything and everyone you know behind to settle in another location. In addition, you might struggle to adapt if people there don’t speak English properly.

Hence, many people often recommend finding an employer who has experience with foreign workers because they can help you navigate the legal challenges of migrating to another country. In addition, such companies also have tailored packages for foreign workers that incentivize them to move abroad. For instance, they’ll offer better compensation or a relocation sum to help you settle.

5. Know Everything about Your Visa Conditions

The last thing you want when building a thriving career abroad is to run into visa issues because they can impede your career trajectory. Unfortunately, such issues happen more often than you might think.

Working visa conditions vary from country to country. But most countries require you to return home if your employment ends. Understanding your visa situation is crucial because one wrong move can derail your career.

6. Build an International Network

Another way to advance your career while working abroad is by networking. Many expatriates neglect networking after moving abroad because they only have a short-term plan. They want to work abroad for a few years before returning home.

But, living and working in a different country allows you to build an international network that could prove pivotal in the future. For instance, let’s assume you’re working as a senior manager for a B2B product developer. A few years later, you might return to your home country and find a C-suite position in a company looking to reduce manufacturing costs by outsourcing manufacturing to a foreign country. The connections and network you built while working abroad might help you find the right manufacturer, allowing you to provide great value to your employer.


Living and working abroad can be challenging for many individuals. However, keeping your eyes on the prize is important. Since you’ve moved abroad to advance your career, ensure you do everything possible, from networking to continuing further education to improve your career prospects.

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