Pros and cons of an international assignment

Will it boost or harm your career?

There is no suspicion that working abroad is romantic. Living in a culture with different languages, habits, and working styles is an exciting and once-in-a-lifetime experience. It can not only much promote your career development, but also broaden your horizons. However, what many companies now call “global” assignments has some disadvantages. Some parts of the world are indeed dangerous for some visitors, but in most postings worldwide, the challenges are related to different cultures and ways of doing business. Here are some pros and cons of an international assignment to help you decide if it is a smart career move.

Table of Contents

Pros of international assignment

International Work Experience

Indeed, the world is growing and becoming more and more mobile and accessible. This is the main driving force. Business leaders today are not geographically constrained. Work experience in an international corporate environment and culture is often described as a prerequisite for most senior positions at major international companies. Instantly add diverse and multicultural elements to your portfolio and experiences to make them more appealing to your position on a global scale.

Global companies are paying more and more attention to international diversity, and there is no sign that this trend stops. Therefore, the overseas experience gained by international mission professionals will help those seeking senior management positions. If you are one of these ambitious professionals, the question should be whether you can afford not to participate in the international assignment?

The company devotes substantial resources to expats international assignments. Allocation itself is usually performed for a specific purpose, and ROI is an important goal. For example, you can transfer assignees with specific skills to a new location to lead a project that is considered essential. Therefore, being selected for a job is usually a compliment, but it is also an opportunity. A successful project overview allows you to prove that you are the assignee and develop your career from the benefits of success. If you can withstand the pressure, then your international assignment can prove beneficial. Are you ready to move forward and succeed?

Experience Different Ways of Doing Business

Learning a particular field and working in that field in the same country means a fairly fixed set of expectations and assumptions. Overall, understanding how other countries treat your industry and business can be an excellent way to open yourself to new ways of doing things. The best part? Wherever you are, you will get these learning outcomes.

Diversify Your Income

When it is difficult to predict what will happen politically, earning income in different currencies is an excellent way to diversify risks and protect the financial future. For example, in the past two years, the pound sterling value has changed 30% from the value of the euro. If you are particularly interested in the domestic economy, relocation is still a way to obtain better salaries and employment opportunities in a more stable business environment.

Explore the world

If you are passionate about traveling, nothing is better than working abroad. Not only you experience the country more deeply, but you can also get rewarded for it. You do not need to spend two weeks to get to know the country’s culture and personality directly. This is also an excellent opportunity to explore neighboring countries. If you are learning a language, immersion in the countryside is also an excellent way to quickly improve your skills.

Cross-Cultural Communication

Cons of an international assignment

Emotional problems

Life as an expat is a rewarding experience. However, it can be challenging. Loneliness, culture shock, and nostalgia usually overwhelm foreigners, and not all migrants are ready to face this strong, perhaps new emotion. The combination of pain and diligence described above has reportedly resulted in high burnout among professional immigrants.

Less Job Flexibility

You love your new country, but do you hate work? Unlike going home, if your position is not suitable for you, you can shop here. Working abroad may mean that your job is linked to your visa. Even if you are not restricted by a visa, your lack of language skills and local experience may limit your escape options.

Interrupted Career Progression

For outsiders, “Out of sight, out of mind” can be a very familiar word. Even if you live in the same company, you do not go out every day or work in different time zones. This means that good impressions are slowly disappearing and are no longer the number one promotion. In the country of visit, it may be necessary to take a junior position due to a lack of local experience or limited language skills, which can feel like a step back professionally.

Cultural and Language Barriers

Among foreigners who cannot establish the necessary business relationships or live daily lives, posting emails in places where there is a tremendous cultural difference or where communication in a new language is required can cause trouble. Non-traditional families, such as gay couples, may face cultural resistance and pressure, making assignment management difficult in the long run

Legal risks

Domestic work laws and regulations regarding wages, taxes, and pensions usually differ between residents and foreigners. As with immigration requirements, compliance with legal requirements must be ensured.

Technological change

Your country’s technology can lag foreign countries for several years. After returning home, it may take several months to digest all the changes.


As global mobility increases, many employees want foreign stamps on their passports to support their personal growth and career development. They are increasingly looking for commuters, rotational, expatriate, or other alternative jobs to build resumes. International assignments are an essential tool for international career development. In this case, employees with international experience are the greater wealth for the organization.

Some potential business traveling international career in which global travel is usually necessary like international accountant, marketing and sales International missions help improve cultural literacy, promote foreign language learning, expand professionals’ network, and broaden their horizons. But of course there are always pros and cons of an international assignment.

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