@DanHaneveer posted a great question on Twitter recently. He asked, “Is a job you hate in foreign country better than a job you hate at home?” What an amazing question! In my opinion, and without hesitation, the answer is YES!.
Of course, a bad job in a foreign country is better than an equivalent job you hate at home. There are many reasons for this.
1. You are in a Foreign Country!
You are having new experiences, seeing new things, meeting new people, learning more about the world and yourself. Who cares about the job, enjoy the opportunity to live in new surroundings.
2. You are Working
You get all the benefits of being in a new country but you also have the security of a regular paycheck. You don’t need too much savings to travel if you are going to work. Finding a job abroad will allow you to get out of your home country much faster than trying to save up money to travel.
3. You Can Travel More
Living in a distant foreign country opens up a whole new world of inexpensive travel opportunities. My home is now in Japan, that means there are numerous nearby nations that are an inexpensive, short plane trip away. It is easy and cheap to go to Korea, Hong Kong, Vietnam, Indonesia, Thailand, China, etc. And if you plan your trips right you can do free stop-overs in different countries for next to free. Working on the other side of the world is a great way to get more stamps in your passport.
4. New Insights
Living in a foreign country opens you up to an entirely novel way of living. All those old customs and habits we have in our home countries are just that, habits. The rest of the world doesn’t necessarily live the way your society does. It is not better or worse, it is just different. New countries help you question your assumptions of what life is about and ultimately makes you a better person, if you let it.
5. Escape Old Baggage
We all get into self-defeating routines that can rob us of our dreams and passions. We are afraid to try new things because we might fail and we all need to maintain a certain status among our peer groups. For better and for worse, being abroad allows you to escape your inhibitions and do things you might not have considered. There is no such thing as failure and humiliation in another country. Everything you do is strange, so it doesn’t matter if you make a fool of yourself.
6. Get Out of the Consumption Cycle
There is an incredible amount of peer and societal pressure to keep purchasing material possessions. People get locked in to cycles of bigger houses, newer cars and more things just because that is what everyone else is doing. As an outsider in a foreign country you completely by-pass that consumerism. Travelers are expected to have minimal possessions. It is cool and normal to not have anything when you are temporarily experiencing a foreign culture. In Japan, new foreigners often go garbage or “gomi” shopping for new furniture and belongings. There is no stigma with that at all. In fact, it requires some prowess to be the first on scene to get the good stuff.
7. It is a new job
A different job, even if it is not so great, is a welcome change. You will be doing different things with different people so there will be a lot to learn. Sure it might get tedious and boring after a while, but you are probably going to be in the foreign country for a short time anyway. Embrace the new situation and learn what you can from it, then move on.
8. Did I mention, You are in a Foreign Country!
By all means quit your job and start working abroad. You will be much better for it. I know that I certainly am. I was stagnating in Canada after a couple of failed start ups, no money and no desire to start at the bottom of some boring corporation. Moving to Japan was one of the greatest decisions I ever made. I arrived with no job, no visa and only about $1000 to my name. After a couple of years of working in mediocre jobs, I married a great woman, started a business and built a decent lifestyle. It is time to move on now, but my first decision to come here was exactly what I needed to restart my life. Maybe it is what you need too?