Hi 👋 My name is Muhammad, I've recently joined the GT team, and I never cease to be amazed by how globalized the world is. Why? You might ask.
Well, I am Lebanese, working with a Ukrainian team on a German project, and living here in Istanbul.
I know that I am not the only one. But let me share my humble opinion on why some people choose to go through the stressful process of changing a job, country, industry, specialization and whole life instead of enjoying peaceful days (aka. comfort zone).
And why do I recommend you to consider and give this idea a chance?
In a word, I would argue that this is what one of the paths to personal growth (one may say "success") looks like. Thorny and challenging, but also very interesting and full of adventures. I’d like to tell you my story, hopefully, it can be helpful and motivating.
Why do we resist changes?
At some point during my first job, the business need for me to relocate to Qatar arose so I found myself in a new country. It was my first time being abroad, entering an office full of colleagues from different nationalities, meeting and collaborating with several clients. It can be really overwhelming at first!
Then, for several reasons that I am thinking of discussing in a separate place, when I turned 25 I decided to move to Istanbul, Turkey. Taking advantage of the remote working trend, I landed a job in a company based in Dubai, UAE. It was my first experience in a fully remote position, which in addition to all known advantages, comes with its own set of challenges:
👉 Receiving feedback can be a bit hard while you are physically away from the office and the team especially if the majority of the team are actually there.
👉 Sustaining a work-life balance can be sometimes difficult. From one end, you are home relaxed and you can easily lose yourself for extremely long working hours which end up in you becoming burned out. On the other hand, when you are home a lot of distractions could possibly happen that actually make you unproductive.
Adding to that, my team in this company was significantly smaller compared to my previous team, so ways of collaboration and communication drastically differ. Also, our customers' market and the nature of the projects we worked on were a bit different.
It took me some huge efforts to get accustomed to all that while trying to settle in a new country where I don’t even know the language, figuring out how to navigate the gigantic city of Istanbul to perform daily errands in the midst of a global pandemic!
But… I never regretted that decision.
Why is it really cool and what drives me?
New Important Skills
What I have noticed during this journey is that spending time in other cultures and expanding our understanding of the world help us develop:
👉 And a sense of adventure!
These are skills that employers and recruiters greatly value because it proves our motivation and determination to achieve our ambitions.
Moreover, as we travel and build our cultural experience, our soft skills will also improve and develop. Soft skills are often described as “personal attributes that enable someone to interact effectively and harmoniously with other people.” and working abroad is a great catalyst to improve. Building these skills will enable us to develop and progress further as Dan Roth, LinkedIn Editor states
“…you always have to have those soft skills too. The soft skills enable you to change industries, jobs, and positions…”
And, according to research from Harvard University, the Carnegie Foundation and Stanford Research Center, 85% of job success comes from having well-developed soft skills.
In addition, having international experience will put us at an immediate advantage over other candidates who have never worked abroad because talent mobility is a big topic in recruiting.
In fact, a lot of future jobs will require international travel, and having this experience proves our flexibility which makes us stand out from the crowd.
Furthermore, working abroad will help us diversify our income.
For example, when I was in Qatar I was earning some part of my income in the local currency to spend there, part I was saving in USD and the other part back home in Lebanon in the local currency, so when the financial crisis struck Lebanon three years ago and the Lebanese pound lost more than 90% of its value, I was only partially affected.
Living an adventure
For the past four years, I was living and working in Doha and Istanbul. I traveled across the countries and visited famous landmarks, from hanging around the city center to camping deep in the desert or stargazing on top of a mountain, visiting museums and fancy shopping malls, and trying the variety of food both local and exotic. I also made friends, some of whom we still communicate with now.
*Working for life, not living for work.
As I mentioned, I have recently joined GT as a mobile engineer. Joining GT is allowing me to get exposed to the European market which is a huge difference from what I have experienced before.
Scared? Not at all.
It is also giving me the opportunity to meet and get to know talented colleagues and amazing clients from all around the world. This is enriching my experience, allowing me to take part in cross-cultural collaboration and expanding my network further.
Meanwhile, I am on my back from the 7th city I visited in Turkey so far, and I can't wait to know where the next train will take me!