You’ve done it! You’ve somehow convinced your superiors you’re a transferable asset, and landed a job overseas. For once, your parents weren’t wrong when they said, “You could do anything with a degree.”
Unfortunately once the honeymoon period fades, you’ll be stuck with the same old PGPs as everyone else.
1. You’re forced to rely on HR.
My favorite quote from The Office is “If I had a gun with two bullets and I was in a room with Hitler, Bin Laden, and Toby, I would shoot Toby twice.” Nothing has ever related to me more.
Does anyone actually like HR? Anyone? Nope? Okay, moving on.
When you move OS, you’re forced to rely on HR for everything. Supposed to be flying out in three days, but nothing is booked? HR is busy. Arrive at midnight, after 40+ hours of travel, without a visa and a connection at 8am? HR says it’s too expensive to stay at the airport hotel. Want some advice on how to set up when you arrive? HR suggests you speak to an “expert.”
In the end, you have to go through them for everything but they actually do nothing.
2. You end up being weird.
Yeah! You’ve just arrive and can’t wait to make loads of local friends? Then you end up trying too hard and become needy and weird. No one wants to hang out with you every weekend and travel or hit happy hour after work on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday. You’ll end up becoming best friends with other expats from home. Just what you were trying to avoid.
3. Not enough people visit.
Before you leave, your friends make a lot of promises. Don’t get your hopes up, they’re lying jerks.
At school, you had plenty of time to travel and it seemed like everyone was doing it. Once you become part of the workforce, you have some evil boss dictating just how much time you can have off, and when. Spoiler alert: it’s never. Your friends will have other ways they want to spend their time off, and lets he honest, no one can afford the trip anyway.
4. Friends at home won’t postpone big events.
Everyone who got married since I left, I hate you. Don’t expect a gift. It’s not like I wanted to attend your huge party with open bar anyway. Please at least remember to drunk dial me!
Working overseas is a great experience and a load of fun. Eventually your résumé will thank you for it and you’ll be all the more interesting when you return home. But it’s still a sad day when you realize it’s still a job, and it’s nowhere as fun as being at school.