There is no doubt that when you move abroad to start a new career, you are taking on one of the biggest challenges of your life.
When you move to Australasia or Asia, the challenge isn’t just in starting a new job, meeting new colleagues, and getting to know the ropes, once the initial buzz starts to die down you will start to feel the struggle of leaving behind your friends and family.
It’s quite possible that many people don’t make it past this first hurdle. The emotions might be too difficult to overcome, and the experience is over before it has started. Some people can’t make it past the second hurdle of actually getting around to doing it. We convince ourselves that it’s not the right time. Others might get as far as a successful interview but – when reality hits – they don’t have the courage to go through with the move.
From personal experience, I can tell you that these fears are very real. Having no friends might sound like something we worry about in school, but 12 hours after landing in Sydney, the thought of being completely alone on the other side of the world was almost enough to get me back on the next flight.
The same overwhelming feeling came back on my first day. I was a was accomplished layer and couldn’t understand why I was feeling like I had never spoken to a client before. No pun intended but everything was upside down. The way of doing things, the office culture, even the social life.
At the same time, I knew I had to keep working through the challenges if I wanted to gain significant experience to have a positive impact on my career. I knew that I was never going to be able to make the same progress in the UK as I would here, and I used this as my motivation.
Recognition is soon to follow. For some, it may only take a few months, for others perhaps longer. It took me about 6 months. I was sat in a beer garden overlooking Bondi beach with new colleagues I could call friends and I realized that I had done it. When I met other professionals who had just landed, I could see the difference my 6 short months had made to the advancement of my skills, confidence, and career. Reward was just around the corner after getting a promotion just a year later.
Apart from having international experience on my résumé, I also have a sense of pride being able to say I can practice law in the UK and Australia. My knowledge has grown, and not just regarding my career. Because I succeeded, I feel more prepared to take on the next challenge in my career and to see where that leads me.