I was trying to hide but you found me!

Working abroad is not always as glamorous, exciting, or challenging as most would have us believe it to be.  In many cases, it is all a grand exercise in marketing and advertising, and the reality of it all sinks in after the first few days a hapless worker arrives at the overseas job.

Different cultures, work hours, work habits, and standards of living make working abroad more tedious and difficult than it should really be, and this is all made even worse by the fact that overseas workers don’t really find any sort of advancement or betterment in their social, economic, or career situation when their contract is over.  It gets to the point that many often say had they known they would not really find the advancement they thought working abroad would get them, they would have just settled for a dead-end job back home, where they could at least get to be with the family at the end of the day.

Notwithstanding the type of work involved or the prevailing work culture or conditions where they went, the disappointment often arises from the realization that they did not really become better off when they came back home as they thought they would be when they left.  Most have nothing to show for their efforts but a few imported items purchased while abroad.

What many overseas workers fail to realize is that the problem is that the only thing they did with what they earned abroad is remit it to the people that relied on them back home.  This is not to say that they should not support those who do need their support, but rather than just simple throwing all of what they made at work to their country of origin, they could have taken some steps to ensure that apart from what they send, they have also done something to ensure that the money they earned will amount to something when their contract does end, and maybe even go well past that.

Here are a few tips for overseas workers who are looking for more financially productive and rewarding financial channels for what they earn while abroad:

Invest

Try to put away an amount that when accumulated will allow you to invest in something.  It doesn’t have to be an immense venture immediately.  You could start small, like maybe a few shares on stocks that are performing well in the market.  If you are not certain what would be a good investment, don’t be so quick to jump on the first thing offered to you.  Do a bit of study in what would be good to invest in, or consult a financial expert to see what would be a good way to go with your money.  An investment, given enough time, may yield significantly more than what you first put into it.

Start a business

This is actually something that a lot of workers abroad get into when they finally get back home with their hard earned money: start a business.  We all grow old eventually, well past the age where one could still find good employment, and when this time comes, it would be good if there is something in place that could still offer a steady source of income.  One of the best perks of having your own business is that you are the boss of you, something most, if not all overseas workers aspire to, after slaving for years on end for some other employer.  Just be prudent enough, however, to pick a business you actually have a good deal of knowledge about, rather than getting into something that you someone else to teach you the tricks.  The objective here is to have a source of income where you call the shots, although this means all the responsiblity, of course, also sits squarely on your shoulders.

Save

This is something that a lot of overseas workers aspire to, but very few actually get around to actually doing.  It is just so hard to save most of the time, considering how the exchange rate in the international market could fluctuate at times, how difficult the upkeep in a foreign country is, and how what you earn just seems to be barely enough.  On top of all of these, should the people being sent the money to back home be irresponsible, then saving really is next to impossible, which is why more priority should be put on this.  Should you decide you would want to save, make sure you are committed to it, and you will not be easily swayed away from it.  If it helps, try to save using banks, but try to pick an account that will not help you use up all your savings in an instant, such as accounts that come with debit or credit cards that are accepted everywhere.

Educate yourself

Education is never a bad thing, and despite what many may say, it is never a bad investment.  Nothing improves a person more than knowledge, and for those who feel that they are stuck in a dead en job that they really don’t like, or don’t see any future in, learning a new skill or specialization is definitely the way out they are looking for.  By enhancing your knowledge to the point of specializing in something, you may never have to work abroad again, and instead find work in an industry well within the motherland, and get to be with your family at the end of the day.  Educating yourself may also upgrade your career, enhancing your value as a learned employee or maybe even as a member of mid level management.

Pay off debts

It is not uncommon for overseas workers to be neck-deep in debt, considering how much they needed to get to where the overseas job was.  In many cases, these debts earn an interest the longer it takes a person to pay it in full, resulting in the borrower paying nearly double or maybe even more than that by the time is indeed fully paid.  By putting aside enough to pay for the debt, one can be well rid of this burden just in time to be able to use the money to pay for something else, and at the same time get creditors off your case.

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