Considering a job overseas? Opportunities OCONUS are growing, and the careers are as diverse as the companies. Both large contractors and small businesses have a variety of positions available.
“Hot countries right now are wherever the military is located, so that means Iraq, Afghanistan, Kuwait and other areas in the Middle East,” said Major General Kevin O’Connell (Retired), executive vice president of program operations at Advantage SCI , an Alexandria, Virginia-based firm that provides counter-intelligence and other security services globally.
Advantage SCI has a number of job openings both overseas and stateside. Their headquarters is located in Old Town Alexandria, and they also have offices in California and Texas. In addition to directly bidding on contracts with the federal government, they also have a number of sub-contracts with larger companies. What are the advantages to working with a small company like Advantage SCI?
“For a small business, I think you’re more identified as an individual person than just a number,” said O’Connell. “It’s a very flat organization so for an individual working here, things are turned around very quickly. For something to get to the CEO in a big company would take a long time. Here we can get something to the CEO very quickly, for guidance and change.”
That flat culture also allows the company to be more people-oriented, and to know individual employees.
How to Get Language Skills?
While overseas career opportunities are diverse, there is always demand for linguists. When it comes to where to get language skills, the military is often a key training ground. Foreign-born citizens who have become US citizens are also often hired to put their language skills to use overseas, said O’Connell.
Working overseas isn’t without its challenges. O’Connell noted that employees may need to work in austere environments, travel without notice, and work extended hours. Why would they do so? To support the Department of Defense, State Department and US Government.