The COVID-19 pandemic squashed countless dreams around the world over the past year, including working abroad. But as vaccinations to the disease become more prevalent and cases decrease, overseas employment is seeing a resurgence. This is exactly the case for security clearance opportunities. Currently, there are over 1,800 open positions across the globe among several job industries. Whether your interest lies in information technology, engineering, business, or anywhere in-between, it’s a good chance there’s an OCONUS role for you.

5 Benefits of the OCONUS Life

Working abroad has never been more appealing, but you may wonder if it’s a right fit for you. To help you decide whether you should take the plunge, check out these five benefits of working outside the continental United States.

1. Live like a Local

Have you ever gone on vacation and not only dreaded going back to the “real world,” but felt like there was so much more to learn and discover about the destination? Normally these brief stays rarely allow you the chance to appreciate what it is like for the people living there.  By living in a single location as you work abroad, you’ll quickly become one of the locals and become immersed in their community. This comes with perks. The longer you stay in one place, the more you learn to understand people’s behaviors, traditions, and beliefs. Knowing more about how people in a country live gives you a better understanding of their culture and opens your mind to how similar we are from each other.

2. Personal Growth

It’s human nature to seek comfort. We like our amenities, safe spaces, and pleasures. But growing as a person often means we need to seek discomfort and moving overseas is a great way to do just that. Think about it. At what other time will you grow as much as when you are out of your normal routine? Change can be scary sometimes, and uprooting your life can be a big undertaking. However, you’ll surprise yourself by how much you’ll change for the better once you take the leap.

3. Improve Your Skillset

Any new professional job you take on will bring opportunities to expand your skills, and working overseas is no different. However, working outside the continental United States can help accelerate your skill sets. Depending on where you’ll reside, you’ll have the opportunity to develop your communication skills, either through learning a new language or through industry training. But the skills you develop go beyond knowing a new language. You’ll also heighten your soft skills like being self-aware, adaptable, and self-reliant, in addition to any technical skills you’ll learn through your employer.

4. Unlimited Global Possibilities

One misconception about overseas security clearance positions is that opportunities are only available in war zones. While there are several positions available in countries like Afghanistan, Iraq, and Kuwait, security-clearance opportunities exist in all parts of the world. You can visit Big Ben while working in the United Kingdom, see the Leaning Tower of Pisa in Italy, or hike Mount Fuji in Japan. No matter where you want to go, there’s a chance you’ll find a security clearance role right for you.

5. Expand your professional appeal

No matter what department you work in, accruing international experience is a great way to stand out in the crowd. Showing that you have worked abroad is a great way to show that you understand the intricacies of international affairs and that you’re independent and capable of rising to the challenge. As the world continues to get smaller national security becomes more complex, you’ll be in-demand because of your experience working abroad.

The Adventure of A Lifetime

The last year taught us many valuable lessons with the most important being, “Don’t take life for granted.” As the COVID-19 pandemic hopefully draws near its end, there seems to be no better time to saying yes to the adventure of a lifetime. You’ll have the chance to make up for lost time and experience life’s wonders – all while serving the U.S. in national security fields.

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Brandon Osgood is a strategic communications and digital marketing professional based out of Raleigh, NC. Beyond being a passionate storyteller, Brandon is an avid classical musician with dreams of one day playing at Carnegie Hall. Interested in connecting? Email him at brosgood@outlook.com.

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