Why Moving Abroad is Smart for your Career

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Where’s that suitcase?

Fancy packing up your desk and jumping on a jet plane? Maybe you’re thinking your creative juices might flow better when the streets of NYC are your backdrop, or a breezy Peruvian palm? Before you coax yourself away from such whimsical daydreams and back to your actual real-life work, why not let your mind wander a little more… It turns out that secret desire to up and run might actually be your inner entrepreneurial wisdom speaking. According to research by Harvard Business School, relocating overseas brings a whole host of benefits to your professional life – including better problem-solving skills, expanded creativity and even a higher chance of starting a new business. For example, the Harvard scientists carried out the famous Duncker Candle Test (whereby people are given a candle, a pack of matches, and a box of tacks on a table, then asked to attach the candle to the wall without dripping any wax on the floor) on 220 students and found 60 per cent of those who had previously lived abroad completed it successfully, compared to just 20 per cent of those who’d stayed put. The researchers attributed the results to the fact that people who move to another country needed to think laterally to adapt to the new culture. Now, where’s that suitcase?

By Rebecca Hanley, Amy Molloy, Melanie Dimmitt.

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