Did Working in Publishing Abroad Help Your Career at Home?

In Discussion by Edward Nawotka

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By Edward Nawotka

As our continuing series on “publishing expats” continues (read the first article here and today’s article here), it raises the question of whether working abroad is a benefit or a detriment to your career. The personal advantages are obvious, but professionally, it can go either way.

My personal experience was mixed. I found that on returning to the United States after working in Europe, Asia and Africa, my resume was indecipherable to many people. The only company that people responded to was a massive advertising agency whom I’d worked for in Ireland and Indonesia; the magazines and newspapers I wrote for, primarily The European (in the UK, now defunct) and Capital (in Germany, also now defunct), didn’t immediately resonate, thought they were major players at the time. Fortunately, I had a portfolio and clips that hopefully spoke for themselves; still, I had to rely on the name recognition of the publications and that didn’t make it easier. Plus, as a journalist, overseas experience — I was a business correspondent covering “emerging markets” — didn’t immediately translate into stories, since most publications had minimal interest at the time in covering international stories.

So tell us, what was your experience on returning home? Was it a benefit to your career? Or was it more personally than professionally satisfying?

Let us know what you think in the comments below or via Twitter using #ppdiscuss. And if you’ve spent time working abroad — or still are an expat — drop me a note via email and we may feature you in an upcoming story.

About the Author

Edward Nawotka

A widely published critic and essayist, Edward Nawotka serves as a speaker, educator and consultant for institutions and businesses involved in the global publishing and content industries. He was also editor-in-chief of Publishing Perspectives since the launch of the publication in 2009 until January 2016.