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Asked by Jonathan on June 27, 2017

I'm currently on an international stint for 2 years with my company and it is coming to an end. I'm ready to come on home and I have two options. Take another year assignment abroad at a higher career level or return home at the same career level to work in a difficult group with extremely high expectations (but high exposure). Any thoughts on what would be best path?

Answered by Ashley, Hiring Expert at Cardinal Health, on June 28, 2017

I think the answer to this question depends on your personal and careers interests/preference. I don't think there is a right or wrong option here. There are a couple of questions you need to ask yourself. Do you want to spend another year, or potentially longer, abroad? If you spend the year abroad at a higher career level, would you remain at that same level once you return home? Does a promotion matter to you? Or, are you okay with staying in a position at the same career level? If you return home, are you comfortable working on the difficult team with high expectations? Would this open new opportunities for you?
You have to think about what is important to you and what your career interests are. I don't think there is a wrong path you can take as long as you are keeping your interests and career aspirations in mind. Good luck!

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Answered by Stephanie, Hiring Expert at AT&T Inc., on June 28, 2017

Hi there!  When I read your question, the first thing I notice is that you have options!  This is a great position to be in, so right off the bat, congrats on doing good work that is being recognized by your company. 

You mention that you are ready to come home.  Only you can decide if you need a vacation where you get plugged in to home and then are ready to hit the road again, or if you want to be home for good.  Deciding that may make the answer pretty straight forward. 

If this isn't the deciding factor, then let's unpack the work question.  Promotion can be great if it takes you in the direction you want to be going.  More work, more exposure, leadership possibilities, progress toward a future goal and of course the likely possibility of a pay raise.  Lateral moves are also an opportunity to gain exposure (as you mention) and potentially work on projects that are more in line with your interests.  I would not shy away from a team with high expectations and high exposure as I have always found it beneficial to surround myself with people who are striving for the best work they can do. 

One factor that comes to mind for me is this, which choices will always be there?  Both?  Or does the international option stop being an option if you take a position stateside? 

Perhaps you should go old school and make a pros/cons list.  Include the personal factors and the work factors. 

Best of luck!

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Answered by Brittany, Hiring Expert at ManpowerGroup, on July 5, 2017

To start with and as others have mentioned--both are excellent options. Congratulations on being offered these two career paths! Your hard work has paid off and is certainly recognized by your employer.

To begin, it's good to make a pros and cons list that include all of the professional and personal aspects.
Things to consider:

  • Will turning down a promotion be detrimental on being offered future promotions? 
  • Are either of these opportunities a "once in a lifetime" type of situation? 
  • Would the "lateral" move in working with a strong team lead to a promotion more aligned with your career goals? 

In both opportunities you're able to flex and show your Learnability-the desire and ability to quickly grow and adapt one's skill set to remain employable throughout their working life. Ultimately, this is what will push your career and open the doors you need to fulfill your goals.

Best of luck!

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Answered by Kate, Hiring Expert at ADP, on July 17, 2017

Wow - this is a tough situation but good! I would definitely take the time to weigh your options. Think about your personal and professional life and what will make you the most happy both personally and professionally. I'd recommend writing (or typing) it out - Pros and Cons and talking with family, mentor(s), friends, etc. to talk through what you're thinking. Follow your heart - sounds like either way you're valued by the company and you'll do great things. Good luck! 

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