You can probably recall a number of sobering moments in your life where you had the opportunity to either step up or retreat from a challenge.
When I was 23, I moved to the United States from the UK to work for the Leadership Institute. The prospect to work in the American conservative movement for an organization like LI, which is so pivotal, was an exciting one.
However exciting the opportunity, I remember the moment I arrived at my accommodation. I put my cases down and froze. It dawned on me that I had just quit my job, and left the security of my friends and family. It was a scary prospect; but nine months later, I would recommend the experience to anybody.
Here are five reasons you should consider working for a conservative movement abroad.
You learn a lot from another country’s practices
Conservative movements, or indeed any kind of industry, do things differently in different countries. This makes you both an asset and a liability. An asset, because you bring new ideas and experiences to the table. A liability, because your knowledge of basic work practices in your new country may be lacking.
Nevertheless, you can be confident that having worked for a conservative movement abroad will make you an asset in your home country. If conservative movements are to be successful, they should be open to new ideas and employ talent globally, just as the private sector does.
It’s a test of character
Throwing yourself into unfamiliar territory is an opportunity to prove yourself. A good employee should be able to adapt to new challenges and face them head on. If you are able to build a network of friends, establish yourself in a new environment, and succeed in a different working environment, then you signal to employers that you can adapt to new challenges.
In addition, it forces you to mature. When you move to a new country, you cannot depend upon the safety of your traditional support network. You are on your own, and rising to that challenge means you can be depended upon to support others.
It will broaden your mind
Conservatives in different countries have different ideas and policy priorities. The UK and US conservative movements are very different. The experience will challenge your views, and you will learn a great deal about areas of policy you know nothing about.
Being an effective conservative requires you to have a broad understanding of policy, and the arguments for our movement. Working for a movement abroad, you will learn new examples of conservatism in action and be exposed to new organizations from which you can learn.
You will work with inspiring new people
Conservatives are dedicated to our cause; it’s why we’re winning. Working for a conservative organization abroad is an opportunity to network with a whole new pool of conservative talent. These people are future leaders and elected officials you can learn from.
It is also a great chance to make new friends who share your values. You will have the chance to attend events like conferences, campaign launches, and more that you would otherwise be unable to attend.
Who doesn’t love traveling? The opportunity to see new places, eat new food, and make everybody jealous on social media are some benefits of working abroad. It’s an experience you’ll remember forever. You only live once!
If you’re thinking about working for a conservative organization outside the U.S. consider the following:
- Hans Seidel Foundation
- International Democrat Union
- Wilfried Martens Centre for European Studies (Think tank for European People’s Party)
- Unión de Partidos Latinoamericanos (UPLA)
- Canadian Taxpayers' Association