There’s a term “opportunity cost” – whatever you are doing now has to be, has to have a higher value than whatever you could have in your home country.
To be honest, in my life, I never thought that I could be living the way I’m living now. When I was a teenager, I had a dream to have my own car, my house but then I joined AIESEC. When I joined AIESEC, my vision, my mind, the possibility that I could achieve have changed. I discovered that I could do something beyond than staying at one place. The part of thinking to work in another country was something attractive, very inspiring. I can experience something that is totally different. Many people joined AIESEC but most of them have not applied for an internship. They just stayed in the same country. I was in AIESEC around two years, I have been working so hard, and always by the end of the day, I really wanted to feel the benefit of what I’m doing. That is why I decided to take this opportunity.
In Mexico, many people want to go to Europe and my friends were asking, “Why you don’t go to the States”? – Because the fact of what I am looking is to experience something different, to discover another reality. I was expecting to have a cultural shock in terms of personal and professional.
Before coming to Malaysia, I didn’t have enough budget because to travel from one side to another side of the world is not cheap and you have to afford your first month. So, that’s why after finishing my studies, I decided to work and save money. Sometimes you are very mad at the fact of not buying stuff, not enjoying with your friends, eating – it was mentally hard, you have to limit yourself at some point. But, putting in my mind that I’m doing that to receive something better – never allowed me to stop. I created a list of my expenses (flight ticket, visa, insurance, first month etc.), plan, and I fixed a goal – “Every month I have to save this amount of money. If I don’t save, I’m moving the opportunity, I’m reducing my chances to achieve my goal. It was a mindset that I had every time”. During three months, I was saving and in September, I traveled to Malaysia.
The part of financial management was a bit challenge for me, especially in the first six months you have to pay almost 30% of your salary as a tax. Literally, I didn’t have money in the last few days of the month, I had to use my mother’s credit card. Only after a year, I gave back the money to my mom. After 6 months, I found another job.
It’s quite funny because in Mexico I was working for an advertising agency. Most of its head of departments were foreigners, many people who are living in the best area were foreigners and sometimes you used to complain like why these people are living like that; but when you are on abroad, you start realizing that these people are far from their family. There’s a term “opportunity cost” – whatever you are doing now has to be, has to have a higher value than whatever you could have in your home country. If not, what is a point? – instead of being sad here alone, you can be sad in your country.
So, if you are going to be far, make sure that whatever you are doing worth it.
I like this phrase: “If you don’t move, you don’t feel the change”. If you want to become a better person, more able to achieve things in this life, just go wherever you won’t be in the same conditions, wherever you won’t have all the support that you are expecting. I always say to my team – first thing that you have to do is set a goal, create a plan and ask yourself questions (where, when, how much do I need, ways to find a job, is my CV ready, do I have all requirements). Just set a goal and move towards it.
Omar Valencia, Mexico.