MSEJ February 2018 - Page 22

Have Passport, Will Travel

Taking Your Career Overseas

By: Amanda Marksmeier

Any chance you’re familiar with the phrase, “We plan, God laughs?”

For those of us in the military community, the phrase might be more familiar as, “We plan, the military laughs.” No matter

the branch, when a spouse’s career plans align with personal goals, PCS orders are bound to follow. In some cases, these orders take families further than across the country—like across oceans instead.

International orders can be a great thing; just ask the people that you tell. However, international orders aren’t the same thing as a one-to-three-year international vacation. Your real life comes along for the ride. So, how do you cope when your career plans don’t go as planned, and you need to take your career international?

When preparing for a PCS-induced overseas job search, knowledge is key.

You need to begin by arming yourself with facts and the laws of the land. Some questions to consider include:

-Are you legally allowed to work in the country?

-Do you have to possess specific documents so that you can work?

-What taxes are you responsible for (because you’ll always have to pay taxes

to someone!)?

To find these answers (and some answers you didn’t even know you needed), search the Status of Force’s Agreement (SOFA). This is an agreement between the United States and specific countries—like the one you’ll be living in soon.

Most of the clauses in SOFA discuss legal protections for military members and diplomats; while these are important, you need to