The eXpat Files In this instalment of The eXpat Files, we meet Joshua Puckett – a native of Maryland, USA – who, at 23, has managed to work in 50 countries, with extended stays in Switzerland and Hungary.
How did this half-man-half-Boeing pull it off? Read on to learn about his very mobile lifestyle, the best bars in the world and how to blag a motorbike in Vietnam.
The Register: What kind of work do you do and with which technologies?
I do primarily VoIP, SIP and some H.323
The Register: You've worked in 50 countries? Why? And How?
Why? Amazing opportunities to learn technologies not overly common in the USA and a chance to see the world.
How? I got hired for an internship in a small manufacturing company out of Maryland that had 75 per cent of their sales overseas. Moving up in the company enabled me to get positions and chances to travel. Despite a lower pay grade than was common in my industry, I jumped at the chance for educational and travelling prospects.
The Register: You stopped for long periods in Hungary and Switzerland: why?
Joshua Puckett: Switzerland is where my internship started – almost half a year. It wasn't supposed to go beyond three months, but the company loved me and I loved being overseas. They offered me a position to build their support team in Hungary after my time in Switzerland was over and I jumped at the chance for my next grand adventure.
The Register: Where's the best country to work?
Joshua Puckett: Well, pay comes into this a lot. I loved the time I spent in Asia, but as simply an IT worker it is hard to get a competitive pay rate there compared to Europe or the US. However if you are ready to take a cut, they are EAGER for native English speakers to come and work.
The Register: Pay: up or down?
Joshua Puckett: Most of my time overseas I was underpaid, but being young (19 when I started in Switzerland) it was worth it. I have heard the standard expat gets paid more, but they usually have more experience than I could boast of at the time.
The Register: Which country offered the most different workplace experience?
Joshua Puckett: Western Europe. They don't have the mentalities we do that work must be done at all costs. There is a MUCH better work/life balance and they expect and strive for employees to be happy and free.
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