Real World Advice For Working Abroad

One of the reasons why more and more people are getting bitten by the wanderlust bug has to be the rise of Instagram. This gorgeously horrendous social media platform makes it impossible to escape envy as you stare into an endless feed of travel photos, far off cultures and experiences you only wish you could pack into one lifetime, your mind wondering what it would be like to live in one of these places, even if only for a few months, a year max. That’s why working overseas has become a commonplace job requirement among those on the career ladder. It’s a way to see the world and make dreams come true without sacrificing that all-important income.

The problem is, making this your new reality isn’t as simple as just going online, applying for a role and snapping up a job abroad. There are so many little challenges that you need to wrap your head around before you take the leap, all of which can be a bit overwhelming when you are trying to pack your life into a suitcase.

So, without further ado, here is a pretty solid list of everything you might want to think about before you sign on the dotted line and board a plane.

Real World Advice For Working Abroad

  1. Employers That Will Help You Out. A Lot.

If it is possible – and it’s not always possible – try and negotiate more than just your salary; try and negotiate a nice relocation package too. That could mean financial joy or it could just mean a dollop of help to make the move easier. That means help getting the right visa,helping you understand local laws, the tax system, finding a place to live for the first few months of your move, a housing stipend, the cost of shipping your stuff and, if you’ve got a significant other (or family), some help in finding them a job too. That’s the dream right there. Sure, it may not be entirely possible to get all of these things, but it’s worth trying for the, If nothing else, you’ll be able to see which company will take the best care of you, which needs to play a massive role when it comes to your consideration process.

  1. Company Culture Is Mega-Important

If there is one thing we can almost guarantee, it’s that the company you worked for back home is going have an entirely different culture to the ones you are looking at overseas. It’s just how the world works. It’s what makes cultures so amazing. It’s what makes norms chop and change from region to region. And it’s what makes asking questions about company culture so crucial, from how many vacation days you get to what the work-life balance is like. If you’ve worked in the US up until now, then you’re going to be pleasantly surprised by the double-your-vacation-days package available in the UK. The important thing is knowing what you’re walking into.

  1. Visas Are Something Worth Understanding

Every visa is different, including each work visa. Some let you enter a country unemployed in order to find work, while others will require you to leave a country in the event of you quitting or getting fired (that means no job-hunting because you didn’t like the company you chose to go with). That’s why you really need to sit down and study the rules, regulations and requirements of any working visa you’re applying for. That’s the bad news. The good news is, most companies will take on this responsibility for you just because applying for the right visa can be such a headache of a process. On that note, if you’re employer doesn’t offer you assistance on this front, you should set off the alarm bells in your mind. Either way, you can expect a serious amount of paperwork to come your way.

  1. Make A Home Away From Home

Living in a foreign country is going to come with that “what have I done moment” known as the three-month wall. That’s why it is so important you have somewhere you can call home and fill it with tidbits that remind you of home. But before you do any of that, you’re going to need to make sure you understand your lease agreement, in which has some great information. Of course, it’s always worth getting your employer to look at it too, as well as the real estate agent and anyone you might know locally that can translate the bits you need translating. You don’t want to move into a place where the lease is three months or the fees are astronomical and you had no idea.

  1. Credit Cards Before You Leave

One thing so many people don’t realise before they leave is just how complicated and tricky it can be to get credit in a foreign country where the rules are different and the proof required is something you can’t possibly get your hands on. That sucks. That’s why we advise you get a credit card with an international bank before you leave. That way you will just have to transfer your card and details once you arrive at your destination, which is about three million times easier than doing battle when it is too late. Even if you have a company that’s willing to back you and vouch for you and sign any paperwork that needs signing, you will find it is at the credit card company’s discretion, which is something you want to risk.

  1. Look For Expats Immediately

Life abroad can be so dramatically different that loneliness can creep in almost instantly. The solution: go and look for other expats as soon as you possibly can. That could mean hanging out with your colleagues or signing up to a hobby that you absolutely love to meet like-minded people, joining online websites that arrange meet-ups or just sitting at the bar in the hope of hearing your native language get spoken. Whatever your chosen method, these people will make your move so much easier to manage.

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