4 Things to Consider Before Taking a Job Abroad

Cardboard boxes are beautiful in that they signify relocations and fresh starts. I’m sure you must be getting ready to pack some of your own!

Moving overseas for work is just the kind of experience that most people long for in their lives. Moreover, leaving the comfort of your country opens doors to incredible opportunities that know no bounds. There may exist great choices for work in your very own nation, but the option of working in international organizations in a new foreign land is too tantalizing to overlook.

Hold your horses, though. Before you book a flight ticket as soon as the first glimmer of employment makes itself visible, please note that all decisions come with considerations.

In this article, I will be spreading awareness on some of those considerations, so you can take your time to think about what employment abroad entails.

1) Lifestyle Differences

I remember reading a blog post of a schoolmate who moved to Canada for her higher studies. It turns out she was too used to the climate back in India: the hot summers and the almost-as-hot winters. Canada, with its snow and frigid winds, was precisely the kind of environment she hadn’t wanted to find herself in.

We are all so used to our way of living back at home. The weather, our native language, our workplace, our quality of life; they’re all a significant part of us. So, when you move abroad, it might come as a surprise when you find out that things are surprisingly different than the way it used to be back home. It could involve a range of lifestyle changes. Sometimes, this might be an unpleasant surprise, which might make you question your choice after it’s too late.

To avoid that kind of stress, you should ask yourself a few questions before you make these kinds of changes. Will my quality of life be worth the move? Will I adapt to the weather without any trouble? How will I find the neighborhood? What about the disparities in culture?

One more thing to consider is the loss of physical contact with friends and family. Sure, you’ll have your frequent phone calls and occasional Skype chats, but it isn’t the same. But it’s good to note that there’s always a method to build a new social network.

As an employee, you will have the chance to meet your colleagues and get to know them in various social events (soirees, potlucks).  This is also something you’ll have to look into. Are there regular social events organized by your new company?

Therefore, after considering these noticeable changes in lifestyle, it is necessary to plan out what you’re going to pack. Is it essential to pack your favorite sweater when you’re shifting to San Diego for work?

Bringing things you own and love along with you might give you a sense of joy, but thoroughly consider their effectiveness amidst your future lifestyle remodeling.

2) Monetary Requirements

On moving to a new place, all costs might be drastically different from what you are used to. Expenses related to groceries, clothes, travel, accommodation, etc., will all vary significantly. Therefore, it is important to clarify with your employer about your relocation costs.

Some companies cover the transfer costs incurred by the employee, and it is useful to know of this. Find out the costs of an array of different things (e.g., shipping furniture, travel costs, purchasing commodities). Finding a reputed agency for such needs can also be an added advantage if the budget permits.

Therefore, it is always recommended to research the cost of living in your dream destination. Cost of food, furniture, and other utilities is not constant throughout the world. If they can be purchased relatively cheaply in your new location, then there are chances that your cost of living might improve.

There is also the issue of a temporary or permanent stay. Depending on whether the job you’re planning to take is long-term or short-term, you will need to look into options for renting out or selling the property back in your country.

Renting out your existing property will give you an additional income that could prove to be useful especially if you may return to your home country in the future. And for those with no close friends and family living near your property, agency services that specifically cater to handling rentals can be obtained.

3) Your Job and Employer

Researching your job is the aptest thing to do before you take it up. Some positions may have career prospects that are better suited for you than others. Similarly, some employers are willing enough to help employees out with housing and other amenities.

But don’t get too excited! Beware of positions that seem too good to be true—amazing benefits, high salary packages, your apartment in an expensive city, all travel expenses covered, etc. While there is no shortage of great job offers, they aren’t frequent enough to be accepted with blind certainty. Check for the validity of the company’s website, contact employees that you might know and check for phone numbers.

Sometimes, job offers are illegal and do not meet the laws of its origin country. If you’re not able to verify a job’s plausibility, there’s a chance that it is a scam.

A good job offer meets your expectations and allows you to survey the possibilities of your career growth. A good employer will not only help you obtain your needed visa but should offer housing support in the form of a momentary stipend, payment for packing and shipping your belongings, etc.

4) Know your Visa

There are so many different visas that it leaves most expats circling in confusion. Therefore, before you make a move, It’s important to do research on the necessary paperwork and how long it might take to obtain all of them. If you don’t have anyone to help you with such work, then estimate what you require well before the time comes to start applying for the visas.

The same goes without saying for your passport. Make a note of the expiration date and go ahead and get a new one before if it is about to expire.

There are a few questions to ask yourself before concluding on the perfect visa for you. Here are a few of them:

  1. What type of visa do I need?
  2. Can I travel after the job ends?
  3. Can I change employers with the visa I’m applying for?
  4. How long is the visa valid for?
  5. What kind of work can I do?
  6. Do I need to have a confirmed job?
  7. Should I apply through a Visa Service?

Considering the complexities of passport and visa procedures, it is something to put significant thought into before heading to work abroad.

To conclude

There is only one more thing you need to ask yourself is – How would I feel if I took this job abroad? Picture yourself in the future. If you feel like you might end up regretting your decision to work overseas, away from your close friends and family members, chances are this isn’t the right path for you.

If your desires can be boiled down to a glamorous image of yourself in a foreign land, chances are this path isn’t for you! Many troubles and intricacies come along with this choice that you must undeniably consider.  All I’m going to say is this: think twice before you fly high!

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