The journey your career takes you on is seldom straightforward. You get on with it with plans and different ideas of how you would like for it to turn out. But sometimes, a surprising opportunity may arise that could change everything, and this opportunity could be your chance to work abroad.
Working overseas offers many benefits. You can learn a new language, gain experience and opportunities for career development and personal growth, meet new people, and travel and explore different places. It will definitely be a life-changing experience, wherever you may end up going.
Taking a job abroad presents all types of challenges. While it can definitely strengthen your leadership skills, living and working overseas does not necessarily suit everyone. So apart from considering if the job offered matches your skills, experience and knowledge, you also need to think about whether working abroad is the right fit.
Here are eight ways to know if working abroad is just the thing for you.
1. You are organized
As you prepare to leave, you must spend plenty of time organizing not just your possessions but also your paperwork, contacting reliable visa consultants in advance.
You also need to read up on the country you are going to and make all the necessary travel arrangements.
Though your employer will help you relocate, you still need to know the different aspects of your new neighborhood once you arrive. It’s best to get help from immigration consultants to avoid costly mistakes and delays.
For instance, if you’ve got your eye on Canada, a visa consultant can provide you step-by-step assistance on how to move to Canada from the UAE (if that is in your long-term plans).
You’ll receive expert guidance on how to get a Canadian or Australian skilled visa, from choosing the right pathway for you, to filing required paperwork, to updating your official documents.
Many governments all over the world are striving to make their visa processes more efficient, so regulations get updated constantly. Moreover, the best pathway depends on your specific background, skills and capabilities.
It is thus in your best interest to get the help of immigration consultants so you can make informed decisions during your journey to live and work abroad.
2. You are an adventure seeker
If you take a job abroad, everything will be an adventure, especially during the first couple of months. From attempting to open your bank account, to navigating your first shopping trip, to exploring your new vicinity – everything will be totally unfamiliar.
These are ordinary tasks that must be approached enthusiastically and energetically while you are working out the lay of the land. On the contrary, that sense of adventure will mean that your options are endless for your holidays and weekends.
3. You are financially stable
If you are not financially stable, it is not a good idea for you to work overseas. Initially, you may end up spending your money to pay an advance deposit for your flat, invest in new furniture and even ship all your belongings to your new residence.
Even when there is a secure job waiting for you overseas, you have to make sure that you have enough money to compensate for everything, including unexpected and last-minute expenses. This will serve as a cushion so you will have the space and time to figure out your next steps.
Experts suggest saving at least 30 percent of every paycheck for a year before moving abroad.
4. You are adaptable and patient
Living abroad requires tolerance and flexibility. You need to learn to be calm despite some initial setbacks. For instance, you may experience getting lost in a new city because you got into the wrong bus, or perhaps your dinner got ruined because you picked out an unfamiliar ingredient or dish.
You may find yourself in situations like these that will test your patience and resilience. You also need to adapt your working practices to a new culture. Your adjustment experience will help you become a patient and confident person once you return to your home country.
5. You love working collaboratively
Whatever your new role is, you have to work collaboratively with your new team even when you are working independently in your home country. And since every country has its own work culture, traditions and bureaucracy, you must get help from other people to easily navigate these grey areas.
As workplaces become even more globalized, developing your cultural intelligence (CQ) has become a non-negotiable.
CQ is vital even if you’re working locally, and even more so when working overseas. Living and working in abroad provides you with an opportunity to immerse yourself in a new culture, make new friends, and widen your horizons.
Prepare yourself to welcome different customs and traditions. Don’t restrict yourself to what you are doing in your home country. Most importantly, everything that should be avoided must be avoided.
6. You can live alone
If you move to a new place, expect that you will be facing some alone time. And this can be magnified when you are moving to a place where your first language isn’t widely spoken. So it is recommended that you get expert help to carry out your big move, tap into an existing expat community in the city or be attached to the sociable community in your workplace.
Even so, you will still find yourself needing to cope with feelings of isolation and loneliness more than before. You need to be prepared for this or else, you will end up feeling terribly homesick!
7. You have a solid foundation
Taking a job abroad to escape from family problems or get away from a bad relationship will cause you a lot of headaches and heartache in the long run. So before moving abroad, you must ensure that your most important relationships are stable, leaving behind a foundation of people who will support you during this new chapter in your life.
Hold on to the people who really care about you and get rid of those you make your life miserable. This way, even when some people around you who think that you are crazy for taking a job abroad, you are confident that there are the special ones who are willing to support and love you through it.
8. You want it
Choosing to live and work abroad should not be done for negative reasons. Never do it because you want other people to be jealous of your lifestyle or because you assume that the life there is far better than in your home country. Instead, do it because you cannot imagine your life any other way.
There are people who want to settle down and just have a 9-to-5 daily routine. But when you are someone who is looking for something exciting, then the expat life is right for you. And you will surely find a way to make all your dreams come true.
Are you ready to fly?
Deciding to work and move abroad can be both very scary and exciting. You are embarking on a new adventure and you will be faced with a foreign language, culture and lifestyle that you may be completely unfamiliar with. This is why working overseas is not a decision to make lightly.
When you are not prepared for the potential challenges, you can end up quitting and going back home even before you had a chance to adapt. Bear in mind that being an expat is not easy, but it can also be rewarding.
If you’re unsure about taking on the expat life, think about the above-mentioned eight ways to know if you are ready to work and live abroad.