How to prepare for working abroad

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Nowadays, living and working abroad appears to be an aspiration for many in their careers. Whether it’s to have a change of lifestyle or roles are in higher demand elsewhere, opting for an international job can be a great experience. But considering the huge step you’ll be taking in moving to a different country, you’ll want to make sure that you’re well prepared for making a seamless transition in moving jobs. Here are some top tips to ensure you can settle in well when you arrive at your destination and begin your work.

Ensure that your employer is helpful with your move

To make sure that your move becomes less of a hassle, it’s worth negotiating relocation packages with the employer that you’re moving to. An employer who values you will help arrange your visa details, costs for living and other forms of relocation support. Go with a company that will support your transition and teach you about local taxes, laws and language barriers. They can potentially provide classes and lessons for any language barriers that you have.

Understand company culture and work-life balance

Different countries will have different laws when it comes to work-life balance. For example, the average working hours in Germany is about 26 hours. This is to promote a better work-life balance for workers in the country, but it’s also to encourage workers to be more efficient whilst in their place of employment. During your interview, be sure to ask how it works in the company and whether holiday structure is suitable for your needs.

Prepare for complications with your Bank

There are a lot of legal issues involved with obtaining an international bank account which you’re likely to be already aware of. It can also cause problems when it comes to transfers, fees, receiving funds so ensure you have all the required evidence and documents that your international bank will need in order to set you up. Ensure the capabilities of the bank are also suitable for your needs.


Double check your visa conditions

The circumstances of work visas can differ depending on which one you apply for. In some cases, you might have to return back to your home country, especially if you get fired or decide to resign from your job. Each country has different regulations and restrictions with the visas that they offer so be sure to research before applying. This handy UK visa tool is an example of resources that you can refer to in understanding which visa is suitable for you. This can be a rather complicated process so your employer should take control of this process and guide you through it. Just be wary that process will require a lot of paperwork filling, so get ready to write!

Pack lightly

The best move that could be for you is packing as little as possible when you’re moving. Try to save hassle and space by preferencing furnished flats and packing fewer clothes. You’ll be surprised by just how weighed down you’ll feel with the amount of stuff that you have when you move it abroad. It also means you’ll have less stuff to track and waiting around to make arrangements to receive them.

Form relationships early on

You’ll be going to the country all on your own, so you’ll be finding an opportunity to make new friends help you settle in. A great way to do this is considering what your favourite hobbies are and utilising them to go to classes or events. This way, you can make immediate connections with the people you meet and it’s a great ice breaker. Alternatively, there will be plenty of expat websites where you can arrange meet up with people in a similar situation to you.

Although this list isn’t exactly exhaustive, these are a few essential matters that you should consider. Moving abroad takes a lot of planning and preparation. The main aspect to take away from the list is that you do plenty of research into your destination and gather information from the company and others who have done similar. 

Posted by Jennifer Ranking

Jennifer Ranking is a freelancer travel writer who's currently showcasing her skills to create a writing portfolio. Based in Manchester, she uses her experiences of travelling whilst taking a year out of University to write some of her content. When she's not writing she likes to read in her spare time.

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