Any job that involves living, travelling, or liaising in other countries can come with an additional set of challenges. Whether you’re taking up a new job abroad or trying to understand more about the considerations needed when thinking about an internationally focused role, there are many important factors to bear in mind. We’ll consider some of the important things you should consider when thinking about working internationally.
1. Be Open-Minded About the Location
Without experiencing life in a different country, it can be difficult to make a firm decision about whether you want to move there. Unless there is a specific reason why you must relocate to a certain country, remaining open-minded about where you go next can help to make the whole process easier.
If you travel on an ad hoc basis, you might not have much influence over which locations you visit. But if you are moving on a long-term or permanent basis, and depending on the options available to you, consider asking for a trial period with the option to reassess your situation after 3-6 months.
2. Payments Are Not the Same Everywhere
Working abroad in some countries might not present any significant challenges in terms of managing your money and financial matters. But in certain countries, the economic and financial infrastructure may not be there to support quick and easy transactions, or your employer might choose a different method of payment transfer.
International money transfer suppliers like Ria Money Transfer can help to make cross-border payments easier, and will usually be compatible in most countries around the world.
3. Make Friends Before You Go
Finding some contacts and connections in your new location can help you settle in once you arrive. Having people to call on will not only give you reassurance as you move to a different place to start a new job, but they will be able to help you with advice and tips about the latest hotpots and local areas.
Social media platforms provide a great way for people around the world to connect. If you’re transferring to a different branch of the same company, ask about your colleagues and whether you can get in touch with them beforehand.
4. Think About Your Reasons for Moving
Some people choose to work abroad because they want a new experience or adventure. For others, it stems from a desire to break free or find a new place to settle down. It’s important to think about the reasons why you want to move and consider which factors are influencing your decisions and thought processes.
Being honest with yourself about your true reasons to work internationally can help in more than one way. It can identify problems at home that might be driving you towards working away, or it could help you to avoid similar problems when you arrive in a new country.
5. Family Commitments Can Be Kept
Many companies will allow family members to travel and live with employees when they are working overseas. This is the ideal option if you have a family and don’t want to spend too much time apart from them.
Unstable environments and countries where there is ongoing conflict, for example, will normally not be included in any offers of family living arrangements for safety and security purposes. But in most countries, it is possible to relocate with your entire family depending on the terms and conditions of your job contract.
6. Be Clear About the Working Arrangements
Make sure you read through your contract in full before agreeing to take any international position. While some jobs will come with additional payments, this is often for living costs and other expenses incurred in the role. It’s important to understand your salary and any payments being made to you, and what is expected of you in return.
Some international roles will also require that employees adhere to the company’s code of conduct at all times while abroad, even outside of working hours. There may also be specific dates or months that you are required to stay in the country to work.
7. Take Time to Research
To make an educated and informed decision about a new location or new job, it’s important to set some time aside to research potential new countries and conditions. Listening to the experiences of just one or two people won’t help to build an accurate picture of your potential future home, but multiple different opinions can.
Read blogs or watch vlogs, particularly from people who have had similar experiences working overseas. Try to speak to people who have relocated to a different country for work, and ask them for any helpful tips they are happy to share.
If you need to find your own accommodation, find out about the best areas to live and ask people for their advice on pitfalls too. Find tips for when you first arrive, including how to get from the airport to your new home. Check out safety tips from local residents and international travellers to ensure you feel comfortable to stay as safe as possible.
8. Time Zone Differences Can Be Challenging
This can be particularly difficult if you have family and friends back at home and there is a large time gap in between the two locations. It can become challenging to keep in touch with your nearest and dearest, since your working hours may coincide with their downtime and vice versa.
Speak to the people you are close to before moving, and be honest with them about the timing arrangements. Set aside time at the weekends or reshuffle your schedule to ensure you can still catch up with friends and family. This will also help you to stay connected to the people you love while settling down in a new location.
Working in an international job can be exciting and bring a whole range of new opportunities and experiences. But there are also many factors to consider if you are offered a role in a different country.
Taking the time to learn more about your potential new home, considering practical elements such as payments and living costs, and making an informed decision about what to do next are critical steps when considering whether to work internationally.
Interesting related article: “What does ‘To Relocate’ mean?“