Moving Abroad for Work: What to Consider Before You Go
Living abroad is a bucket list item, and moving abroad for work is often the best way to facilitate the big move. It means you’ll be able to support yourself when you arrive in a new country and you’ll potentially have a support network, in the form of your employer, in place when you move.
But how do you find and secure a job before you go, and how do you decide if it’s the right choice for you?
In this guide for things to consider before moving abroad for work, we take you through the key items you should have on your agenda ahead of this big decision.
From considering the climate to avoiding shipping headaches and packing conundrums, this is your go-to list for figuring out a move abroad for work.
How Do I Move Abroad and Get A Job?
The simplest way is to move abroad while working for the same company you currently work for. The advantages of this type of moving are that you’re already familiar with the company and the people who work here, so there’ll be less to adapt to when you do move.
Plus, you might get help applying for a visa and finding accommodation. To find out if this option is viable, see if your current company has global offices set up in other countries and ask if transfers are something that’s on the table.
Failing that, you’ll want to look on job boards for postings about potential roles. Or, even better, if you have a country in mind that you want to move to, and know someone living there, ask them to keep a lookout for suitable roles or even recommend you to certain companies.
Another way to get a job abroad is to begin working as a volunteer. Then, once you are in the country, it can be easier to search for jobs, do interviews, and get advice about visas. Just be sure to secure the correct visa before taking any full-time, paid employment.
Is It Worth Moving Abroad for Work?
Job opportunities abroad are always an exciting prospect. The chance to switch your current routine for a new one, learn about a new way of living, and potentially boost your career are all attractive plus points.
But moving abroad for work isn’t easy for everyone, and even though your new commute might be a sandy stroll along the beach, there are other considerations.
Firstly, you’ll want to compare the pay you’ll be receiving when/if you move, with what you currently get at home.
Perhaps a move abroad will mean a bigger pay packet, but will taxes be higher? Is the property more expensive? Weighing up what you’ll be paid and how far it will go, compared with your current situation is a good place to start.
Next, you’ll want to assess if there’s career progression on offer in a new role. If there isn’t a chance to achieve your goals or learn new skills, it might not be worth moving abroad.
Also, think about how important lifestyle is to you. If you’re happy to take a lower salary, but only if your quality of life improves, you’ll want to look for countries with lifestyles that align with what you want.
What to Consider Before You Move Abroad
A Change in Lifestyle
Primarily, moving abroad for work is all about your career. It’s likely that you’ll be focused on what the change of role, or the same role in a new country, will bring. But it’s important to take the time to consider other big changes that will occur by virtue of working abroad.
One of the biggest is your lifestyle. Moving to another country could mean a different climate to the one you’re currently used to, a new cuisine to explore, cultural traditions to get to grips with, and even more nuanced things, like how residents of your chosen country choose to live and what’s important to them.
Taking the time to consider things like climate will inform your packing, and so is a key consideration. And we’re not just talking about having a broad idea about the climate, you need to get specific.
Is there a rainy season? Does it get humid during certain months? How much time will you be able to spend outdoors? The deeper you go with your research, the smarter you’ll be able to be with your packing.
Similarly, you’ll want to get a good grasp of the country’s traditions and cultures. Having a good baseline understanding will mean you’ll be able to respect people’s way of life and not make an unintentional faux pas during your first months there.
Looking into the lifestyle of the country you’re moving to could also present a stumbling block. Perhaps you’re an outdoor enthusiast who is keen to accept a job in a cosmopolitan city centre that’s far more dining and arts-focused.
Doing your research beforehand will give you the chance to decide if a particular country’s lifestyle suits you.
Creating A Network
Having a network around you is important when you move abroad for work. This doesn’t mean you have to have an entire friendship group or family already living in the country you are visiting.
If you don’t know anyone, it’s a good idea to look into social clubs and events before you move. That way you can line up some opportunities to socialise before you visit. This is key for keeping loneliness and homesickness at bay.
It’ll also help you to feel integrated and settle in quicker. You could also find out if your new job organises any similar events where you can meet like minded people in a proactive way.
The dreaded visa application process. Undoubtedly the worst and most stressful part of any moving experience, whether you’re moving abroad for work or for leisure.
Firstly, it’s worth seeing if your new employer can help with obtaining a visa. If they were the driving force behind your move, it’s usual for them to help with the admin side of things. In some instances even applying for a visa on your behalf. Reach out to the company that employs you and see if this is the case.
If you’re a worker with ’specialised skills’ that is moving to a country with shortages in the sector you are trained in, you may also qualify for a different, and easier, visa application process.
For everyone else, your first port of call should be the relevant foreign embassy for the country you are moving to. Just be sure to kick off this process as early as possible so you don’t have to push back your start date if there are delays.
If you’re moving abroad for a job, then you have a means of making money once you reach your chosen destination.
But what about the costs before you get there?
Budgeting for flights, accommodation, and any living costs you’ll have until you receive your first instalment of the payment is crucial. You might choose to rent somewhere on a short-term contract so that you can do viewings in person when you reach your new home.
You might also want to give yourself a more generous living allowance for your first month so that you can properly explore your new home. Budgeting effectively will mean that by the time you arrive, you’ll be able to ingratiate yourself quickly, going out for meals, to the theatre, or even for coffee without having to worry about money.
One of those setup costs that can prove to be a setback for some relocators is shipping costs. Left to the last minute, or ignoring this option at all, can lead to extra costs and stress.
Shipping luggage is a good option for those moving abroad for work as it means you can avoid the potential pitfalls of mishandled luggage at the airport or lost luggage. You can also ignore the reclaim queues altogether and get out and explore your new home as soon as you arrive.
Sherpr’s international shipping service is hassle-free. Simply pack your items in suitcases or boxes, they’ll then be picked up and shipped to a pre-agreed location. You can even track your items in transit for added security.
Take Time to Make the Best Decision for Yourself
Long story short, moving abroad for work is, for many of us, a huge change. No other way to put it. There’s always plenty to consider.
Taking the time to work through this list of considerations before moving abroad for work will lead to you making a more informed decision.
While you can never know how you’ll feel until you move, taking the time to think the above through will give you a much better chance of making the best decision possible.