Are you tired of the same old routine? Do you daydream about exploring new cultures and escaping the traditional 9 to 5 life? Moving abroad for work may be the adventure you need.
The chance to live in another country is an exciting one. You can experience a new way of life, be immersed in a new culture, and simultaneously grow your career. No wonder expats and digital nomads are becoming more popular!
Choosing to move internationally is a big decision to make. From lifestyle changes to financial challenges, there are critical factors that can either make or break your international career.
So before jumping on the next plane, discover what it takes to make your work abroad dream a reality!
Why Move Abroad?
Working abroad provides unique opportunities for personal and professional growth. Stepping outside your comfort zone can give you a new perspective on life, build confidence and accelerate your career.
Learn New Skills
You will discover skills and abilities you never knew you had when facing new challenges, embracing new experiences, and working with people from different backgrounds. Working in a foreign country will teach you to think differently, develop your communication and interpersonal skills, and become more adaptable.
Get Paid More
Because employers in foreign countries often pay more to attract workers from other countries, you might be paid more than you would for the same job in your home country. Or, the cost of living may be significantly lower, so you can stretch your dollar further.
Travel, Of Course
Working abroad is popular because it allows you to travel. When working in a foreign country, traveling to other parts of the country or its neighboring countries is a lot easier. It can be a great way to see the world and experience different cultures without spending all your time at the airport.
Is Moving Abroad Right for You? These Factors Will Impact Your Decision
Relocating to a different part of the world and starting a new life is exciting! It can be especially appealing if you hate your current job. But before you accept that job offer, it’s crucial to carefully evaluate the implications of moving and be realistic about the challenges you may face.
A new country can be a culture shock, so knowing what you’re getting into is important. The climate, language, culture, laws, and work ethic will differ.
Make a few trips before you commit to a move to get a feel for whether the way of life will suit you. Would your life be better or worse after such a big change?
If you think you’d struggle, consider whether moving is worth it. You don’t want to set yourself up to fail. Do your homework first and choose wisely.
Visas & Work Permits
Most countries require you to obtain a visa or work permit before you can legally work there. You usually have to have a job offer before applying for these, and your employer can help you sort out the relevant paperwork. Check the appropriate embassy website to find out what you need.
You need to know your salary and how that will compare to the local cost of living to ensure you have enough to support yourself. What sounds like a very high salary may not go as far in a country that is more expensive to live in.
However, if you’re earning money in a place with a lower cost of living, you may be able to save more than you would back home. It could be a great way to build up your savings or pay off debt.
Moving to another country can be a big adjustment, especially if you are moving alone. You will need to consider whether you are prepared to make such a big change.
Working abroad while you’re young is easier, before you’ve put down roots or have other commitments to keep you from moving. But that doesn’t mean having a family prevents you from moving overseas. In fact, taking your family with you on an international adventure can be a great way to strengthen your relationships and broaden your horizons together.
Either way, by accepting a job in another country, you’ll be moving away from the safety net of your friends. How will you make friends somewhere completely new?
There are many websites for expats to try and meet others who have moved to the area. Your employer might also organize social events to help you meet new people and befriend some of your colleagues. What about the area you live in? Is it lively or isolated?
It is also important to think about your support network. If grandma and grandpa usually watch the kids after school, for example, you will need to think about who will look after them while you are working.
If you’re moving for work, you may be lucky enough to have a company-owned property provided for you to live in. But you’ll need to find somewhere to live yourself if they don’t.
Finding a new home in a foreign country can be daunting, especially if you’re unfamiliar with the area. Resources are available to help you, like apartment-hunting apps, websites, or real estate agents. You can also ask your new employer to help you find a temporary place to stay while you look for a long-term place to live.
Double-check what is included in your rent or living arrangements to ensure you can afford all the bills.
Ask about what relocation help your company will give you (if any). Most will offer some financial assistance, but it’s usually insufficient to cover everything.
Look into the cost of buying furniture in your new home, and see if it’s cheaper to buy new furniture when you arrive instead of shipping over your existing items. You might find it easier just to rent a furnished unit and not have to worry about it.
If you’re relocating a long way for a job, you must feel confident it will be worth it. How secure is the offer? What career prospects or options for promotion are there?
Do some research before committing to the new job. Ask a lot of questions at the interview stage to find out as much as you can about the company culture and what you can expect if you accept the job. Speak to people who already work at the company to get a feel for your prospects.
Another consideration is how working abroad will fit your long-term career goals. It may be the perfect opportunity to gain new skills and experience that will benefit your career in the future. After all, international experience is often highly valued by employers and makes your resume stand out.
However, you also need to consider whether working abroad will delay your career progression. One potential drawback is that it may take you away from the career path you’ve been working towards. Depending on the length of your time abroad, you may find that you’re out of the loop regarding changes in your field, new technologies or methodologies, and other industry developments.
Making the Choice to Work Abroad: Why It’s Not Always as Simple as It Seems
Working abroad can be an excellent opportunity to gain valuable skills, meet new people, and spruce up your resume. Despite this, it still isn’t a decision to make lightly.
Consider your personal and professional goals, as well as your financial situation. Research the job market and visa requirements in your desired country, and talk to people who have made similar moves.
Overall, moving abroad for work can be a rewarding and transformative experience – if you approach it with careful consideration and preparation. Good luck on your journey!
Amanda Kay, the founder of My Life, I Guess, provides valuable career advice and support for anyone striving to make a living and, more importantly, make a life. Whether it's navigating job searches, learning new skills, overcoming unemployment, or dealing with debt, My Life, I Guess has been a go-to resource for career guidance and financial stability since 2013. Amanda's expertise and relatable approach have been featured in trusted publications such as MSN, Credit.com, Yahoo! Finance, the Ladders and Fairygodboss.