If working abroad was that easy everyone would do it, right? I am not joking when I say you need to be a tough cookie to leave behind everything that is familiar to you and start over in a new country.
Although people do it for different reasons: a chance at a better life, the desire to experience a new culture or whatever fuels your motivation we all have to go through a similar process: PACKING!
As I counted down the days until my move to the UK, I could easily spend the majority of my time trying to figure out how I’m going to fit my entire life into a car and also how will I survive all that rain.
Just kidding, even though packing is important, before you start asking yourself which coats to bring, make sure you know the answers to these five important questions:
1. Can I work there?
Depending on the country you are from and where you are moving to, your ability to work
legally will vary. European Union citizens have the good fortune of being able to work in any country within the EU, nonetheless, make sure you abide to each country's specific laws of employment.
However if you are not that fortunate and you need a visa/work permit to work in a certain country make sure you understand all the steps of the visa obtaining process and are prepared for it. Not only will that make life easier for you it will also show a possible future employer you are committed to making this move and have done your research about it.
2. How will I find housing?
Like most of the situations when moving abroad finding housing is completely dependent
on your unique situation. It is important that you know where to find temporary solutions in case your future employer is unable to help with temporary housing.
Therefore, websites like Airbnb, Vacation Rental by Owner or Sabbatical Homes make a great alternative for finding short-term accommodation.
3. Do I understand the cost of living in this country?
You might be living in a country where your expenses are not so high so make sure you
look into the living costs before deciding which country to settle in. Check out the cost of renting/buying a property, food, petrol, entertainment and energy. This is a very important step that will help you understand what you’ll need to earn in order to provide for yourself and have a lifestyle you’re comfortable with.
4. Do I understand the salary and taxation?
Salary research might be one of the most important things you need to prepare before
working abroad. Not only should you understand what your salary expectations should be based on what country you plan on moving to but you also need to understand how they discuss about it in each country. For example a person living in Romania will talk about salary expectations after taxes and per month, while in most of the EU countries they discuss about salaries before taxes and per annum.
Also, make sure you understand how the tax system works in every country. For example some countries have a general tax percentage for any salary brackets while others have different tax percentages for different wages.
Google is your best friend!
5. Can I adapt to the culture?
Whatever your situation is if you plan to work overseas, you should understand the local business customs of your new home. Knowing and observing international business customs is important to develop successful business relationships and avoid embarrassment.
Reviewing top 10 international business customs will help to inform you of local business customs for top expatriate destinations.
Also, learning the local language will be an enormous advantage. It not only makes it easier to socialise, but helps if you need to go to the doctor or deal with estate agents.
Working abroad does change you, for better or worse. Moving abroad was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made, and it has helped shape and continues to shape who I am today. It has taught me many lessons and has encouraged me to be independent, responsible, have respect, and above all, appreciate the people and the world around me. Struggling to learn to adapt to a different culture with a different set of rules and learning the difference between cultural misconceptions and reality – those are the lessons that stay with you, that shape you, that change you.
Have you ever worked abroad? Are you planning to work abroad? What is something no one ever told you about moving abroad?