Going abroad to work is an exciting prospect. If you’re willing to make the jump, you won’t regret it.
Of course, working in another country is serious business. After all, you’re either going to be working for yourself or another company. Both options come with challenges.
However, working abroad is all about finding the balance between success and fun – and this guide is here to talk you through it in detail.
So, whether you’re going to another country for six months or six years, here are some top tips that will help to make the experience fun and memorable.
Take Plenty of Rest Time
In the first few months after moving to your new country, you will no doubt be eager to impress – especially if you’re starting your dream job.
There’s nothing wrong with this – in fact, it’s a great attitude to have. But it would be best if you didn’t overwork yourself in a new environment, as this can lead to stress and various other problems.
The solution is simple: take plenty of rest time.
On the weekends, in particular, you should go out and explore the new areas around you. Also, don’t be afraid to spend some chill time indoors and have the occasional lazy day. Remember, your body needs to recharge!
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Get Support from Your Company
If you’re working for a company abroad, you should take advantage of any support system they have on offer.
For example, many companies offer insurance to their foreign workers and relocation assistance. If this is the case with your specific company, then you’d be silly not to accept their help!
Study the Company Culture
A new company means new culture – fact.
Don’t worry, though; this is nothing to be afraid of. Jumping into new cultures and surroundings is one of the most fun aspects of life, especially when you’re doing it for the first time.
Before your arrival, make sure you study the expected culture surrounding the country you’re moving to and the company that will employ you. This is smart for several reasons:
- It ensures you won’t experience a culture shock
- You’ll be able to adapt faster
- You’ll be more confident and knowledgeable
If you decide not to research the company culture, you’ll be putting yourself at a serious disadvantage.
Google is your best friend when it comes to this, so make sure to do plenty of research.
Build Future Career Skills
Make no doubt about it; you have an excellent opportunity to build and develop your future career skills while abroad.
For example, due to the challenging nature of working in another country, you’ll be able to develop your communication and problem-solving skills significantly.
On top of this, you might even be able to develop specific niche skills, such as language translation.
So, when you see a challenge of skill opening, make sure to embrace it.
Don’t Be Afraid to Switch Jobs.
After a couple of weeks or months abroad, you might find that you don’t like the job you’ve accepted.
However, there’s no need to panic. The reason for this is that there are likely plenty of other job options available in your chosen country, from teaching to working behind the bar.
Make sure to keep your eyes open, as you never know when you might need to switch!
Learn Key Phrases
If you’re in a country that speaks a different language to you, then you must make an effort to learn some key phrases.
Sure, you can rely on your smartphone to do all the translation work for you, but this is often the lazy option to take. Plus, if your smartphone ever runs out of charge while you’re traveling to work or stuck in a particular area, then you might be screwed unless you know a couple of handy phrases.
So, before moving and during your stay, make sure you dedicate some time to learning key phrases, such as asking people for directions somewhere.
The likelihood is that you won’t have time to learn an entire language (especially if you’re only staying there for a couple of months), but key phrases are more than doable.
Plan your Transportation
Are you going to drive, get public transport, catch Ubers, or a combination of everything? Whatever the case may be, you need to plan your transportation to remain organized and avoid any sticky situations.
Remember, the transport you choose should be primarily based on where you live and work.
For example, if you live in London in the UK, there’s an excellent underground tube system. It’s straightforward for travelers to understand, meaning you won’t have to worry about accidentally getting lost anywhere.
Alternatively, if you’re staying in France, the train and metro are very popular. You can even rent your car if you have a driving license, which is more convenient if you’re someone who will constantly be out on the road.
Don’t Forget Your Taxes!
Ah, taxes – whether you like them or dislike them, you need to pay your share (even when you’re abroad).
You’ll likely still pay the standard US tax when abroad if you’re a US citizen. However, if you’re from somewhere else, this might vary. You’ll need to speak to your local government advisors and company before leaving, as this will ensure that there’s no confusion. Also, there are plenty of tax specialists that you’ll be able to speak to (locally and domestically) whenever you need some help or feel like you’re losing control of your taxes!
Ask Co-Workers Out
At your new company, you’re going to be spending a lot of time with your co-workers – which is a good thing.
However, you shouldn’t just limit your relationship to the workplace. Instead, you should ask your co-workers out and let them show you around and teach you about the culture of your new country.
In the long run, this will benefit you greatly. Plus, it means you have more work contacts who you can rely on if you opt to stay in the country full-time rather than return home.
Make Friends with Locals
Whether you’re in France, Spain, or the UK, it’s a good idea to make friends with the locals in your area.
This way, you’ll have people who know the area and surrounding facilities well. In the case of emergencies, you might find it to be a lifesaver.
To make friends with locals, it’s a good idea to check out any Facebook groups designed for welcoming travelers. By joining one of these groups, you should find a nice mix of local people looking to help and foreigners searching for local friends.
Also, you can hit up local bars, parks, and gyms to find local friends, too. Remember, one of the most valuable parts of your experience in a new country will be making new friends, so don’t be afraid to put yourself out there and embrace your extroverted side!
When you’re working abroad, you should make an effort to document everything. Well, maybe not everything, but you get the point.
From your daily commute to work to the tasks you complete, you should write about it all in a journal or handbook that you keep with you. This way, when you look back in the future, you’ll have a nostalgic source to use.
Because time goes so quickly when you’re having fun in another country, it can be easy to forget certain events and thoughts that you had at the time. This is why it’s so important to document as much as possible.
Take Lots of Photos and Videos
Speaking of documenting your journey, don’t forget to take lots of photos and videos along the way.
Ideally, you should invest in a good smartphone for travel prior to moving. Although you might not want to splash the cash, the benefits far outweigh the short-term costs. This is because you’ll be able to capture everything in high-definition quality, whether you’re using an iPhone 13 or one of the latest Google Pixel models.
It can be tempting to spend as much money as possible when working and traveling abroad. From souvenirs to new clothing, the list of potential things to buy is endless – so it’s hardly surprising that many people like to splash their money abroad.
However, if you want to be wise, you should save more money than you spend. This will ensure that you’ll always have cash when you need it, from flights to emergency accommodation. Also, when you return home, you’ll be in a much stronger financial situation and won’t have to worry about all the money you spent while you were there!