working abroad

Working abroad has become easier than ever thanks to affordable flights, simplified Visa and residence permit processes, and the global use of the English language. According to UN statistics from 2021, 70 million women and 99 million men currently work abroad and away from their home countries. 86.5% of migrant workers are aged 25-64, meaning that people are more confident than ever before to be working abroad.

Moving abroad isn’t easy however and it takes resilience, patience, and courage above all else. Once you land the job you want, the real challenge of working abroad will be migrating to a different country. How can you make the process easier on yourself and take full advantage of your new life opportunity?

1. Set your Career Goals from Day One

Moving abroad to work should always be backed by solid career decisions. It’s never a good idea to accept a job offer abroad if you’re unsure whether it’s a good fit for you. While there are plenty of perks of working abroad, it’s also a challenging prospect – a road less traveled by. Before you accept a seemingly perfect job offer, stop and think.

Is this the right move for you right now, both financially and in terms of your familial situation? How will you benefit from accepting this job offer and where do you see yourself in five years? Moving abroad for a job can transform your life for the better and change everything you think you’ve known about the world. Look before you leap and you will benefit from the prospect of working abroad that much more.

2. Gauge How Much You Will Learn by Working Abroad

Every career decision will ultimately lead to new professional experiences. But, how much will you learn from it? Moving abroad to work in a new company and with new people should be a rewarding experience. It’s not a good idea to settle for a job that won’t teach you anything new or become detrimental to your skillset.

For example, if you’re a senior developer, accepting a junior position or an internship may not be a good move. Don’t settle for less than you’re worth and always look for rewarding job opportunities. This is what will make working abroad more enjoyable, useful, and transformative for you.

3. Have Realistic Expectations from your New Job

By accepting a job offer abroad, you are effectively becoming an international employee of whichever company you sign the contract with. You shouldn’t however have unrealistic expectations from the job position you’re filling in.

Make sure to read each job listing you apply for very carefully to understand the minute details. What are your hours going to be like? Where exactly is the company located and what does their business culture look like? While you can’t find out everything about the company and the job position before you move abroad, you can learn a lot by doing online research. Look at the company’s website, past employment testimonials, and client reviews. Go into your experience of working abroad with a clear image of what to expect and adapt as you go along.

4. Inquire About Travel and Health Insurance Before Moving

As you move closer to the moment of moving abroad, you should start thinking about your travel and health insurance. While many companies offer proprietary insurance packages and have more than suitable policies in regards to employee wellbeing, do be mindful.

It’s good practice to acquire at least rudimentary insurance from your home country before heading out. Explore your local insurance company options and see if you can find a good deal for employees working abroad. Some insurance companies offer great deals on longer-term insurance packages and as someone moving abroad, you’ll want to stay insured for as long as possible. This insurance package will complement the program your employer offers as a standard for employees.

5. Check your Visa and Residence Permit Requirements

Depending on where you come from and where you’re headed, you may want to explore your Visa requirements thoroughly. Many countries do have travel agreements signed for the explicit purpose of making working abroad easier – many, however, don’t. The same applies to residence permits and different requirements each country has set for ex-pats. Visit the local embassy and inquire about your options as someone who wants to work abroad.

By using, you will be able to find work abroad quickly and easily, as well as establish direct communication with your future employer. This can make the process of moving abroad simpler than if you traveled as a private individual and sought out work locally. Be mindful of Visa and residence permit standards no matter where you travel to, especially when it comes to working abroad.

6. Prepare Any Prescription Medication You Need on Time

Personal medication is something you want to be extra careful about when moving abroad. Depending on your country of origin and where you’re headed, you may need to translate or have your prescriptions approved properly. This applies to people with asthma, diabetes, and other conditions which require steady medication.

Don’t risk going abroad without double-checking the validity of your medical paperwork. It might also be a good idea to have a hard copy of your medical history on you in case of an emergency. Foreign countries won’t have access to your medical records and you might face issues with explaining your health. The same applies to recently-introduced COVID certificates and their global validation, like in the case of EU COVID passports. Checking this info is just as important as acquiring travel insurance, so take your time to prepare properly.

7. Try to Visit the County Before Moving Abroad Fully

Whether you head to Europe, the US, Asia, or any other continent or country, it’s a good idea to visit it first before working abroad fully. Accepting a job position and working abroad without properly researching your destination isn’t a good move.

You may not like the climate, have problems with the city you will work in or don’t like the local food. On a more severe note, the country’s taxation system may not be to your liking, or you may have a complex residence or Visa procedures to go through. Take some time to organize a tourist trip to your target destination before settling for the job opportunity officially.

8. Make Friends and Acquaintances from the Start

No matter if you work in business administration, sales, IT, or digital marketing, you will have new friends and acquaintances to look forward to at work. It’s good practice to be friendly with everyone from day one and establish good relations with your new colleagues. You never know when you may need assistance with mundane living questions or need help translating your documents into the local language.

Having someone to rely on abroad is a great way to make the experience of working abroad smoother. Outside of work, you will quickly run across not only friendly locals but other ex-pats and international employees. Extend a friendly hand to them and you’ll discover what it means to be a citizen of the world.

9. Learn a New Language to Make Living Abroad Easier

You might want to explore your options when it comes to learning a new language before you head abroad. Based on where you come from and where you’re going, English may not be enough to help you get by. Learning French, Spanish, Greek, or other languages is a time-consuming process but it is worth your effort.

You will not only have an easier time adapting to your local environment but also expand your career options moving forward. Working abroad and speaking several different languages is always a bonus to your CV. Making connections will become easier and working with your colleagues will become that much simpler and more productive. Take the time to start learning new languages and your future self will thank you for your foresight.

10. Be Patient and Adapt to your New Lifestyle Gradually

The truth of the matter is that it will take some time for you to adjust to your new lifestyle working abroad. Even if you move to a country in which you don’t have a language barrier to think about, societal and cultural norms will take time to adjust to. That doesn’t mean that your odds at blending in with the locals are for naught.

According to Eurostat, 9% of EU employees are non-nationals, with 60% of non-EU citizens living there being employed in member states. Regardless of where you go, you will meet people with whom you can identify and create meaningful connections. The only thing you’ll need to do is be patient and make the process of moving abroad one day at a time. Before you know it, you will have become an organic part of the company and your living area.

Take Your Career to the Next Level by Working Abroad

Accepting a job offer abroad is no small feat. By deciding to work abroad, you are in the minority of people with the strength and courage to make decisive career choices. Make sure to understand the importance of a good CV before you apply to maximize your odds at landing the job you want.

After all, you want to make a good first impression on your future employer. Once you find the opportunity suitable to your talents and career aspirations – go for it. Working abroad is a rewarding experience that will inarguably transform your life from there on out.

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