What to consider when moving abroad for work


Gill Atkinson

For most of us, the prospect of moving to another country for work is an exciting (and sometimes daunting) prospect. Let us help you prepare.

Taking up a post abroad is something many of us have thought about. Imagine the possibilities - new places to see, new people to meet, and everything in between. Maybe it’s career progression with your current employer, or you feel there are better opportunities in your chosen field abroad. Whatever your story, here’s a few things to think about before you book your flights.

How will my lifestyle change?

If you are able, visit your intended destination. There’s no better way to visualize yourself living in a place than experiencing it firsthand. Many things will be new to you, including climate, working culture, and, of course, language.

Be realistic and open-minded - there may be compromises, but it could be a refreshing and rewarding change.

What impact will it have on my future?

You may already know how long you’re expected to stay abroad - maybe it’s a permanent move, or the project you’re working on is temporary. Either way you’ll want to think about what that means for you going forward.

Can you see yourself still living there in years to come? Do you have children who’ll be spending their formative years in another country? Even if you’re not sure yet, it’s a good idea to explore all outcomes.

How will it affect me personally?

Think about your family and social networks. If children will be moving with you, you’ll need to research childcare and schooling to make the transition as easy as possible. Leaving behind a support system of friends can be difficult, but bear in mind you’re not alone - plenty of people have done this before.

Seek out resources to help you get involved with groups or activities in your new area. Consider how often you’ll visit family and friends back home, or if they’ll be able to travel to see you.

How will it affect me professionally?

Moving abroad for work is a wonderful chance to expand your skill set, gain experience and broaden your professional network. Often, companies regard relocation as a mark of dedication, and it can be a fast track to promotion.

How will it affect me financially?

The associated costs of relocating will differ depending on your situation - some companies will be able to help, or offer a relocation fee. Talk through these details with your employer. If you are selling a property here or buying abroad, make sure you know how much the legal fees will add to the overall cost.

There will be practical things to consider, like switching to a foreign bank, the exchange rate, or visas and taxes. Perhaps once you’re there the cost of living or healthcare will be higher than you’re used to - ask yourself if you will be comfortable with what is being offered as part of your new role.

How will I learn the language?

With so many other things on your mind already, the idea of learning a new language can seem like a lot to take on. However, learning the basics will make moving to a new country so much easier - and you’ll be equipping yourself with a new skill. No matter how much time you have or how you prefer to learn, we've got a course to suit you. Find out more about how we can help here.

It can be hard to know where to start, but learning more about the language and culture you’re about to immerse yourself in will enhance your experience and help with the adjustment. After all, communication is key throughout the entire process, from planning the logistics of the move to your first day in the new role. The more you understand, the more confident you’ll be.

Discover the ways we can support and guide you as you begin your exciting new journey.