Joining the international business class: Essential preparations for working abroad
These days, more people are working abroad than ever before, and opportunities to do so are expanding. It’s an experience that can really change your perspectives and enrich your life. It can also make you more employable if and when you choose to return home, as it shows initiative and a certain degree of toughness. It can be a challenging thing to undertake, but if you’re up for it, this article is designed to help you take the next step.
Understanding your options
It isn’t possible to go and work in all countries and the requirements of some are stricter than those of others, so unless you already have your heart set on a particular place, you should start by looking up which countries match with your situation. Some, for instance, require a certain level of education, while others are more likely to accept you if you have an ancestral connection. In most (but not all) cases, you will require a short-term work visa in order to start a job. These are usually valid for six months, with the potential to be extended, and in many countries foreigners working there for several years have the option of becoming naturalized citizens.
If you’d like to experiment with working abroad before making any lasting commitment, you could take a seasonal job while traveling or could volunteer for an NGO (which usually means getting your board and expenses covered).
Language and cultural issues
Depending on where you choose to live, you may have to learn a foreign language. In some countries, such as Thailand and the Netherlands, it’s surprisingly easy to get by in English, even in the workplace, but mastering at least the basics of the local language will gain you a lot more respect. In other places it’s essential because no one understands English. You can find good starter language courses free online if you want to experiment and see which ones you find easiest.
Working abroad also means adjusting to a new culture, so do your research and be prepared to make some effort to fit in. This may mean changing your wardrobe or your eating habits, and you will certainly need to learn how to avoid behavior that could be considered offensive.
Finding accommodation abroad is always easiest if you know somebody there. Explore your social media networks to see if you can find someone who can help. You can also consider staying in a hostel while looking for somewhere more permanent.
Organizing your finances
Before setting out, you will need to discuss the situation with your bank and make sure any necessary adjustments have been made to your cards so they will work abroad. Using a site like Transfast.com makes it easier to manage your finances and to send money back home to your loved ones. With good organization and planning, there’s no reason why you can’t make your dream of working abroad into reality.