8 Tips for Starting Employment Abroad

25 April 2022

One perk employees get from their work is travel. Some get to join international conferences. Some are sent to offices in other countries to finish an assignment. Some are relocated for good to a different branch. Then, there are those who really apply for a job overseas.

If you are a travel bug or a jet setter, there are thousands of job opportunities you can apply to in a foreign country. Being a foreigner in your chosen country of work is not a hindrance. There are many people who become successful as expatriates and whose careers thrive in a different country.

But of course, you can’t jump into this big life change without the proper research and foresight. You need to read up, watch documentaries or vlogs, or ask your friends or others who have worked or are still working abroad to share their experiences with you.

Why do people even want to work abroad and be away from their families and the friends they grew up with? When you live and work overseas, it paves the way for growth. It can probably be your first time living alone so you would have to quickly learn how to be independent. Your parents won’t be at bay’s reach whenever you need help so your senses are heightened and you employ every possible safety measure so that your family members back home won’t be worrying about you. Next, when you experience life abroad, you are introduced to people of different cultures. You have to learn how to assimilate and interact with people who grew up with different beliefs, principles, and behavior.

If your goal is to experience new things, then working abroad will allow you to see the world in a different light and give you a lot of first-time experiences.

Perhaps you have a goal in your career that working abroad will be able to fulfill. Since you are relying entirely on yourself, you boost your self-confidence. You might go through a lot of hardships but once the storm is done, you would feel empowered that you can do anything your heart sets itself into. We listed down tips on what you can do when you are about to work overseas.

1. Research on possible countries you want to move to.

Not only is working abroad a big career change, but it is also a big leap in your life. You can’t go to the battle unarmed. You have to carefully select where you’re going to work. Read up or watch videos on the countries you’d want to work in. Learn about their cultures which can help determine if you’d be able to jive with your possible workmates there.

The research also includes any career shift, if you are thinking of doing so. You need to have an idea of how wide the market is, and how many opportunities there are available to international workers like you. Like us, we like to record our expenses so that we know how much we spent for the month. Using an Excel sheet is ideal.

When looking for a country to go to, you also have to check visa requirements that vary from one place to another. Note that there are some countries where you are required to go back to your country. You can also check if the company you got accepted to will provide assistance for your visa to be approved. You also need to have a contingency plan in place in case labor conditions change. Other than that, you can check with the company if they can also provide you with support in terms of lodging and other fees.

2. Have an idea of your company's culture.

Since it’s a new company you have never set foot on, you are clueless about their culture there but there are ways for you to find out. Do your research. Ask people who were previous employees of the company about their work experience. Maybe you have a friend who is already working there or used to work there. Contact him or her. Read online forums for reviews.

If you are moving to another country but the same company, you can join in different employee activities so you get introduced to the people you’ll be working with. You can always make friends, watch documentaries and read up about their culture, and plan ahead on how you’re not going to stick out like a sore thumb.

3. File taxes properly.

Do not skip this part even though it sounds like a chore. Of course, taxes will vary depending on the country you are moving to so you need to do a thorough research on tax laws and implications.

You might want to take into account how much money you will take home every month minus the taxes that you need to pay. Even though you are working abroad, you need to file your taxes properly. If you want expert help, you can always consult a tax specialist.

4. Prepare your banking arrangement.

You need to check if your current bank is accessible in the new country that you are moving to. Do your research on the many banking institutions you can enroll in or the possible options on how you could access your money in your Canadian bank. Again, if you want to be guided accordingly, ask a bank expert or professional so that your financial concerns are addressed before you make any big move.

5. Arrange for your lodging.

Another thing you can plan ahead is to look for your residence. It might be better to look for landladies on the ground so you might want to book a hotel for a certain number of days while you look for an apartment or dormitory to stay in. Your family will have peace of mind as well when they know where you’re going to stay in the country you are moving to.

6. Get health insurance.

You are going to live alone in a country you have never set foot in. Or you’ve probably only visited as a tourist. This means you need to have all emergency measures set up. Look for health insurance that you may use in many hospitals located in your new country of residence. Inquire with the company you got employed in if you would have a health insurance benefit and what are the inclusions. Know all the services that are available for you.

7. Look for a community.

Even though you are an introvert, you would most likely yearn for other people’s company, people who you can relate with. The community may be either Canadian expatriates or a community of people with the same particular interest as yours. It might be your peers at work when you start your days in your new company or your housemates/neighbors. No man is an island and you would appreciate these connections more than ever now that you are adjusting to a foreign country.

8. Invest in tools.

You might feel homesick or get distracted when moving to a new country so you have to arm yourself with tools that will make sure you perform efficiently at work. Invest in ergonomic furniture so that you will continue to do your best at work while also exploring the country that you now call home.