In today’s climate some people have to take jobs wherever they can. If you’re offered a contract or temporary position overseas you probably won’t want to uproot your family and life in the UK. Even if you get a permanent position abroad, you might not want to move your family, particularly if it’s in a nearby country or you plan to return home.
It’s tricky though, emotionally and practically. Here are our top tips for making it work.
• Make sure you talk to the company you’ll be working for or the recruitment agency you’re going through about what help they are giving you to relocate. If they don’t find you somewhere to live, they should at least put you in touch with local reputable estate agents or point you in the right direction. Don’t be scared to ask them to help you make provisions for when you arrive – you’re uprooting yourself for them.
• If you’re a contractor you might have set yourself up in the UK as a limited company – some countries won’t let you do this so make sure you seek advice about the best way to be paid and pay tax. On this note, whatever type of work you’re doing make sure you know about work restrictions, what rights you have, what tax laws are and any other local laws that might affect you. Government websites provide a lot of information, as can recruitment companies who work on an international basis.
• If you have to pay for things at home such as bills, mortgage, school fees or just send part of your salary home you could save money by setting this up in advance. Just leaving it to a bank could mean you pay high fees or exchange rates. There are companies who specialise in this, so talk to them and set up a plan to transfer money abroad.
• Plan for how you’ll stay in touch with your family – you will miss them. Luckily these days Skype and social networks offer free and easy ways for you to stay in touch with everyone that matters. Make sure you know how much holiday you have. Will you be away over Christmas? Will you be able to take holiday and come home? Knowing these things before you go can make the goodbye less painful.
• Make the most of it. It can be a great opportunity to learn a new language and new customs which will look great on your CV. You can expand your network, meet new people and have a brilliant time. While it’s great to meet other ex-pats and this will make you feel more at home, don’t restrict yourself to this community as you’ll miss out on a world of new opportunities and experiences.