International experience is becoming a useful talent in today’s globalized world.
It’s valuable to have experience working with people from outside your own home environment and can help you land a better job in the future. If you love to travel you can also benefit from working internationally as you will get to experience a new country from a very local and down-to-earth point of view.
Before you head off to an international position elsewhere in the world, it’s good to have an idea how to prepare yourself. Take these tips to heart when you’re getting ready to go abroad:
HOW TO PREPARE MENTALLY
There’s nothing simple about relocating your life and eventually your spouse to another country. It’s difficult to mentally embrace the change until you’ve gotten comfortable with the new local area. Remember these things to help make the transition easier:
- Take nothing for granted
Your local country’s customs, cultural norms, business norms, and otherwise might not mean anything in the new country location. For example, simple tasks like buying food may be different from what you’re used to because of the strange times stores are or are not open as well as the organization of the stores themselves.
- Practice patience
Keep in mind that you will probably end up running into a lot of situations that just don’t make sense to you for whatever reason. Be patient when this happens and you will have a better experience abroad.
- Respect the local culture
You are going to live in another country, so you should expect to adhere to at least some of their local cultural standards such as appropriate dress codes, work holidays, etc.
- Embrace new social situations
To make new connections, you’ll have to be open to doing what the locals do to some extent and be confident. They might not hang out like you’re used to hanging out in your home country, but people everywhere like to have fun. If you relax and take things as they come, you’ll be able to meet people a lot more easily. Make sure to stay safe, because some people might try to take advantage of a foreigner who does not know the area!
HOW TO DO PRACTICAL PREPARATIONS
Moving abroad takes a lot of practical preparations as well as the mental preparation. Here are some helpful things to do before you move:
- Ask for advice about packing
There are so many things you may want to take that don’t make sense, such as suitcases full of clothes, bed sheets, dishes, etc. All of these things are very universal items that can be found everywhere. You should ask another expatriate in your destination what the most useful things to pack will be. Create an accurate moving checklist before you go to avoid taking unnecessary items with you.
- Set aside money for your initial expenses
Flight tickets, moving costs, and all of these are not your only financial concerns. If you have a career awaiting you in your destination, know the salary you’ll have to cover costs such as furnishing your new home, meeting new friends in social outings, etc.
- Register with your country’s local embassy
Your embassy can give helpful information about security concerns, local happenings, and more. If there is an emergency, your embassy will contact you to help you get out of harm’s way if possible.
- Set up a doctor’s appointment before you leave
Make sure you have a clean bill of health and all the shots or vaccinations recommended for moving to the new area. An international career can take you to all sorts of places, so it’s best to prepare to stay healthy anywhere you go.
- Learn some of the language
It’s always good to have at least a slight understanding of the local language before you put your feet on the ground. This way you won’t be quite as lost as you would be otherwise. If you work with a cross-cultural coach, they might be able to suggest which language to learn, as many countries speak more than one language regularly.