Do you ever see yourself sitting at your desk, staring longingly out the window, daydreaming about distant lands? Wishing to get a handful of vacation days per year, plus a few holidays, it may seem impossible to quench your wanderlust.
Maybe you just graduated from college or high school, but just don’t feel ready to settle down – there’s a whole world to see after all? Welcome to the world of working abroad! You might think this option is reserved for CEOs and children with trust funds, but you are wrong. There are hundreds of jobs you can currently do abroad in the country of your choice.
Curious about this idea, but don’t know where to start? Then read on! Here are our top tips for beginners working abroad, including things to know before working abroad.
Legal Affairs – Visa, Work Permit and Other Paperwork
If you need a work visa, make sure to work it out as soon as possible. Typically, your employer will support you throughout the process. Still, there are also plenty of documents that need to be prepared on your part, such as diploma, resume, criminal record check, and so on.
It’s also good to make sure you fully understand the rights and restrictions of the type of visa you get. For example, some visas do not permit you to change jobs during a certain period. Find out what happens when the employer terminates your contract: are you required to leave immediately or have the right to stay in the country to look for another job, and if so, for how long.
Labor rules vary from country to country and can be quite complicated, so in case you are unsure, it may be worth getting professional advice from an immigration attorney. The investment will save you time, money, and stress.
Choose the right job
First of all, it is essential to know what kind of jobs you could do abroad. The truth is that there are countless jobs for people who love to travel! In principle, most tasks that you can do at home can also be performed abroad. Of course, some jobs are more popular than others and lend themselves to an adventurous lifestyle abroad:
Teaching – Teaching is one of the most popular areas of work abroad, and there is no shortage of teaching jobs, even if you are not currently a teacher. If you are a native English speaker, you can become a teacher of English as a Foreign Language (TEFL). There are hundreds of schools in almost every country in the world where students, both children, and adults, learn English. Some schools require a TEFL certificate, which you can obtain by taking a course online or in person.
Hospitality and Tourism – Hospitality and tourism are also common areas to work abroad and can be a fun way to discover new cultures and make new friends.
Au Pair – If you love children and want to immerse yourself in a new culture, working as an au pair may be the right choice. You live with a local family and experience your host country as a local.
Do the math – salary, taxes and living costs
Even though the salary abroad may be higher than what you got/could get at home, it is important to take tax deductions and living costs into account. First, find out exactly how much you will receive after tax. Then research accommodation, transportation, and food prices. This will present you an idea of the lifestyle you can afford after relocating.
Don’t forget the moving costs. Do you have to carry all your belongings abroad or get something for the new house? If you already have a job offer, contact your prospective employer to see if they offer a moving allowance to help you cover the costs.
Job conditions – Hours, holidays and health insurance schemes
Working hours and holiday pay may also deviate from what you were used to in your own country. For example, in the United States, the standard working week is 40 hours long, and workers take only 10 days of paid leave per year on average, while in the UK, employees work 35 to 37 hours weekly and a minimum vacation of 28 days is enforced by law.
Health insurance is also an important factor as medical bills are quite expensive, almost everywhere. Check whether your employer is contributing to health insurance or consider taking out international insurance if you plan on moving first and then looking for a job.
Can you handle culture shock?
Absorbing a new culture is exciting, but trying to respond to unfamiliar cultural expectations, traditions, and way of life can be quite challenging. Be open-minded and curious and make sure you don’t spend all your time at the office. Make the most of what the new country has to offer: go to concerts and exhibitions, explore local galleries and museums, discover new dishes, and travel around on weekends. Keep in focus the bigger picture and the main reasons why you moved abroad, and it will help you get through the adjustment period.
Moving abroad is a big decision that will undoubtedly affect everyone in your family. Both the travel distance and associated costs affect how often you can visit your family, or they can visit you. Think about emergencies – in case of ill health, is there someone to take care of your parents or other close relatives? If you are in a relationship, consider the consequences that the long-distance can have in case your partner does not plan to move with you.
Remember, the more research you do in advance, the smoother your transition will go. Don’t be put off by the challenges – after all, living and working abroad is a great experience and an adventure worth embracing!