Working as an expat: 7 tips for a successful transition

Leaving your home country to work abroad is incredibly exciting, but it’s only natural to be apprehensive too. If you fail to hit the ground running, you may begin to feel isolated, and before too long the comforts of home can feel a long, long way away.

Successful relocations hinge on two things: good planning and a proactive attitude. If you get it right, you can enjoy life-defining experiences, while broadening your cultural repertoire and expanding your worldview.

We have come up with seven quick tips to get your relocation off to the smoothest start possible.

  1. Do your research

Due diligence: two words that are crucial in business. When it comes to moving abroad, due diligence extends beyond doing your homework on your new place of work. Study the local laws and customs. Learn about the most popular local cuisine. Find out what the locals do to unwind. In the age of information, ignorance is a choice.

  1. Plan accommodation in advance

They say that moving house in one of the most stressful things you can do. Whatever the truth, there’s no doubt that moving yourself and your belongings to an entirely different country requires meticulous planning,  from finding the right place and right neighbourhood to live in, to transporting your prized possessions abroad. At Sheltons Relocation, we provide expert relocation services for professionals (find more in this article). We can even get you set up with the things that help to make a house a home: internet, television, Netflix and utilities.

  1. Make plans for your family

Nothing makes you feel at home faster than having your loved ones there by your side. But relocating with your family does require extra planning. It’s important to leave as much time as possible to find the right school for your children. Here at Sheltons Relocation we can help with your education search and even help secure future employment for your partner.

  1. Make sure your finances are in good shape

Do you know what the going rate is for rent? How much money will you need for groceries? The cost of living may be very different from what you’re used to in your hometown.

One important consideration is health insurance. Not all countries offer a free health service – and medical bills can be expensive. If you’re heading to a country without free healthcare for expats, a solid health insurance policy is a must.

Above all, make sure you have access to emergency funds. Life can be unpredictable at the best of times. That’s especially true when you are moving to an unfamiliar place. A financial safety net is great for peace of mind. Don’t run the risk, draw up a budget.

  1. Open a local bank account

Of course, managing your finances is far easier when you have money to manage in the first place. Getting paid for your services in the country you are moving to will almost certainly require a local bank account, it’s important to find out what you need to do to open your account ahead of relocating – or let us at Sheltons Relocation advise you.

  1. Learn the language

Yes, learning a language is difficult and time-consuming. But it’s worth the legwork. In many ways language is the key that really unlocks a culture, reflecting the way the locals perceive the world. The ability to hold your own in the native tongue shows respect and will make it easier to form stronger connections with local people – whether that’s in business or elsewhere.

Even if you are moving to another English-speaking country – such as Australia or the US – it’s important to be aware of the notable differences in the way English is spoken.

  1. Be open and appreciative

Moving abroad to work in a new country can feel overwhelming. While you find your feet everything may feel like it’s moving at a million miles per hour. Relax. Not everything is going to come together immediately, but with the right attitude the pieces will fall into place.

There’s a tendency among new expats to compare new life to the one left behind. You may romanticise the easy life you had in your previous country. Instead of focusing on the past, concentrate on how far you have come. The ability to embrace a new culture, new ideas and new ways of thinking separates successful expats from the rest.

You want a seamless relocation. Let’s make it happen.

There’s a lot to think about when emigrating for work. That’s why Sheltons Relocation offers a specialist service to make sure your transition is streamlined, seamlessly managed and fuss-free. If this sounds like what you need, find out more about our expat relocation services.