Even if it's been a life long dream to relocate abroad, actually making the move can become a stressful experience. Whether you’re looking to relocate to or from the UK, this short guide is a handy checklist to make sure your transition is smoother.
Foreign work experience looks great on the CV – especially if you can pick up a new language (or improve your English) - and also shows that you can operate outside of your comfort zone. It demonstrates adaptability and the broader experience will hopefully add a whole new dimension to the work-life balance.
Every country in the world has its own culture, rules and regulations. The key point in the preparation is to do in-depth research on the culture and how things work from a legal point of view. How long is your visa? What are the chances of extending it? Your entitlements, cost of living, public health care, schools for your children etc? There are many, many aspects you need to take into consideration to make sure that the new location will live up to your expectations.
It is a big challenge and a difficult process, which is why planning is so essential. However, if you prepare properly, it can be the best decision of your life.
Get a feel for the new place first
Whether the next location was your own choice or the only option for internal relocation, don’t just assume that you will love everything about the new place, because you had an amazing weekend there. Visit it for a bit longer if you can, wander around, avoid touristic areas and experience everyday life. Do you like the local food, the area you’re planning to live in, local amenities, the events and fun things to do?
Consider the cost of living, such as housing, insurance, groceries, utilities and transport as well as less tangible costs like cultural and language training, tax consulting and pre-assignment health checks for the entire family. Make sure you are happy with the income – expenditure relation.
Don’t sell everything, rent first
Selling your house and buying a new one is expensive and much more permanent. Instead - plan to rent for at least the first six months, so you can get a feel for the area.
Also, consider renting out the house you leave behind, rather than selling it right away. You will have a place to come back to if things go wrong.
The same applies to a car. If you’re moving only for a short period of time, selling your car back home might be simply unnecessary.
Ask about a relocation package
Some companies offer financial help for overseas candidates to help them out at the beginning of their new journey. Don’t be afraid to ask - the costs can add up and it could really help!
Save your receipts
In some countries, if you move more than a certain distance for a job and stay for long enough, your moving costs are tax deductible.
Get it in writing
If you have found a job before the big day, make sure to have it all confirmed in writing. There are many stories of employees who have moved only to find out the job has fallen through or the contract is not what was expected.
Specialists recommend getting a contract for a minimum time period, such as one year, saying your position can only be terminated for cause. That means there must be a reason to end your employment, such as misconduct or failure to perform your duties. It also gives you a peaceful mind that you’re not stuck if the transition turns out not to be right for you.
Have a backup plan
Are you moving to an area where the only company in your industry is the one hiring you? Are you moving somewhere where you don’t know a soul? Think of a couple of backup options, like alternative companies that you’re interested in working for or a nearby city that you like too, so you don’t end up with no other opportunities.
Packing up your life and moving it elsewhere is a big change and an even bigger commitment — whether it's for the short- or long-haul. At Allexo Search, our consultants have a lot of experience in placing international candidates into the FMCG sector here in the UK. They are happy to advise and make your transition a less-stressful experience. At the end of the day, having a secure job and a stable income is as much satisfying as it is relieving.