It’s never too early to begin planning your career if you want to work abroad, or if you just want to see the world.
There are thousands of opportunities in countries all over the world, and many people have taken advantage of those opportunities by moving abroad for work.
Before you start packing your bags, there are a few things you should consider before taking that leap of faith.
To help you prepare, check out these six best practices for leaders who want to work abroad, as well as some helpful tools that can make the process easier on you and your family.
Identify The Right Opportunity
While working and living abroad may seem like a great opportunity, it does come with some challenges.
Specifically, identify an opportunity at a company that will allow you to take full advantage of your foreign stay by finding ways to use all of your skills, while also providing you with ample opportunities for growth and advancement.
You’ll also want to consider whether or not moving overseas is right for your family; if you have children or are married, make sure they’re on board before making any decisions.
If possible, speak with other expats who live in your target country—you can learn a lot from them about what to expect during your time abroad.
Make Sure Your Health Insurance Policy Covers You Overseas
Before you leave, call your health insurance provider and ask them if your policy covers you overseas.
Most of these policies will be biweekly pay with one check covering two weeks worth of expenses, rather than monthly or yearly paychecks.
You’ll also want to find out how much it costs per month so that you can factor that into your savings plan.
Depending on where you’re going, you may need vaccinations or other immunizations before traveling—and make sure those are taken care of before leaving as well!
Seek Career Advice
Not every leader can make it on their own.
If you’re stuck in a dead-end job and don’t know how to make a transition, talk with others in your field about what you can do.
They may be able to give you contacts or advice that can help jumpstart your career.
And if you have no idea where to start, check out websites like LinkedIn and Glassdoor.
These sites allow professionals from all over to connect with one another—and they often post valuable insight into job opportunities around the world.
And if you’re not sure whether working abroad is right for you, start by talking with recruiters from other countries; they can tell you more about life overseas and help match you up with jobs that might be a good fit.
Finally, if you’re an executive interested in moving to another country, consider hiring a professional recruiter to help find positions that are a good fit for your skillset.
Recruiters specialize in matching candidates with companies, so they can quickly assess which positions would be best suited for your experience level and high income skills.
Start Thinking Like An Expat
Expats are more successful than locals—by quite a large margin.
The sooner you begin to think like an expat, or as if you’re already living and working in another country, then you’ll start getting ahead of your American counterparts before ever leaving U.S. soil.
Adjusting is hard at first, but once you’ve made it, job hunting from outside America won’t seem so foreign after all!
You’ll need to be flexible: In many countries, particularly those with emerging economies, business hours tend to vary based on company culture and local customs.
There may be times when local offices will close early or stay open late depending on employee availability during that time period.
Additionally, there may be instances where certain holidays aren’t observed in certain parts of the world.
These cultural differences can make life difficult for expats at first, but they should come to expect them as part of their new way of life.
And remember: Being flexible makes you more attractive to employers looking for candidates who can adapt quickly and easily to new environments.
Prepare Yourself Mentally
One of the most crucial steps in making an international move is preparing yourself mentally. It’s common for people to panic once they are actually face-to-face with their new reality, and it’s important to quell that fear before getting on a plane.
Before you leave your home country, you should do everything you can to be comfortable with your decision and cultivate positivity about it.
Spend time researching where you’re going and how things will be different there.
Talk to people who have lived or worked there.
Read up on culture shock and what it feels like when moving from one place to another.
If possible, visit your host city ahead of time so that you can get used to being away from home before leaving everything behind.
Being prepared will not only help you feel more confident but also make adjusting easier when you arrive at your destination.
Choose Wisely Between A Local Or International Assignment
Pay is an important factor when deciding whether or not you should take a position overseas.
The pay stub generator can help you determine how much of your paycheck will be left over once your international lifestyle costs are deducted.
You may also decide it’s smarter to move from a biweekly pay period to a monthly schedule, since you’ll get paid more often in a month than in two weeks.
Each situation is different, so it’s good to crunch some numbers and compare budgets before making any big decisions.
For example, let’s say that a new assignment pays $3,000 per month (plus housing) and would require travel home every six months—how does that compare with what you currently make?
What about if you went from biweekly paychecks to monthly ones?
How would your budget change?
If you have already accepted an assignment, don’t fret: adjusting to a new pay schedule is easy if you prepare yourself ahead of time.