You are a jetsetter. An individual seeking transformative adventure. Getting a job overseas is life enhancing. An international job offer complemented by your own forward thinking and an open mind can set you up for success. If you desire a new time zone, cultural immersion, and standout worldliness, then working overseas is for you. However, there are several considerations you must acknowledge prior to packing your bags. In order to be eligible for employment abroad, you must obtain a visa appropriate for your destination country. The visa process is time sensitive and may involve several key players, i.e. you, your recruiter and a visa officer. This journey will require both self-reliance and consistent communication with your recruiter. It is important to remember that while obtaining a visa can be daunting, it is ultimately the gateway to your life changing experience. Approach it with optimism and an organized calendar!
Once you have the visa, congratulations! You are one step closer to life abroad. There are many intangible opportunities to help you transition smoothly. Remember why you considered this type of employment in the first place. Keep your why top of mind when you are transitioning into this new chapter of employment. Evolving to a new city will be a learning curve. You will likely go through phases of adaptation as you settle in. The most important thing to remember while facing this transition is to embrace the change. Accept the growth that exposes itself to you and remember your why! You are here for a reason, and you are the expert of your international fortune. Will this journey consume you, or will you consume it?
A job in a new country means worldly exposure. Have you always wanted to reach new corners of the world? Do you have a yearning for language learning? How about taking weekend trips to neighboring countries? If you want to tattoo your passport with stamps, then accepting a position abroad is for you. If you're skeptical and simply wish to settle into your new nation and stay put, just wait. You will likely get a travel bug once you see how accessible travelling is once you are abroad! Take advantage of the nooks and crannies of your new homeland once you arrive. Grab your backpack, book a trip, adore and explore, repeat.
All jobs require various commitments, and for a job abroad you'll find it is typically for one year or more. During this time, you will be geographically separated from friends and family. At times, you will feel isolated from familiar faces. You may find yourself connecting with your loved ones via video call, taking vacation time to travel home, or making new friends in your new territory. If you find yourself comfortable with mingling among new faces, working abroad is your niche. On another note, one of the most special aspects of spending a full year in a new country is the ability to celebrate year-round. No matter where you live, locals will be gearing up for a fete; whether it's Spring Festival in Shanghai, Oktoberfest in Munich, or the Cherry Blossom Festival in Tokyo.
If you have dependents, you may consider other options for employment. Do your research about schooling for your children, bringing pets to a new country, and look further into how those factors may impact your experience. If you are a planner, an international position is right up your runway.
You must also consider other obligations in your home country. Have a mortgage or car payment? Explore your options for maintaining those responsibilities while you are away before you apply. If you are unable to relieve yourself of those responsibilities, approaching foreign employment without preparation might pose unrealistic challenges for you.
Spoiler alert: if you are considering an international job, chances are you're not going to stop daydreaming about it until you're doing karaoke with your coworkers in Beijing. The most realistic roadblock between you and global work experience is yourself. Realize that many people will never leave their hometown to see the world. You can always go back home and flaunt your frequent flier miles... Just try not to be that person who pronounces "croissant" differently after flying to Paris for the weekend.