Living overseas can be a life-changing experience. And many companies today are transferring workers to foreign assignments as they seek to tap into lucrative foreign markets.
Leaving It All Behind
But leaving the US and moving to a foreign country can cause anxiety. Here, then, are some tips to help the move go more smoothly:
- Visit First — You can ease the culture shock you and your family experience when moving overseas by scheduling a visit to your new home before you pack up all your belongings and move there. Take a week or two to experience your new environment at your leisure. You may fall in love with it and look forward to your new home with anticipation.
- Get Your Paperwork In Order — Most countries require foreign workers to have a work visa. This sets limits on how long you can stay, what kind of work you can do, and other parameters you will legally be required to follow. The human resource department of your company usually can help you with these arrangements. But if you work for a smaller firm, you may be left to figure this out on your own.
- Make Contacts Before You Leave — If there are other people from your company already assigned to the foreign post, make a point of reaching out to them via email or video conferencing before you leave. This way, there already will be a familiar face on the other end when you arrive. These co-workers also will be able to answer many of the questions you have about movers, housing, shopping, schools and other issues you may not have considered.
- Enjoy the Experience — Not everybody gets the opportunity to live and work in another country. Make the most of your experience by seizing the opportunity with gusto. It may turn out to be one of the most rewarding experiences of your life.