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7 Things You Need to Keep in Mind Before Accepting a Job in Foreign Country

7 Things You Need to Keep in Mind Before Accepting a Job in Foreign Country

If you are embarking on an international experience for the sake of your career, take a deep breath and fire up your thinking pistons. No matter how fantastic the new job sounds, the fact is that it is going to be a pick-and-shovel experience nonetheless.

In your mind, you may know that you have that dynamic personality that makes you ideal for the novel experience of working in another country. But be sure to evaluate all these factors before you commence this venture, as it will impact both you and your family as well.

Here are some useful ideas for those looking to pursue their future in foreign countries with an intention of leading much more fulfilling and stable lives.

1. Familiarize Yourself With Cultural And Social Differences

It is highly crucial to understand the cultural, economic and working mandates of the country in which you are intending to pursue your career. Aptly prepare yourself for living outside your comfort zone, as a long term experience fraught with challenges lies ahead.

Keep yourself open to the new environment and be alert at all times. Learning everything from how to greet locals to how you spend time on a local holiday, to respecting religious events, is going to be a demanding experience.

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However, it could get equally fascinating and enjoyable depending on how curious and motivated you are about this rewarding journey. To truly assimilate into the new surroundings, you will have to observe and understand the new culture and its customs, which may either be more conservative or more liberal compared to your own.

Despite the fact that you have done your homework regarding the climate and timings, there are many mechanics of the process to master such as visa policies, accommodations, passport validities etc. For such information, it is always beneficial to interact with other expats through social media, expat forums and taking full advantage of electronic media. However, the best way is still to actually go out into your new habitat and mingle, all the while taking in the cultural concoction, from its heritage to its traditions.

2. Combating the Communication Barrier

Expressing yourself is an immensely important part of the process. You will need to interact with the locals on a daily basis for things as small as asking directions and shopping for groceries. Learning the language of a foreign country – at least on a basic level – should be one of your prime goals.

Give it a shot using books, media or even through intensive courses being offered. Being able to communicate will make your life easier and less frustrating. It will also help to boost your confidence in general, as communication is one of the fundamental needs of any human.

Citing my own experience, learning a new language during my time abroad for higher studies made me truly believe that language should not be taken for granted, especially when planning to work where there exists a linguistic transition. This will also sit well with your new co-workers and maybe even your boss who will appreciate you going the extra mile.

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3. How Secure Are You In The New Country?

Definitely, your intentions behind this life-changing step are to lead a more cherished and prosperous life. You can not jeopardize your life for the sake of a higher income or a triumphant future. Be clear about the political situation and stability of the country where you are headed.

Gather all relevant information about the place, the city, where your residence is located and where your work area will be. Find out what kind of help your company offers regarding insurance, health benefits, employee security and what happens when you want to retire, to ensure that the organization truly cares for its employees. Other common tips to remain safe include being careful about keeping an eye on your bag while walking in public places and avoiding dark places after dark.

Remembering the time I went on an expedition for my science project to Romania last year, I decided not to take any valuable ornaments after hearing stories about jewelry snatchers on the streets. I think that kept me mentally relaxed and focused on my work.

4. Overall Impact On Your Career

Don’t get overly excited about being offered an overseas work opportunity. Hopefully, it will do wonders for your CV, expanding horizons for your ever-growing future. But, you need to get your homework done before making any rash decisions.

Talk to yourself about what you are getting into and why you are getting into it, especially if you are accepting the offer for the sake of money (as employers usually offer better pay and benefits packages for overseas assignments). Ask yourself whether it will truly all be worthwhile. Will it really enhance your skills as you imagine, are you simply risking everything for the sake of traveling or to add an overseas assignment to your LinkedIn profile to make it more eye-catching? Be sure to evaluate the risks and benefits involved.

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5. Work and Health Authorization

Be aware of the fact that not everyone can work in the host country. Your employer should be you in touch with HR or an advisory company to provide assistance and guidance with respect to obtaining a work permit. If your employer does not provide such assistance, search for a relevant consultant or attorney.

Find out whether your employer provides health insurance and how you would go about obtaining dental and medical care when working outside your native country. Knowing this and sharing that information with your family will become extremely critical in times of emergencies. Health can be unpredictable, so make sure your insurance policy is valid where you will be living and when you are traveling through other countries.

6. Employer-Sponsored Preparation and Acclimation Training

Primary reasons for the failure of an assignment abroad

    Good employer-sponsored preparation and acclimation programs offer essential training that employees and their families need to live successfully overseas. Customized training that focuses on local business practices and cultural norms begins prior to the employee being sent overseas. Frequently this training is supplied by experienced language translation services that provide first-hand knowledge of housing, shopping, healthcare, education and other information needed for general daily life.

    Once the family is located in the destination country, they receive more comprehensive training that helps them to assimilate. Most assimilation programs assign individual family members to mentors who provide counseling in specific areas of need.

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    6. Moving Back Home

    “Never forget your roots“ is a saying that seems to be tailor made in its context for the people seeking their future abroad. One day you may have to return to your country even though you may have become a citizen of the host country.

    Although you may adapt to the new cultural and working environment, one shouldn’t completely disconnect from his or her own ethical, cultural and working background, especially if he/she intends to return home. For this purpose, technology has proven to be more than a blessing. Use it to stay in touch with your friends, family, ex-colleagues, and employers. Maintain appreciation of what you have now, with a greater respect for what you left behind.

    7. You and Your Family’s Decision

    We humans are all connected with one another by one form of relationship or another. Your decisions impact those around you, especially your family members. You need to consider their opinion as they will also be affected by your choices.

    Think critically, carefully weighing the pros and cons of your decision – especially if you are the sole breadwinner of the family. If they plan to travel with you, see what flexibility the employer provides and see if you can manage within the budget you have planned.

    Featured photo credit: Do8y via c2.staticflickr.com

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    Ahmed Raza

    CEO of Samurais.co

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    Last Updated on January 13, 2020

    Is It Time for a Career Change? (And How to Make the Change)

    Is It Time for a Career Change? (And How to Make the Change)

    Are you challenged at work? Do you regret career decisions? Are you happy? If the answer to the questions leads to a negative feeling, it is time to determine next steps.

    Many people settle for a career that no longer brings satisfaction. Most will respond by stating, “I am surviving” if a colleague asks them “How’s work?”

    Settling for a job to pay bills and maintain a lifestyle is stagnation. You can re-direct the journey of a career with confidence by taking control of future decisions. After all, you deserve to be live a happy life that will offer a work-life balance.

    Let’s look at the reasons why you need a career change and how to choose a career for a more fulfilling life.

    How to Know if You Need a Career Change?

    The challenges of dissatisfaction in a career can have a negative impact on our mental health. As a result, our mental health can lead to the obvious appearance of stress, aging, weight gain and internal health issues.

    You deserve a career that will fulfill the inner desire of true happiness. Here are common factors that it is time for you to change your career.

    Physical Signs

    Are you aging since you started your job? Do you have anxiety? What about work-related injuries?

    It feels amazing to receive a pay cheque, but you deserve to work in an environment that brings out the best of you. If the work environment is hazardous, speak to your boss about alternative options.

    In the case that colleagues or your boss take advantage of your kindness, feeling the anxiety of fear of losing your job because of a high-stress environment may not be right for you.

    Mental Signs

    One out of five Americans has mental health issues, according to Mental Health America.[1] In most cases, it is related to stress.

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    I remember working at a job in a work environment where harassment was acceptable. I had to walk on eggshells to avoid crossing the line with colleagues. My friends started to notice the difference in that I seemed out of character. It was then that I knew that changing a career to freelancing was the right decision.

    Here is a list of mental signs of workplace unhappiness:

    • The tension in your neck
    • Difficulties with sleeping
    • Unable to concentrate
    • High anxiety
    • Depression

    If you start to feel your self-esteem is diminishing, it is time to consider if working in a high-stress industry is for you. The truth is, this negative energy will be transferred to people in your life like friends and family.

    Are You Sure You’re Not Changing for the Wrong Reason?

    Most people that feel they need a career are frustrated with their situation at work. Do you really understand your current situation at work?

    The reason it is important to think about the work situation is some people decide to change career for factors that are insignificant. Factors that can potentially change if the person works in a different department or new organization.

    Here is a list of unimportant factors to think about before you decide to make the transition:

    Desire for an Increase of Salary

    The desire for a higher income can persuade some to believe they are in the wrong career. The issue with this is more money requires more time in the office or taking on several positions at a time.

    At times, pursuing a high-income role can be the complete opposite of what one is expected. It is what happens when a colleague leaves a company to a new one and returns several years later.

    Overnight Decision

    Let’s face it. We make overnight decisions when stressed out or disappointed with situations at work. The problem with a quick decision is the negative and positive points is overlooked.

    Rejected for a Promotion

    I have heard stories of managers that applied ten times for a position throughout a 5-year period. Yes, it sounds to be a lengthy process, but at times, a promotion requires time. Avoid changing a career if you do not see the results of a promotion currently.

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    Bored at Work

    Think deeply about this point. If you work a job that is repetitive, it is normal to feel bored. You can spice it up by changing the appearance of your desk, socializing with new employees in a different department, joining a leadership committee at work or coming to work with enthusiasm. Sometimes, all it takes is you to change jobs into a fun situation.

    A career change can take time, networking, education and the job search process can be a journey. Here is a list of things to consider before making a final decision:

    • How long have you worked in your career?
    • What is the problem at work? Do you work well with the team?
    • Do you receive recognition?
    • Can you consider working in a new department?

    If after reviewing your work situation and none of the above recommendations can help, then it’s time to make a career change.

    How a Career Change Will Change Your Life

    I have a friend that works in the medical industry. She was once a nurse working directly with patients in one of the top hospitals in her area. After five years, she started to internalize the issues with her patients to the point where she felt depressed after work hours. It impacted her relationship with her family and she almost lost herself.

    One day, she decided to wake up and take control of her destiny. She started applying for new medical jobs in the office. It meant working on medical documentation of patients which is not an ideal career based on what society expects a medical professional to perform. But she started to feel happier.

    It is a classic example of a person that was negatively impacted by issues at work, stayed in the same industry but changed careers.

    A career change can fulfill a lifelong dream, increase one’s self-esteem or revive the excitement for one’s work.

    You know a career change can be the right decision to make if you experience one or all of these:

    • Working in a negative workplace: Don’t be discouraged. A negative workplace can be changed by working at a new organization.
    • Working with a difficult boss: The challenges of working with a difficult boss can be stressful. All it takes is communication. You can address the issue directly with a manager professionally and respectfully.
    • Feeling lost about what you do: Most people stay at their jobs and settle for mediocrity because of the fear of failure or the unknown. The rise to success often comes with working a tedious role or stepping outside of one’s comfort zone. If you fear the idea of being involved in activities that are new, remember that life is short. Mediocrity will only continue to make you feel as if life is passing you by.

    How to Make a Career Change Successfully

    The ultimate key to success is to go through a career transition step by step to avoid making the wrong decision.

    1. Write a Career Plan

    A career plan has a dead line for action steps that includes taking new courses, learning a new language, networking or improving issues at work.[2] A career plan should be kept in your wallet because it will motivate you to keep pursuing the role.

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    You can learn how to set your career plan here.

    2. Weigh Your Options

    If you have a degree in Accounting, write down five positions in this industry of interest. The good news is diplomas and degrees can be used to a variety of roles to choose.

    You don’t have to stick to what society holds a top job. In the end, choosing the right role that will make you happy is priceless.

    3. Be Real About the Pros and Cons

    It is time to be honest about strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats in the job market that are impacting the current situation.

    A SWOT Analysis of a career can include:[3]

    • Economic factors
    • Direct competition: Is this role in high demand?
    • Location: Do you need to move? If the goal is to work in tech and living in Cincinnati is not realistic, consider moving to San Francisco.
    • Achievements: To stand out from the competition achievements like awards, committee involvement, freelance work or volunteering is a recipe for success.
    • Education: Do you need to go back to school? Education can be expensive. However, online courses, webinars or self-study is an option.

      A career blueprint is the first step to creating realistic goals. A person without goals will be disappointed without a clear direction of what to do next.

      4. Find a Mentor or Career Coach

      A mentor or a career coach that works in the desired position can share the pros and cons of working in the role. Here is a list of questions to ask a mentor:

      • What is required to be successful in the role?
      • What certification or educational development is needed?
      • What are the challenges of the role?
      • Is there potential for career advancement?

      A chat at a coffee shop with a mentor can change your mind about the desire for a career change.

      Find out how to pick a good mentor for yourself in this article: How to Find a Mentor That Will Help You Succeed

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      5. Research Salary

      Some people decide to change careers for a role that pays less or perks like benefits to make up for the difference in previous to potential salary.

      It can reveal the cities throughout the country that offer a higher salary for those that have an interest in relocating for work.

      6. Be Realistic

      If your goal is to move up into an executive position, it is time to be honest about where you are in your career.

      For example, if boardroom meetings, high-level discussions about financials or attending weekly networking events are boring, an executive role may not be right for you. If you are an introvert and working with people every day is nerve wrecking, you need to reconsider a job in sales.

      Ask yourself if you can work in this role for the next five years of your life. If other benefits that come with the role are enticing, other roles are fit that will make you happy.

      7. Volunteer First

      A person that wants to become a manager should take on volunteer opportunities to experience the reality of the position.

      Becoming a committee member to pursue a presidential opportunity can provide a perspective on leadership, maintaining a budget and public speaking.

      Volunteer in a role until you are certain that it is the right opportunity.

      8. Prepare Your Career Tools

      I recommend asking a boss, colleague or mentor for career tools. If you prefer professional assistance, you can seek out resume writing assistance. Here is a list of things to consider when preparing career tools:

      • Online search: Search your name online to see what shows up. I recommend searching images that are on Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat or other sites on a personal account. The last thing you want to realize is the job search is unsuccessful because there is unprofessional content you posted online.
      • Be LinkedIn ready: Recruiters conduct a LinkedIn search to see if the work experience is the same on a resume. Remember to change the wording on LinkedIn from the resume, or it will appear there was no effort put into creating the profile.
      • Portfolio: A portfolio of work is recommended for people that work in the arts, writing, graphic design and other fields. I recommend a portfolio online and one that is available in hand when attending job interviews or networking meetups.
      • Cover letter: A good cover writer will always impress your potential employers. Here’s how to write a killer cover letter that stands out from others.

      Bottom Line

      It takes time to move towards a new career. Pay attention to the physical and mental signs to maintain your health. You deserve to work in happiness and come home stress-free. If you avoid the common mistakes people make, you will find a job and discover the role in a career field that is the best fit with your skillsets.

      Master these action steps and changing career paths will be on your terms to make the best decision for your future.

      More About Career Change

      Featured photo credit: Pexels via pexels.com

      Reference

      [1] Mental Health America: The State of Mental Health in America
      [2] MIT Global Education & Career Development: Make a Career Plan
      [3] Creately: Personal SWOT Analysis to Assess and Improve Yourself

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