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Preparing to Work Aboard

Posted: 29th March 2016 11:36

So you’ve found your perfect job in a hot sunny country far away from England.  You’ve sorted your visa and have packed your bags but before you jet off we’re providing you with one last instalment to our work aboard series and giving you all our advice and tips.  You can thanks us later when you’re speaking the local lingo and can answer all the questions about your new home over the locals during a foreign ‘pub quiz’. 

The Essentials

Ensure your passport is in date, double check your visa is valid, finalise your removal date, transfer or close your bank account and ensure you won’t be homeless on the other side.  It may seem like we’re treating you like an idiot but you won’t believe how many people make these mistakes.  You want to make it as easy as possible for yourself, after all.  Find out where your local British embassy is in the country you are moving to, no one likes to think about using an embassy aboard but they are always there to help if you get into trouble or even just want some advice.  Discuss a ‘settling period’ with your new employer, a period of time that allows you to get settled and get acquainted with your new surroundings.  Your new boss will more than likely offer this but if not, ask. 

Break the Language Barrier

Telling a foreign patient you can’t treat them because you don’t understand them will lose you your job.  Or asking a confused foreign shopkeeper where he keeps his bread in English will only have you leaving empty-handed.  Breaking the language barrier is essential; you need to know what language the natives speak.  Find out what the most spoken language is in the country you are moving to and learn it.  It’s important to do your research though because what you may think is the most spoken language, actually isn’t.  For example, in Finland majority of locals speak Swedish.  Take the time to learn it, go to classes, use language learning software or hire a teacher.  Make it a priority and stick to it.  And remember if you are moving to an English speaking country such as Australia or America try not to use strong British ‘slang’ as this could confuse the locals. 

Determine your Pay Check

This applies to any job, UK or internationally.  Ensure you understand all aspects of your contract the employer is offering you, it should of course be written in English!  Discuss and research the benefits you’ll receive in the country you are moving to.  Make sure you understand and accept how much holiday you’ll get and how the pension system works in the country you are moving to.  If you are moving to anywhere in Europe, you can still receive British benefits such as employment, carers and disability benefit. 

Learn about the Country

This is the fun part! It’s important to know how the government, law constitution and healthcare work in your new home so research this; hopefully you may never have to use them.  However researching about the culture in the country is also important, you’re not just going over there to work! Find out what the nightlife, restaurants, bookshops, supermarkets, theatres, football grounds and malls are like.  Read all about the food, local music and basic lifestyle and you’ll feel clued up in no time.  It’s all trial and error because you’ll learn and discover more once you’re living there and you can’t know everything but why would you want to?  The mystery adds to the fun. 

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