What to know when relocating for a job
The world has changed and people move about far more than than they used to. Families live further apart than in the past, cultures mingle, people enjoy a lot more freedom of movement, and so on. The same applies in the work space, where a job abroad is often taken to move to “greener pastures”. But whatever the reason, there is now far more opportunity for those open to relocating for a job.
The process of moving towns or countries for work is challenging, though. Moving away from home can be stressful for both the worker and their family, not to mention the added administrative duties in signing new accommodation, possibly new documentation (such as work visas and schools, insurance, etc) and . There are a few simple things that you can do and say to make sure that at least your bases are covered. Here are two that will stand you well if you follow them.
Never relocate without a test
The main point to be made here is not to move unless you’ve actually physically been there. In other words, when you have an interview on the phone or on an online video call, that is step one. But make sure that at least one of the steps in the interview process actually forces you to travel to where you’ll be working. For example, if you are contemplating a position in Berlin, don’t sign a work contract until you’ve gone there, even if only on a holiday.
There are tow reasons for this, the first one being obvious: you get to really see what the city or country is like and form an idea of whether you actually want to move there or not. More than one person will tell you that the grass is not always greener on the other side. The second reason is to have a much better chance of landing the job. Visiting their premises shows a great deal of interest to the company interviewing you. An employer would be quite impressed at your commitment and also get to see you in person, allowing you to sell yourself much better.
Often, this trip is already on the cards and offered by the company doing the interviewing. However, if you are in the process for multiple vacancies in the same location, you should pay for the trip and make sure to meet all the different companies.
Relocating for a job means huge change!
Tip Number 2 is just to make you more aware of the change one goes through. For example, when relocating for a job in another country, culture shock occurs. It is a real thing (some people say they don’t believe in it!), even for those moving from the UK to the US. Most people will first feel euphoric in their new home. However, after a few months starts a downward spiral until you eventually pick yourself up and assimilate into the new culture. If you don’t pick yourself up, you generally leave and go home. Understanding what is happening to you and your family psychologically is very important. Language plays a huge role here, so knowing the local lingo is worth investing in for everyone.
Often the burden of administrative tasks, such as changing gyms, schools, etc falls on the spouse and not the employee making the move. This doesn’t always work out so well, and team work is the only way things will go well throughout the entire process.
Relocating for a job is exciting on the one hand and not easy on the other. Be patient, and, since there is usually more than one person involved, allow everyone to voice their side of the story. This helps all the parties to work together to making the move a success. Bringing everybody into the planning, travelling and working on getting across to the new home is what makes the dream come true.