Is your career taking you abroad? More companies are sending young professionals overseas for international assignments, and many are jumping at the opportunity! However, moving abroad is no easy feat.
In fact, it can be very overwhelming and cause a mixture of emotions. Whether you are preparing to relocate overseas or just considering it, this guide will help you prepare for this new chapter in your life.
1. Deciding To Move Abroad
Moving overseas is an exciting opportunity that few people can take advantage of, but it is not for everyone. The decision to move abroad can be a tough one and requires careful consideration. If you are on the fence, create a pro and con list for the move.
Think of the great, and not so great things about relocating internationally that might sway your decision. If family is a big part of your life, it may be hard to leave them. On the other hand, if the relocation is temporary, that may not be a deterrent.
Join expat forums for the country you are considering moving to and ask others about their experiences. This will offer tremendous insight and firsthand knowledge of what it is really like to live and work abroad. Regardless of the circumstances, ensure you give yourself adequate time to make this life changing decision.
2. Choosing The Right Moving Company
The right moving company can make all the difference in your international relocation. Searching for the right mover can take time and you should evaluate multiple companies before deciding. Points of comparison should include quality certifications and global compliance levels, pricing and move support.
Certification and Compliance – Since the company will be shipping your goods to another country, it is important they establish credibility. So, choose a mover that is FIDI-FAIM certified. A FIDI-FAIM certification is a quality and compliance standard that is internationally recognized, and a FIDI Accredited International Mover (FAIM) complies with over 200 quality requirements.
Pricing – Ensure you understand the international moving quote you receive and what it includes. To obtain an accurate quote, the moving company will send a representative to your home for a visual survey of goods, or conduct a virtual survey online. All charges should be easy to understand and explained upfront, so take the time to ask your salesperson clarifying questions.
Move support – Moving abroad is a complicated process, especially when it comes to customs, prohibited items and scheduling. Having a dedicated, expert move coordinator to help is essential for filing customs paperwork and providing timely updates on your shipment. Be sure you choose a moving company that offers this invaluable resource to its customers.
3. Negotiating Your Relocation Contract
It is important to understand what relocation assistance, if any, your company offers. Don’t assume the relocation package or corporate moving service will include everything you need to make your relocation successful. Reach out to your human resources representative or your designated relocation consultant to learn what you can expect in terms of financial assistance for your international move, and what is included in that budget.
Do your research, determine what you need, then negotiate the terms of the relocation until you feel comfortable accepting the international assignment. Remember, your company wants you happy, healthy and productive when working abroad.
4. Bridging The Culture Gap
One of the most challenging parts of an international move is culture shock. Being in an unfamiliar country for the first time is exciting, yet stressful. You may feel disconnected and disoriented as you navigate new territory.
While these feelings may not be completely avoidable, you can ease culture shock by learning about your new country in the weeks before you move. Learn about the history, people, language and social cues of the country.
You will want to understand what to expect in simple day-to-day tasks, such as grocery shopping and getting to work.
If a Relocation Management Company (RMC) handles corporate relocation on behalf of your company, you may have access to additional resources to help you with area orientation and cultural training to help ease the effects of culture shock.
Moving abroad is an exciting opportunity which will provide a unique experience and a lifetime of memories. Use these tips to help make your international journey one to remember!