What to Consider Before Accepting an International Job Offer

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Careers are an important aspect of our lives, which means we sometimes have to make sacrifices in order to progress - like moving abroad for a great job opportunity.

Such a decision should not be taken lightly. The process of moving abroad, the culture of your new country and even the job itself might not be what you were expecting. If you're thinking of moving abroad for work it's certainly worth seeking a great deal of career advice before confirming acceptance and packing one's cases - these are the six things you need to consider before accepting the position.

1) Visa

Your future employer will be well aware of the lengthy visa process if one is required, so ask as many questions as you can. For example, question the likelihood of your/their success in securing a visa for you in this position. In many countries, such as Australia and the US, companies have to prove that there are no nationals who can do the job instead of you. Ask the employer whether they have a good case for hiring you, before you get your hopes up only to discover there are in fact many nationals with your skillset.

2) Wages vs living costs

Of course you'll want to find out how much you're going to get paid before accepting the job, but you'll also need to find out how your wages compare to local living costs. Wages in Thailand or Bali, for example, might be small compared to the UK, but as living costs are so low, you could be much better off. In cities like Paris, Geneva and Melbourne on the other hand, you could find that what seemed like a high wage actually doesn't stretch very far - so do your research. There are websites that will help you calculate the cost of living in locations around the world.

3) Tax

One problem faced by many international workers is tax. If your tax will be going to the country where you're planning on moving, make sure you're not paying tax in the UK too. Tell HMRC that you're leaving the country and for how long.

4) Language

It sounds obvious, but if your new job requires that you speak English, you might not have thought too much about the challenge of learning a foreign language. If you will mostly be speaking English at work, consider how you'll learn the language. The easiest way to learn is by speaking it, so ask your new employers if they would consider providing you with a private tutor. If you have a basic grasp of the language, meet up with someone for a language exchange to practice before you go.

5) Accommodation

If your employer is going to provide accommodation with the job, make sure you find out exactly where you'll be living. Ask for photos, research the neighbourhood and find out what's included - Wi-Fi, electricity, insurance etc. If accommodation isn't included, plan how you're going to find somewhere yourself. You might want to go ahead of your start date if possible and stay in a hotel while you look, or employ a local agent to help.

6) Quality of life

Think about what kind of life you would have if you accepted the position. It may be a fantastic opportunity, but if you have to leave because you don't like the city, or you find the language barriers a strain, then ultimately this could force you to take a step backwards.

Moving abroad for your career brings many challenges, as well as great benefits and adventure. It's crucial you consider the difficulties, but just like any other obstacle in your career, remember these can be overcome with motivation and hard work.


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