Moving abroad to work

Deciding to leave your home country and work in a foreign country is never an easy decision to make. Yet the move can be made simpler by preparing for it.

The first thing to do is to reflect on your reasons for moving abroad. Will the move help you achieve your goals?

Next, look at job boards in the chosen country to understand what is and isn’t available. Don’t just stick to roles you would have applied for at home.

Re-thinking who you are

Think of your skills and qualities in terms of this new job market. Some things which you would have taken for granted back at home could well be a prized possession. For example, being a generalist rather than a specialist could be something which puts you ahead of the rest for certain roles. Language skills are another bonus. Re-write your CV and update your LinkedIn profile with this in mind.

Reach out to your contacts

Make contact through friends, Facebook or LinkedIn with other people who have made the move before you. Reach out to them to understand which pitfalls to avoid. Perhaps there could also be job opportunities they know about.

Money matters

After having determined the likely salary you will manage to secure, look into the cost of living in the country of interest.

Consider monthly rental costs and how much you need to pay in advance to secure accommodation. Consider cost of utilities and the cost of a typical shopping basket compared to home.

Transport costs can be substantial in some countries, and the lower rent in areas which are a bit cut off could be wiped off by the additional cost of transport.

Make sure that you can cover at least three months of expenses before leaving, unless you have already secured the job. Having a buffer also works in case you need to change jobs or are made redundant in the near future.


You also need to understand the process of applying to work and live in the country. Being aware of these processes and bringing the required paper work from home, helps you prepare better. Also consider aspects such as health care and other benefits. You may need to do some work on this before you leave.

Make sure that your documents are not about to expire. You should also get copies of some of the important documents such as your passport, birth certificate, police conduct certificates, academic certificates and similar, just in case.

Do some research into what needs to be done at home before leaving. For example, the tax authorities and other government agencies might need to be advised to avoid problems later on.


If you are bringing your children with you, do some research as to where the best schools are located. In some countries, your address will be the main determining factor as to where your children will be placed. Consider this when renting, besides other factors such as crime rates in your area of interest, children playing areas and similar.

Preparing for the move will help you avoid a lot of hassles and allow you to hit the ground running.

Good luck with that!