5 Things to Consider
The cost of living in your desired country and city will be covered by your salary, so it’s important to keep that in mind when applying for certain positions – will that position provide you with the salary you need to survive and thrive?
Do you know the language which is spoken? Is it a requirement, or is your given language widely spoken there? Are you willing to learn? Is it an easyish language to learn, or have you set yourself the immense task of learning a language internationally recognized as difficult (like Icelandic!)
First of all, do you have a passport? You’re definitely going to need one if you’re serious about this move abroad, and you’ll need it before you start filling in all the applications as they usually need information from your passport document (like your full name, passport number, date of passport issue and expiration).
Each country has its own rules and regulations, and it’s important for you to be aware of them before you make a faux pas that gets you deported and banned for a number of years… or worse, a prison sentence. Little things like eating chewing gum can seem normal to you and I, but in Singapore it is banned and carries a hefty fine.
Other visa requirements can include immunisation against certain diseases (eg. yellow fever in South America), a particular amount of cash in your bank account, or even someone from that country ‘sponsoring’ your stay.
The visas themselves can vary according to the length of your stay and the particular work you’ll be doing – eg. the difference between a US B1/B2 visa and a D1 visa. If you don’t have the right visa then the country reserves the right to deport you, and may activate an exclusion period against you (you can’t return to the country for a number of years). In Australia this exclusion period is often 3 years – which could seriously mess up any plans you’ve made.
This seems pretty obvious, but you’d be surprised at how many people don’t do this. I’ve met two people, on separate occasions, who had applied for a position abroad, did all the necessary paperwork and jumped through all the hoops, got on a plane and flew to the location… only to be held up at gunpoint, had all their money and belongings taken, put on a train to send them to a different country altogether and abandoned, sans passport and the means to communicate for help.
These ladies were lucky, yes lucky. They were able to find their consulate and were sent back home, shaken but alive.
I’m sure many of you have watched the movie Taken with Liam Neeson… Think about it.
If you’re not researching in advance you’re literally putting your life and future in danger.
On a less serious note, researching your potential employer beforehand can give you an idea of their ethics and values as a company, the salary potential, the location in relation to where you would be living, company perks and general ‘feeling’.
The largest spa company in the world, Steiner, owns majority of the spas on the cruise ships. This allows you to see the world, while working. Their contracts are 7-9 months, and the money you make is yours. Accommodation and food are provided by the ship you’re placed on.
Additional training is compulsory for first-time Steiner therapists and it’s gruelling, but it is the perfect way to learn how to be the best therapist you can be in this industry with the hands-on experience you gain.
I did a contract through them and it was the most rewarding experience of my life. I thought I knew what hard work, sales, ethics and professionalism were before, but the knowledge I gained was so much more than I ever expected. The friends you make, connections you gain and general life experience is what sets you apart from other therapists thereafter. I know of some spas that refuse to hire someone unless they’ve done a contract with Steiner, as that calibre of therapist is unmatched.
Plan and Prepare in Advance
It’s rarely a case of ‘quick and easy’ when searching and finding placement in a company abroad; the visas may take a few days, sometimes particular medicals are expected and their lab tests take weeks to arrive, police clearance can take a while, additional training may be expected… It’s in your best interests to get the ball rolling as soon as possible to avoid losing time on any hiccups and hurdles you’re bound to face along the way.
Speaking of police clearance… You did know you’d probably have to get one, right? Most countries aren’t too keen on allowing people in with a police record to their name. The severity of the offense does count, but if you were planning on a raucous weekend with friends where drugs and other things could be involved (like drunken driving) maybe you should rethink and keep your name clean for that job you want.
It doesn’t matter how much of a Nancy Drew you are, sometimes the things you’ve spent the most time investigating are still going to flop. As an example, a friend of mine was all set to go working on the ships. She had passed the interview, did her medical, got the visa and police clearance, completed the additional training and… was sent home because her medical documents arrived too late for her to get her ship placement. The courier service let her down and she’s now stuck waiting another year before she can finance another try at leaving the country for work abroad.
Moving abroad can be exciting and scary all at the same time. It’s up to you to make it as easy on yourself as possible, like researching and planning in advance.
Whether you choose to move for a short period of time, or you’re looking at something more long-term, you need to make a note of what your priorities are; what you’re looking for in the provided lifestyle as well as the new company. Either way you’re looking at a huge growth in character and in your professional life.
Go for it! Expand your horizons and see how much more you can be! Maybe the end result is that you return to your home country and find your personal niche. Maybe you live like a gypsy and travel the world for a few years, tasting the foods and living in the different cultures… How will you know which way you go, unless you try?
What other factors would you consider? Do you have any questions or feedback? Let us know in the comments and we’ll get back to you as soon as possible!