Overseas contract jobs are an attractive propsition for some workers who wish to move away from the traditional working life of 9-5, Monday to Friday. Taking on contracted employment abroad means workers get to shake up their routine and see other areas of the world. Of course this type of work also has its disadvantages. Homesickness, jet lag and living in temporary accommodation are among the problems faced by these workers. There are aspects of contracting abroad that you can prepare for, however, and Send My Bag has put together some top tips to help people who work away from home plan for their next job abroad.
Visas/ work permits
When deciding on overseas contract jobs, make sure you have the right to work in your intended location. Give yourself plenty of time to secure any necessary visas, especially if you require more than a tourist visa (usually around 90 days). Even if you don’t need a visa to travel to your destination, you may still need a work permit.
You should consider the tax implications of taking on an overseas contract job, especially if you are doing more than just spending a few months of the summer working in another country. If you want to invoice through your company at home you need to make sure that you are paying all the taxes required of you in the host country. It may be advisable to seek expert help with this.
You will need to decide what currency you would like to be paid in. While this may not be a choice available to temporary workers, contractors should consider what currency will work out as the best value for them.
Workplace culture in your new location
In order to fit in to your new working environment and to avoid making any embarrassing faux pas, you should find out a bit about what it is like to work in your new location. This involves being aware of typical working hours, etiquette for greeting and speaking to clients and for contacting them out of hours.
Make sure you bring with you all the documents you might need to start your overseas contract job. You will also need to allow yourself some time for the relevant paperwork to be filled in and processed before you can start working. In some countries there is a lot of bureaucracy to contend with, so be prepared and remain patient!
If you are planning on taking an overseas contract job for only a number of weeks, a holiday let might be your best option, especially if it is out of peak season. As you will be booking for a longer period than most holiday makers, you may be able to negotiate a discount. It is advisable to research available housing before you travel abroad and make appointments to see properties as soon as you arrive.
Scout out the local area
Make a list of local amenities, including local shops, chemists, banks, public transport networks, etc in your new location. This will be especially useful if you do not have internet access straight away when you arrive. If you intend to use public transport a lot, find out if there are travel cards available to reduce the cost. If you are relying on public transport to get around, investigate supermarkets that offer home delivery. This way, you can buy in all the essentials you need to start living. If you are relocating to the UK for work, read Send My Bag's helpful guide to moving to the UK.
Send your luggage
As you will be frequently travelling back and forth between home and abroad, you will need to bring a significant amount of luggage with you. Airlines are making it increasingly difficult and extremely expensive to bring any substantial amount of luggage with you. It is also a real hassle trying to drag several bags with you onto public transport. Having your much-loved possessions with you, however, can help to turn your new accommodation into a home and can help ease home-sickness. So, why not ship your luggage to your new destination using Send My Bag.
Keep in touch with home
Overseas contract jobs might entail leaving behind close family with whom you will want to keep in regular contact. If are likely to return frequently to your work location you should purchase a local sim card to minimise the cost of calling home. These days, internet is essential, but you will probably want to find an internet service that does not tie you in to one/ two-year-long contracts. An internet dongle might be a good option to avoid a contract and the need to pay for a landline.
As you will only be in your new location for a limited time, you might struggle to meet many new people. Make the most of new connections you make at work and invite co-workers to get together after work. There will probably be other foreign workers in the same position as you who would be glad of the company. Use social media to find out if any of your old friends are in the country or to learn about local networking events.
Get some helpful tips for your move abroad here. Plus, Send My Bag has listed some essential criteria to consider when choosing which country to work in.
Do you have any words of wisdom for others thinking of taking on overseas contract jobs? Why not share them on our Facebook page?
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