Relocating for a new job or promotion is a massive deal and – to some extent – a bit of a leap of faith. But as we all know, big risks can reap the richest of rewards.
Some people moving for work will head off for a couple of years with the intention to settle some debts, take advantage of tax-free earnings and return to the UK with a glowing CV and a nice nest egg for the future. Others will take a longer view and relocate with partner and children in tow, keen to make the most of their young ones’ portability whilst offering their family the unique opportunity to experience living a good life in a different culture.
Here are some considerations if you are presented with the opportunity:
Is the relocation package worth it?
Good companies offer a range of relocation packages and the best ones will be very flexible in terms of what they can offer you. Don’t be afraid to ask exactly what they can do for you (and pay for), and arm yourself with all the help you can in making this move as seamless (and inexpensive) as possible.
Who do I know?
Work out if any friends-of-friends or family members live where you’re thinking of moving to as well – the power of social media will easily facilitate this and you could be hooked up with a handful of new contacts within moments of posting ‘Anyone know anyone in Abu Dhabi?’ on your Facebook status.
Who will my friends be when I get there?
Your new office might come with a ready-made set of new drinking pals, dining companions or beach buddies – but maybe it won’t. You’ll probably get a sense of this before you move, but don’t be put off if your new place of work scores low on the social side. Mixing business and fun can be a double-edged sword, as we’re all no doubt aware.
Are kids in the picture?
Moving with kids can have challenges. What schools are in the area? Who will they socialize with in school or neighborhood? What will their diet me like in the new country? And don;t forget to ask the little one directly what they think.
What about furniture and belongings?
Cities with large expat communities have sale pages on Facebook for expats moving on to sell furniture and other useful household items they don’t want or need anymore, often very cheaply or even for free. This isn’t only a thrifty way to furnish your new home, but a great way to glean more insider tips from those who have been there and done it already. Don’t forget to pay it forward when you move on to pastures new!
Clubs help assimilation.
Whether it’s investing in a paddle board and getting down to your local beach club (this is a big thing in Oman right now, as well as in Brazil and Australia), joining a running club or finding a book group or wine society, use social media to check out what’s happening in your area so you can hit the ground running when you arrive.
Whatever you decide, make sure it is not an emotional decision, but a calculated one.