We all dream of a promotion at work and all the benefits that it will bring: a higher salary, more responsibility, and a new title. But what would you do if the promotion required you to move abroad to the company’s foreign HQ? Sure, the money might be very attractive but are you sure you will be carefree living in a new country?
Plus, you need to consider how the move would impact your family. If you were just moving on your own, things might work out fine. But now you need to make sure that your partner and children will be able to settle into a new way of life in a completely different country. Thankfully, there are certain steps you can take to try and make the move a lot easier on your family. You just need to read on to find out exactly what you need to do!
Research the Destination Beforehand
Even if you think you know plenty about the country you will be sent to, it’s an innovative idea to do plenty of thorough research before you accept the promotion. This will give you a great overview of the country and will help you to find out things that might sway your decision. For instance, it’s a good idea to look up English-language news sites that cover the country in question so that you can get a good idea of the current political climate. If things look economically or politically unstable, you might not wish to move your family as it could have a negative influence on your lives while you are over there. It’s also a clever idea to look up the city or town where you would be based. This then gives you the chance to research the best neighborhoods to live.
Discuss the Move with Your Kids
Of course, your kids will probably be very nervous about the prospect of moving to a foreign country. And this is very understandable, especially if they are currently happy at their school and have lots of friends! It’s important that you take the time to chat with them about the reasons behind the move. As most companies only send their employees to work abroad for a specific period, even if they have been promoted, there will be the likelihood of you all returning to live in your home country at some point in the future. You should tell them this to reassure them. But you should also frame the move as an adventure. Tell them that it’s a chance to explore a new country and experience a new culture. Once you start explaining it as a positive thing for your family, they will certainly come around to the idea!
Visit the Country If Possible
If you have never been to the country before, then you should try and plan a trip with your family before you move there. Ideally, you should do this before you must accept the promotion as visiting the destination might completely sway your decision! But if you have already decided to move for work, then you should be very practical during your visit and sort out some things. For instance, it’s a promising idea to look for a condo for sale and buy a property ready for when you do move. That way, you won’t be struggling to look for accommodation while you are trying to settle into a new office! Plus, it means you won’t have to waste money on rental accommodation once you arrive. You should also use the visit as an opportunity to look at school options with your kids. But, above all, visiting your new home is a chance to see the culture for yourself and get your family excited for their new life here!
Get Your Company to Fund the Move
Moving abroad can work out very expensive indeed. There are flight tickets that need to be paid for, and you will also have to ship all your stuff over to your new home. Often, a company will cover all your moving expenses. If they won’t cover the entire cost, then they should at least partially cover it. If your company hasn’t mentioned anything regarding these expenses, then you should ask them if they are willing to fund the move. You shouldn’t be shy about asking this; after all, moving to a foreign country is in their best interest. If you can’t afford to, they should step in to help you manage it.
Start to Learn the Language
One of the main things that put people off moving to a new country, even for work, is the language barrier. Obviously, if you move to another English-speaking country, then this won’t be a worry that you have. But most of, much of countries will speak a different language, which you and your family will face every day. If you have time, it’s an innovative idea to start language classes in your home country before you move. Then you will, at least, know all the basics of the language before you arrive, and will then be OK shopping and eating out once you get there. You should continue your language lessons once you have moved to your new country so that you continue to improve during your time there. In some cases, companies fund their employees to take a language course if they require it for work. However, even if you get your lessons paid for, you may still need to pay for your partner and children to have lessons. As young children pick up language very quickly, some parents simply send them to a local school rather than an international one, as they will pick up the language from simply interacting with the teachers and other children.
Think About Education for Your Kids
You might not be familiar with your destination’s education system so you will need to do some research into this so that you find the best possible school for your kids. There are two main options when you move to a foreign country: you could find an international school that closely follows the education system as your home country or you could put your kids into a local school that follows the destination’s system. The international school will teach children in English and will offer qualifications that are recognized in your home country so this could be the best option if you plan on returning to your home at some point in the future. However, the main benefit of sending them to a local school is that they will feel a lot more integrated into the country, and it can really help them learn the local language.
Meet Other Expats
Most major cities in every country will have communities of expats who have moved there from across the world. Lots of expats always come together to support one another in the foreign country, and it’s a clever idea for you and your family to join these communities. There will be various groups you might want to join, such as hobby and sports clubs. You might even find an online forum set up by expats where people can gather information and ask others for advice. Many expert groups also organize social gatherings, such as day trips and meals out. Joining such a group is a fantastic way to meet new friends.
Moving your family abroad for work might seem like a difficult prospect but, if you follow these tips, you will find that the move goes a lot smoother than you might think!