Starting a new job abroad can be daunting, but should you be scared?
As the technological market is now booming it is even more common that international companies are hiring candidates from everywhere in Europe, and beyond. Having a willingness to attract talent from anywhere in the world is crucial in giving companies a competitive edge. The global war on talent is real and you may find yourself being asked to relocate to another country with the company you already work for, or you might find yourself attracted to a great opportunity in another country. This relocation can be quite a daunting thing. What is the best way to prepare to ensure that the experience is a positive one?
Regardless of the level of seniority of the role you are taking up when moving abroad, there are some common challenges for anyone moving to a new country. For example, the spoken language may be different to what you are used to using and you will need to adjust to a new work environment. To deal with these problems, you need to start your job with an open mind. Trying to use your breaks or coffee time to chat with people is pivotal. If you’re new in the office, you’ll feel more comfortable using your free time to call your family or your friends: that’s the first mistake you can make. Interacting with people and trying to understand the group dynamics will help you and your colleagues to have a better idea of you. This will more than likely translate into making your own job easier as you get more informal help and guidance from these colleagues. You may have been used to learning things on your own in the past but this will be very difficult in a new country. Not only do you need to develop your knowledge of your own job, but you need to get a grasp of the wider economy, the market and where your new employer fits into this. This is something that takes time to learn and the more curiosity you can show about it, with those around you, the better. So, being genuinely proactive about integrating with your team is not just a pleasure but could really help your professional growth.
To really integrate, you need to be willing to step outside your comfort zone, and drop out of your typical patterns. You may have a lot of experience operating in your role, but the norms you were used may not work as effectively in your new role and new work environment. This could be especially true if you’re a Manager or you’re going into a position with leadership responsibilities. You may need to adjust your approach based on how the company has done things in the past. Ideally you can get a good understanding of how things are done and adopt the positives smoothly while also putting your own stamp on things. Showing this appreciation for the historical practices will be appreciated by your team.
While also integrating with the team and the company, you also need to monitor your own progress. Make some personal short term goals and refer back to these. Try to build a 30, 60 and 90 day plan. Really reflect on these regularly. Having these things to aim for will help to keep you focused, motivated and take away the potential overwhelming feeling of starting fresh in a new job, company and country. These goals should relate to your professional life but also your personal life. When you achieve your goals, reward yourself. This again will keep you going in the right direction.
Finally, remember why you have chosen that job. It’s a brilliant achievement to be selected for a job, from all the applicants, when you don’t even live in that country. It really is an impressive achievement just getting the job in the first place. Now all you can do it go in with a positive outlook and do your very best.