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Question – What should I consider when moving abroad for work?

Considering relocating? Here is some advice from our career coach on switching countries for work.

Question: What are some relocating tips and tricks for when moving country for your job? Snigdha, Singapore

I asked some folks in my network who have relocated what their tips were. Their advice is divided into three categories, which I’m going to call practical, personal and spiritual.


Research, ahead of time, the tax system, the healthcare system, schools (if you have kids!) and how to open a bank account.

Create a budget and stick to it, secure safe and affordable accommodation and be organised and detailed orientated about the move.


There was a big emphasis on establishing networks of friends and colleagues in the new country, especially by joining clubs or taking up hobbies that would allow you to meet people outside work. Doing some of this work online, before the move, can really help.

People also thought it was important to embrace the culture and get to know the locals, and avoid the pitfall of just hanging around with other expats. Shopping at local markets, eating at independent places, and walking around a lot were all suggestions to get to know a place more intimately. There was an emphasis on pushing yourself out of your comfort zone.


Having a positive mindset, and accepting setbacks or negative emotions as part of the process of transition, were mentioned by several people. Be patient and kind to yourself, as some difficulties are inevitable.

Don’t expect a move abroad to solve all of your problems. It many ways it can be a fresh start, but you will still be you, and you will still have the same problems you had before. A move overseas can certainly be a catalyst for personal growth, but it doesn’t make it any easier…

In summary

Nobody who I spoke with regretted it. Without exception, everyone said that while the experience was tough, they found it enriching and character building – and would do it again!


With thanks to Richard Chapman, Thomas Pascoe, Vinegar Kumar, Liina Fadaee, Prerna Wadika, Hashim Srihindi, Dr. Vinod Jyothikumar, Evelien Haels, Laura Kittel, Hemantha Pamarthy, Larbi Gallagher, Sebastien Fleury, and Deepshikha S.