You’ve packed your bags and are ready to go on a new adventure in a foreign land! Working abroad is a rewarding experience for millions of people worldwide. However, it is always wise to know the key dos and don’ts when moving to a foreign country to ensure you have a fantastic time and avoid any common pitfalls.
Things you should do abroad
Keep an open mind when making friends
When you are going to a different country on holiday, you are open to new experiences and customs, but once you are working there it is easy to feel isolated and alone. Experts believe loneliness can be as bad as smoking for your health, so prioritising new social connections is a must. Get involved in different activities and hobbies that allow you to connect with locals, or speak to expatriate groups who can give you valuable insights.
We all want to be treated with respect, but learn what that means in the culture of the country you are going to be working in. Build good, professional relationships with your new colleagues, whilst exhibiting emotional intelligence – what is customary in one country can be unusual or uncommon in another. Don’t be afraid to ask for help and seek guidance from people who understand your position.
Research, Research, Research
Youtube videos. Social media posts. Blogs and articles. You have a wealth of free knowledge available for you to use to find out what you need to know from people who have been in your situation. Whether that’s personal safety tips’, knowing what the coolest restaurants and chill-out spots are, or reading about your industry in that country (such as travel nursing).
Things you shouldn’t do abroad
Ignore local laws
There is refusing to adapt to local cultures, and then there is actually committing a minor offence. If you do something out of step, you may be fined (or worse!) for something that could be relatively innocuous, such as jaywalking or misreading traffic signs. For example, did you know that in Singapore, it’s illegal to bring chewing gum on your flight into the country? Find out more from your employers, new colleagues or local ex-pat groups about what is allowed or not allowed in the country that you are in.
Be careless with your money
While moving can be expensive, the cost of living can vary in different areas of a country. Have enough breathing room in your budget for unexpected expenses, and consider housing, heating, and other costs in the place or places abroad you work and live in. Ensure you have a sensible budget in place for additional security to give you extra peace of mind. Some security solutions can be costly, but affordable and portable options like DoorJammer can help bring peace of mind.
Disregard personal safety
Don’t consider the reputation of a safe country to be an invitation to not follow common sense. Whether you are temporarily or permanently living in a supposedly ‘safe area’ or moving into a bad neighbourhood, always make sure that you lock your doors, know the local emergency phone numbers, try to create good relationships with your new neighbours and colleagues, and keep valuables hidden from plain sight. If you are unsure if your door locks are up to standard, DoorJammer’s unique design helps to reinforce your door even from the strongest intruders.
Moving into a new culture and way of life isn’t easy. With so much uncertainty, remember that you are on a new journey abroad and that while it may take time and some dedication, it will be a rewarding, life-changing experience!
Let us know what you think of our list and what we’ve missed out!
Don’t let safety concerns get in the way of your adventure. DoorJammer can help you be confident and have ease of mind in a new environment, allowing you to stay safe wherever you are as you concentrate on other things.
Find out more about how DoorJammer can help you feel protected and safe.