When applying for a job in another country, the selection process can often be prolonged. When you finally make it from the initial application to the shortlist and receive a job offer abroad, your natural instinct is to accept it and start your exciting new life overseas. However, before you accept a job offer abroad, you should take a step back and consider your options.
Most people dream about what their lives will be like if they choose to live and work overseas. Things like what the job market is like, how the salary will support living expenses etc. For those who go as far as applying for jobs, attending an online interview, or beginning the process of leaving their current job to move to their next role overseas.
However, before jumping into it, there are few things that need to be dealt with before boarding that flight and accepting a job offer abroad.
Things To Consider Before Accepting Job Offer Abroad
1. Understand the legal requirements
More often than not, it will be left to you to learn about the process of starting work overseas and learning the legal requirements. It’s worth speaking to an immigration lawyer who can talk you through these requirements so that you don’t miss any vital information about being a foreigner working overseas.
You can speak to them about important processes that may be in place, such as the need to pay higher taxes, whether you will be covered for sickness under the local health authority, or about the minimum wage and hours in place so that you’re not caught short due to a lack of understanding about your rights.
2. Learn the perks and risks
Some companies you may end up working at will offer life, health, and disability insurance either for free or from a small salary contribution. Some countries you go to will make this mandatory for all workers as part of their tax or national insurance obligations. However, some countries or companies do not have this as a legal requirement for the protection of their staff.
It is your responsibility to not just assume that these things are in place, but to investigate whether they are offered, the options to keep yourself protected and the cost to opt into it.
If things are not in place to protect you in this way then you may consider looking into insurance policies that will cover you for the duration of your employment. If that is also not an option then you should start saving in case of emergencies.
3. Read and Sign any agreements
For some countries, signing a work agreement may not be the norm. However, having something written down will help you to understand all of the terms of employment in case you need it for future reference.
Even if the case is that a standard contract is not usually provided, you should ask your employer whether they can provide a formal offer that includes any potential benefits offered alongside the role and company policies and procedures. You should have an agreement that at least indicates a start and end date, salary, terms of employment. If an employer fails to offer this then draft a letter yourself and ask for a signature to act as protection for both parties.
4. Compensation package
Knowing the right rate for a job is difficult enough when moving domestically, but it becomes considerably more difficult when moving internationally. The rate for the job will be determined not just by what the rate would be in the local market, but also by your value to this specific employer given the role they are looking to fill. Local hiring would almost always be less expensive, therefore there’s a reason they’re looking to hire you.
The first step will be to determine how your spending power will differ from your current position. You can get reports like Salary expectations to assess the cost of living and what you’ll need to earn. You must also consider your partner’s salary if they are currently employed. Will they have any problems getting work permits, and will they be able to use any qualifications to continue working in your new home country?
You should also consider what you are worth, which will need an understanding of the market for your skills, therefore it is important to gather opinions from friends and colleagues in your field. Any information you can obtain from people within your potential employer prior to accepting a job offer abroad might be greatly useful.
5. Consider your options
You almost always have the option to stay where you are, and sometimes you can negotiate a higher salary. If you’re incredibly lucky, you might receive offers from more than one potential company. Whatever your options are, you should carefully spell out all of the pros and cons of each option to ensure that you consider each.
Some compensation packages are negotiable, and if you believe it is worth trying to get a better offer, you should meet face to face to better test what is possible.
If you decide to decline the offer for any reason, make sure you do so in a way that does not burn bridges in the event that another opportunity arises in the future. If you decide to accept the job offer abroad, do it formally and look forward to your new position.
6. Implications for your career
Consider the long-term career implications of moving abroad for a new job. How will the role expand your skillset and give opportunities for additional career growth and development? Many people are concerned that if they go globally, they would fall off the radar of the company’s decision-makers — the old “out of sight, out of mind” adage. Communication technologies like Skype, e-mail, and video chatting help mitigate this risk, but it’s still essential to maintain communication with your existing network and report back to managers back home to keep them up to date on your progress and successes.
Moving overseas and starting a new life can be exciting, but will also require a lot of homework. Make sure you are equipped with all of the knowledge before you make the leap.