When you receive a job offer, it is a great way to move forward to your chosen career. However, when you see that your job offer will lead you to another country, there are a lot of questions that would pass your mind. Is it time for you to try moving overseas for your career? Can you adapt well?

I know I had endless sleepless nights when my company propose to relocate me. I am excited at the opportunity at a new foreign land. I am scared that I am going to be homesick and feeling alone. I am apprehensive that I wouldn’t do well in my new role and made that big effort to move go down in shame.

And all these feelings are legit and valid. So before you move, here are the things to consider to see if relocating for work is worth it.

Relocation cost

Before you move to another country for work, you must know who is paying your relocation. Usually, the employer should have a relocation policy in place to help you move to a new country.

The policy will give you an idea of what the company will cover for the relocation and how will they hand it over. Companies vary when it comes to relocation policies, especially if the assignment is overseas and if it is for a long-term job.

The higher your position is or if your role is specialised and irreplaceable in the foreign land, the more likely your relocation package will come with an array of benefit with a fat paycheck. However, if this is the dream company and dream job that you want to work in, sometimes forking out the expenses yourself to move nearer to the office makes you more attractive to hire you.

Future of the company

It can be difficult to say where a company will be in the next five years. Some companies may look strong at first, but they may end up bankrupt in the next few months.

Do your research on the stability of the company you are working for and see if they will be able to support your move for a long time. If you think they are stable business-wise, you can be reassured they will support your move. If not, you can opt not to move.

You do not want to heave all your belongings, say tearful goodbyes to your family and to only find out that you need to move back to your home country after 6 months of being there because your company closed down.

Promotion opportunity

Review your company’s promotion guidelines and ask your recruiter about it. Take time to talk to your supervisors on the opportunities in the overseas offices. Don’t be afraid to ask because relocating for a job overseas is not easy.

You want to make sure that your move is to upgrade your career, and not the other way around.

Comfort level with change

Even if the move is fully paid by your company and the job is very good for your career, you can’t really be sure if you will be ok with the move.

It’s possible that you may find it hard to relocate to another location and it may even overwhelm you. Ask yourself if you will be able to adjust and if you have a family, see how the move will affect them.

I must admit that I didn’t consider this when I first relocate for work. I thought I will be fine, after all, I was used to being alone most of the time. Until the realization that I took a lot of things for granted hit me hard. It was a rough time spending festive seasons without your family or when you feel really sick without homecooked food.

I counted myself lucky that I managed to build friendship over time and had a great support system at my workplace.

Spousal agreement and comfort level

If you have a family, you will need to ask your spouse if they will be open to the move. If you will be moving the entire family to the new location, you need to consider if they will be able to get a new job in the new location or adjust. Speak with them about the move so you can plan accordingly.

When I relocated to Shanghai for work, I was single. My parents are both pretty young and healthy. My younger sister is still living with them. So there wasn’t much for me to consider.

If you are in a relationship, you will need to consider the consequences. Will your partner follow you? Will your partner able to find work or advance his / her career in the new country? Is your relationship strong enough to sustain long-distance if he or she is not following you?

Children comfort level

If your child will be moving with you, see if they will be able to adapt to the new location. See what education options are available for them and how close they are to your new home. You should also check their health requirements and their other needs to see if you can get it on your new home.

Now that I have a child, I would think twice about relocation. The younger the child, there are more to consider. Like vaccinations, health check-ups, education etc.

Backup plan

Finally, you should always have a backup plan available in case the relocation doesn’t work out. You should check what options are available for you if you go back to your original location or you will be able to find a new job in your new location.

I didn’t have plan B when I choose to relocate to Shanghai. However, when I relocated the second time (this time to Kuala Lumpur), I made plenty of back up plans. In any case, Singapore (my home country) is just 45 mins flight away so it is easy to hop on a plane whenever I miss my family and friends.

Conclusion

Relocating for a job can be tricky, especially if there’s a lot of unknown. When you get a job offer that will cause you to relocate, do your research and ask yourself if you can do it. Remember, there will be other opportunities out there that you can try if you think it isn’t right for you. If you think it is time to move, then do it.

If you still hesitating on whether a move is good for your career, read these:
What You Didn’t Know You Could Negotiate When Relocating for a Job?
Top 10 countries in Asia to Relocate as an Expat
Why Working Abroad is a Good Career Booster?

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28 replies on “Is Relocating for Work Worth It?

  1. An Important bit of advice; brilliantly expressed.

    But don’t let fear alone hold you back. “Seek and you WILL find.”

    But Do check out all the possibilities and HAVE a back up plan if your REALLY concerned. And if you are taking your family with you; consider carefully and prayerfully there Needs and WANTS.
    Thanks Kally, God Bless. GREAT Post!
    Patrick

    Liked by 4 people

  2. I like that your checklist includes both emotional and purely practical considerations. It’s easy to get caught up in the solely emotional side of things when a big change presents itself, whether positive or negative in outlook. However, it’s important to think about the practical side as well so it doesn’t lead to new emotional crises later on.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Very wise advice Kally and gives me more insight into you … they are two huge moves but being closer to family is important especially with a young one!

    Hope you are enjoying the seasonal humbug 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Great things to consider one I would add is will you and/or your family be able to afford to visit at least once a year. Technology has advanced, but there is nothing like seeing your loved ones in person and scratching the itch of homesickness …

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Valuable advice, Kally. The part about the company’s future is something most people don’t consider. Nonetheless, they most definitely should.

    My first job, post-graduation, moved me a seven-hour drive/90-minute flight away. I only can imagine how challenging it would have been if I had a spouse/children at the time! Even if your spouse is willing to relocate, that doesn’t mean he/she can do so without giving up his/her current job.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. I just moved to another country few weeks ago for my new job. I totally can resonate what you said, especially on “taking things for grants”. I’ve started feeling the struggles of working abroad… Hope things will get better soon!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Big hugs. Things will get better soon. Remember to take small adjustment steps, have no expectations and enjoy the ride. I have more Relocation articles, just find them under the column “Relocation”. 😉

      Liked by 1 person

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