Working abroad is a great way to grow as a professional and discover the world. The first thing you need to know is that working abroad can be more than just a job offer. It can be a life-changing experience, the chance to see many different cultures, and make lifelong friends.
If you’ve decided that you would like to work abroad, there are some things that you should think about before you decide where to go or what job offer to accept.
- What are some of the best countries to work in?
- How to choose the best country for your career goals
- Do you need a work permit?
- What are the benefits of working abroad?
- What are the challenges of working abroad?
What are some of the best countries to work in?
Some of the best countries for remote work are Norway, Australia, Canada, Sweden, Switzerland, the Czech Republic, and many more.
Norway is one of the top ten countries in the world to live in, and its high quality of life attracts well-educated ex-pats. It’s also one of the richest countries in the world and it has a vibrant economy with a stable currency. It has a well-developed infrastructure, and it’s ranked as one of the top ten places for women to work.
Furthermore, they have strict requirements for employers when it comes to work and work contracts. According to SmartEmploy, an authority on the hiring process for companies in Norway, the work contract exists for the safety of both employer and employee, as well as to make sure that regulations around salary, sick leave, etc., are adhered to. (Read more on this in their guide, Hvordan bli en lærebedrift.)
Sweden is also considered to be one of the best places to work for those who want to live a less hectic life, with low taxes and sustainable energy sources like hydropower. Sweden has an egalitarian culture that makes it easy for foreigners to integrate into society, and it offers a strong social safety net for those who need it.
How to choose the best country for your career goals
There are several factors that you should consider when choosing a country for your career. For example, there are countries that have a significantly lower cost of living than others. Some countries have a better quality of life and shorter working hours too. And lastly, some other countries offer more opportunities for career growth and higher salaries.
It is important to list down your expectations for a country before you start researching on the country you desire to move to. The country you choose to work in should coincide with the needs that are most important to you, and that are provided for in that country.
Do you need a work permit?
For many countries, you will need a work permit if you want to work there. This is a document that is issued by the relevant authorities of that country. A work permit grants the holder the right to take up employment there.
To obtain a work permit, you would have to apply for it through an employer in the country you wish to take up employment in, and meet certain criteria. Some countries require all employees to apply for a work permit, while others only require citizens from other countries or certain occupations to apply for one.
What are the benefits of working abroad?
When you start working abroad, it’s normal to experience one or more of the following benefits:
- An increased sense of global awareness, which can lead to better problem-solving skills, greater tolerance for diversity, and more appreciation for other cultures.
- An expat’s travels can expose them to new ideas about how things could be done differently. If they return home, they may bring back new ways of thinking with them. A recent study found that people who had worked in more than one country were less likely to believe in the concepts of “nationalism” and “ethnic homogeneity.”
What are the challenges of working abroad?
While there are certainly upsides to working abroad, there are also some challenges. Here are a few of the most common:
- Language barriers
- Work/life balance can be difficult to achieve
- Cultural differences – it can be hard for the rest of your team to communicate with you and understand where you’re coming from
- Finding a place is challenging; it can be costly; and renting or buying property is not always an option
- New laws, taxes, etc. – new country means new laws that you have to follow
When we think of a career abroad, we often think of it as a struggle. We assume that the challenges that come with it are enormous and we assume that we will be at a disadvantage in the workplace because of our language skills.
It would be wrong to say that moving abroad is never worth the challenge or the risk. In fact, when you do it right, you can have an easier time in your new home country. This is because when you live in your new country for more than 3 months, you start to learn about the culture and inevitably speak the language.
You can then work on your language skills and become more confident in speaking with people from different cultures. So not only will working abroad advance your career; it can also enhance your cultural and social life.