The big jump
Moving abroad isn’t just a big physical jump, as any expatriate will tell you. The transition to a new life in a foreign country also means a lot of other things too, such as:
- Learning a new language
- Absorbing a new culture and new ways of doing things
- Integrating into a new social structure
- Exploring and having fun
- Choosing the most suitable accommodation
- Settling in to a new job in unfamiliar surroundings
… and a whole lot more besides. It’s one of the biggest life and or career decisions people can make. And for a great many, it’s also hugely rewarding. But since we’re all only human, it’s always a good idea to bear in mind that there are likely to be some big challenges along the way as well as potential rewards.
Mental health and the workplace
The UK mental health charity Mind estimates that around 1 in 6 of the country’s workforce is at any one time suffering from stress, depression or anxiety. Whether the figures are similar in countries overseas isn’t something that there are readily available figures for, but it pays to be aware of these issues and find out more on managing them.
There are a lot of websites with information on stress management, for example. And sometimes it can be very helpful in staying stress free to know what the stress triggers can be, and how to deal with them. And with the number of UK hospital admissions for stress rising, now is an important time for all of us to make sure that we can avoid stress where possible.
Staying in touch
On the one hand, when you leave for another country you still have your family and friends at home – so it’s good to stay in touch and get all the same support you’re used to from the people you know best. But at the same time, it’s going to be fun making new friendships in your new destination. If you’re in an area where there are a lot of expats you may find that there are regular expat meetups that are organised with this purpose in mind.
And remember …
Moving abroad is a fantastic opportunity in all sorts of ways. So when you’re out there and making progress with your career and life overseas, take some time out to reflect on just how far you’ve come and how much you’ve achieved.
About the author: Jen Jones writes in a number of online locations on business health topics such as international health cover and expatriate wellbeing.