International job relocation – 12 essential factors to consider
At Oaklands Global we appreciate that in the world of Aviation and Aerospace, it is often essential to move across international borders. There are many factors to consider when relocating your job internationally and I’ve listed twelve of them in this article to give you food for thought when considering your next move.
Choosing which country makes a sizeable difference to the international job relocation experience and what determines the level of relocation difficulty are many of the other factors we discuss throughout this article. The key is to do extensive due diligence and research the various factors relating to the country you may be moving to. Remember that contrasting countries to your own allow you to explore exciting new cultures, languages, food and cuisine, different lifestyles, climates and outdoor pursuits, etc. Question: How established is the countries expat community?
Safety should be a top priority when considering any relocation. Ask yourself what are the risks? Is private security for your home a requirement? Other things to consider include the weather; this can implicate safety, e.g. floods, tornados, hurricanes, monsoons, etc.
Check the UK Foreign Office for the level of risk, which can fluctuate, e.g. the level of risk will rise after an incident (e.g. terrorism, change of government, natural disaster, etc.)
Safety shouldn’t necessarily be the deciding factor on whether to accept an international job or not, just understand the risks and how to reduce/minimise them where they arise. Question: Have there been any incidents in recent years involving expats?
Family is the all-important; consider the country you are considering relocation carefully. Important family factors to consider include safety, schooling, health and also cultural and language barriers. Countries with similar cultures, the same language and a strong expats community are more likely to be warmly received by family members.
In some aviation/aerospace jobs, the family of work colleagues can be important to your own family. So in interviews ask who you will be working with and if there are other employee’s with families on location?
Sometimes leaving the family at home and only visiting at holidays can be an option, especially if the job pays a premium rate or offers a rotational working pattern. Question: Will my family enjoy what this country has to offer?
Access to quality schooling has to be taken very seriously. Children are only of school age once and every year counts. Research the schooling available carefully, in many counties schooling will be to an excellent standard. Are there free of charge state schools or will you have to pay privately? Schooling may well affect the economic reasons for moving. Also, will you children have other classmates of a similar culture and background who can speak the same language? Do your research and know the answers to these questions before accepting a relocation role. For children, it’s also worth saying that experiencing life abroad, different cultures and lifestyles is an education in itself and something they will remember in adulthood. Question: Does the employer cover schooling fees?
5) Health systems
Always research the health system of the country you are moving to. Private health cover is advisable, but carefully read the terms and understand the true cost for the cover you want. Factor in the cost when you consider the economic reasons for moving and compare to your costs at home. Also, consider the health risks and diseases you may be exposed to in that particular country. As with everything do your research and you will be able to enjoy a healthy lifestyle abroad and embrace all the opportunities the new role can provide. Question: Relocating with your family? Does the company’s health insurance cover them too?
6) Job security
Truly understand the security of the job you plan to relocate for. If possible always make sure you have preferable contractual terms, e.g. a minimum of three months’ notice. Be sober and look at the role in a pros/cons type of way. International job relocation can be very rewarding, just make sure it’s the right role to move to, this is the same advice as with any job. Question: Have you done your research on the stability of the company and/or the specific contract you are being employed for?
7) Social implications
There undoubtedly will be social implications of moving abroad for work. These don’t have to be all bad though, a strong expat community could actually improve your social life as expats often form a strong bond. Also consider social connections at home, how important are your relationships, e.g. partner, parents, siblings, wider family, friends, etc. Naturally moving abroad will impact these relationships and is a factor that should not be underestimated.Question: Does your package offer annual return flights home?
8) Cultural challenges
International jobs will undoubtedly cause cultural challenges, which could include religion, attitude to work, drink and food differences (e.g. alcohol), mistrust by foreign naturals and more. With the right attitude, you should be able to overcome cultural challenges and work in a role you enjoy and learn/experience new cultures and learn more about yourself, your family and other lifestyles.Question: Are you willing to adapt accordingly to live and work within a different cultural environment?
9) Expatriate communities
An active expatriate community can make a world of difference, particularly where there are strong cultural differences and language barriers compared to your home country. Statistics will vary from country to country, but for UK residents the most populated expat communities in order were Australia, USA, Canada, Spain, New Zealand, South Africa, Ireland, France, Germany and Italy.
An expat community can offer a “home away from home” type of experience. Do your research and learn about the expat scene, it could make a tremendous difference to your international role. Question: How important is it for you that there are other expat employees working for the company?
10) Return flights
The cost, availability and length of return flights are all factors to consider. Prohibitive costs will restrict the number of occasions you can visit. Low availability of flights may cause you have to use complex and costly multi-leg flights, which all adds to the pressure. Additionally the length of flight needs to be considered, e.g. Australia takes nearly a day to fly to from the UK, whereas Spain is 3-4 hours.
Having said this, many people working in aviation/aerospace may have access to discounted flights, which could ease any financial burden. Always enquire about this during the interview process to see if any subsidies are available. Question: How easy is it to fly home and what are the potential cost implications for regular return visits?
Ensure you complete research about the tax regime both in the UK and abroad. Many people think there is no UK tax implication when working away from home, which is often a mistake. Research as much as you can about the tax of the new country. This could even be a factor when accepting the job; countries like Maltafor example have very low tax costs.
It’s highly advisable to seek the expertise of an Accountant who can give you a complete picture about tax and also an overall financial health check for your overall move.
Question: Does the country in question have a tax equalisation programme with your current country of residence?
Laws of course vary from country to country. It’s important to research the laws and make sure you understand them before choosing to relocate. Examples of laws could include religious intolerance, lack of freedom of speech, different discrimination laws, alcohol bans, etc.
Research the laws for the country you may be moving to and think could you live with these laws before you actually decide to move. Usually this is not too much of an issue in most countries, but maybe depending on the country you plan to move to. Question: How similar are the laws in comparison and are you fully committed to abide by them?
We hope you’ve enjoyed our guide to international job relocation. If there’s anything you’d like to discuss contact us here at Oaklands Global, we’d be delighted to hear from you.
Oaklands Global is an international aviation & Aerospace recruitment consultancy. We specialise in supporting companies globally with permanent and contract recruitment services across all industry business units. To discuss your Aviation Job Search please visit our website: www.oaklandsglobal.co.uk