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3 Realities Of Moving Abroad For Work


For some people, there comes a point in their career where there is nowhere else to go. If you live in a small city, you can quickly exhaust the possibilities for progression and new adventure in your employment opportunities – leaving you feeling like you’re at the top of the ladder when you really should have only just begun.


The idea of moving abroad in search of further work opportunities is a daunting one, but it is nevertheless one that’s considered by thousands of people every year. When you expand the scope of your employment opportunities, you open up the possibility of doing and experiencing things you only dreamt might be possible. It could lead to a totally new direction in your life – but is it worth it?


The realities of moving abroad for work can be tough to learn; especially if you learn them too late, when firmly ensconced in another country, having uprooted your entire life. While there is plenty to be gained from moves like this, it’s well worth keeping a sense of perspective and ensuring you understand both the ups and the downs…


Reality #1 – Immigration Is An Issue


You may move to a new role that takes care of the immigration issue for you personally, but what about everyone else? For example, if you move to the USA or UK (two common choices for work-related moves), then there are restrictions on who can travel into the country – so you might find that certain friends or family are unable to come and visit you. If you have a partner or spouse who might want to eventually move there too, then you’re going to be subject to immigration concerns too – you can learn more at to see what that might entail for you. Immigration is not something you have to deal with when you live in your home country, so having it suddenly be an issue can be a shock.


Reality #2 – It’s A Lot To Learn


Moving to a new country for a job isn’t just about learning your new job; you’re going to have to relearn how to do everything. You’re going to have to learn how to send mail; how to buy clothes; which cleaning products work. Sure, some things will translate across oceans, but a lot won’t – so you have to be 100% ready to basically relearn your entire existence.


Reality #3 – Cultural Problems


The biggest potential cultural problem is if you move to a country where you don’t speak the language, though this can be controlled if you target Anglophone countries such as those listed on Even then, you are going to be immersing yourself in a different culture – that’s going to take some time to get used to. For example, say you think it’s normal to have a glass of wine with lunch – your new colleagues might disagree and be shocked to see you doing so. You have to be prepared for a few awkward moments along the way as you accustom yourself to your new reality.

There’s no doubt that moving abroad for work can change your life and your career trajectory, and it’s wise to consider all the possibilities. Hopefully, with the help of the above, you now also have a more rounded picture of what the reality entails.