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Working abroad?

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Sabine Baumeister

Living in Mongolia, from Germany

"Having a network of expats in Ulan Bator has made the long move from Germany much easier."

Henrik Olsen

Living in Mongolia, from Norway

"When I first moved to Ulan Bator, I had so many questions and apprehensions, but the InterNations network helped me find the support and answers that I needed!"

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Working Abroad

Working abroad is both a great opportunity and a major challenge – on a professional as well as on a personal level. Many soon-to-be expats are taken by surprise by the sudden prospect of venturing overseas. We have compiled a guide to help you deal with the challenges of working abroad.

Often the amount of time between appointment and the actual start of your job abroad is far from adequate, given the amount of preparation required for a successful expat stay. If you want to make sure that your time as an expat is a sustainable one, don’t follow a head-over-heels approach to working abroad. Try to embark on this adventure well-prepared!

Preparations

When preparing for your expat assignment, you should pay attention to the following areas: administrative issues (contract, visa, work permit), practical issues (housing, healthcare) and cultural issues. The latter includes international etiquette for business, which is an important aspect of working abroad. Without an awareness of social and cultural differences, you might fail to achieve the results you were hoping for. Working abroad as a self-employed person or “self-made expat” is an endeavor requiring some special attention. With traditional expat assignments, a lot of the legwork that goes into the necessary preparations is done by the HR department of your company. Without such assistance, however, it’s entirely up to you. Read our articles on how to find a job abroad and self-employment overseas to learn more about working abroad as a self-made expat. Working abroad as a self-employed person or “self-made expat” is an endeavor requiring some special attention. With traditional expat assignments, a lot of the legwork that goes into preparing for your time abroad is done by the HR department of your company. Without such assistance, however, it’s entirely up to you to make working abroad work for you. Read our articles on how to find a job abroad and self-employment overseas to learn more about working abroad as a self-made expat.

Benefits

Working abroad can come with immense benefits for you and your career. The experience you gain can be of great value not only for you but also for your company. Thus, a successful overseas posting may significantly increase your chances of promotion upon your return. You should always try to make the most of your experience as an expat, e.g. by learning the local language, gaining extra qualifications, etc. Working abroad often entails certain financial benefits as well. Expats tend to be on a higher salary than their colleagues back home to allow for the higher costs of living. Try to get a good deal when negotiating your contract and budget your expat allowance carefully, and working abroad may enable you to afford certain luxuries which you are not used to at home. You can find more advice in “Your Expat Assignment Abroad”, “The Benefits of Being an Expatriate”, or any other article in this section.

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