Travelling for fun is a whole world away from travelling for a job abroad. When you travel for fun, it’s your choice. Your choice where to go, when to go, who to go with, and if you want to go solo. When you travel abroad for work, things are often a little more regimented. If you’ve made the decision to move abroad for your career, there are several things you need to know before you travel for your work overseas.
Prepare ahead of time
When a person is hired to work abroad, the particulars of the move itself sometimes come at the last minute. You’re fortunate if you’re given enough time to plan everything smoothly. What’s important is that once you’ve signed that job contract, ready yourself emotionally to leave your comfort level. Bid a temporary goodbye to your friends and all your usual haunts – it’s a bit cheesy, but it gives you something of a sense of closure for this part of your life. A particularly practical tip is to have a list of all you need to pack.
Details, details, details
When you have the go-signal and papers to travel, you need to be clear about the itinerary. As they say, the devil is in the details. One wrong move and you could end up stranded on your stopover. Find out if you have a direct flight or not. If you have a stopover, the time in between flights should at least be 2 hours long. Even two hours is a bit on the short side if your layover is at a big, busy airport. I almost missed my flight back home one time because I landed and exited on gate M and my connecting flight was on gate A, which was at least a mile on the other side. It was partly my fault as I was rubber-necking so much in the Duty-Free section. Ultimately, be alert when you have connecting flights – more so if the flights are serviced by different airlines.
Coordinate with your company representative
Get the contact information of your company’s representative. It can be someone from your manpower agency, or the Liaison officer, or the recruitment officer. Whoever it is, somebody should be in charge of delivering you (you’re an asset) safe and sound to the premises. Make sure you have the means to contact them. Ask for their phone number, email, Viber, Whatsapp, and/or Messenger to cover all the bases. Know beforehand the address of your accommodation, and if you will be met upon arrival. If you’re not, ask what is the best way to get there. As the song goes, “You can reach me by caravan, cross the desert like an Arab man…get here if you can”. Get an Uber, though, it will be easier.
Not everything is rosy for a migrant worker, though. There are those who become victims by fake recruiters, or worse, become drug mules. If you are given a tourist visa – that’s a big clue right there. Your visa should give you the right to work in your country of destination. Another modus operandi is if you were given a gift-wrapped package to give to somebody or told to pack your things in a suitcase provided by another person – you need to refuse these as these might contain illegal substances.
Have all copies of your documents, including your visa and passport, with you at all times. Leave copies at home as a back-up. Take a picture of your documents and the address of your accommodation on your phone. Put them in a separate folder as it will be handier than rummaging through your bag. For truly portable documents, you can digitize and verify them with TrueProfile.io, and you get to have the benefit of future-proofing your credentials as well.
For more pointers on bagging that job abroad, head on over to our blog!