Guidelines for Accepting a Job Abroad

Due to the increasing movement toward globalization, more and more Americans are accepting jobs abroad. Nevertheless, it is not a decision to be taken lightly. For instance, if you are considering a job in another country, it’s critical to ensure that the employer presents you with a viable employment contract.

Writer, marketing consultant, and employment connoisseur, Anne Shaw presents a set of guidelines for those planning to take the leap abroad.

Accepting Job Abroad - Businessman holding laptop with virtual map


Your new employer should help steer you through the changes.

A good employer should offer you a quality relocation package by contributing toward the packing and shipping of your belongings, home sale assistance, as well as a stipend for temporary housing. In addition, they should support you in acquiring the proper visa and — depending on your particular circumstance – employment search assistance for your significant other. To bridge language barriers, many companies will even help re-locators comprehend new local laws, tax differences, and leasing regulations.

Get to know the company’s work-life balance standards.

When it comes to vacation plans and work-life balance, different countries have different standards and customs. Whereas the U.S. norm is approximately 12 to 15 days vacation time, London for instance, provides approximately double this amount. Be sure to inquire about any possible shifts in work culture.

Think ahead.

Before leaving a position in Europe, it is expected that you provide a full three months notice, as opposed to the U.S.’s mere two weeks. Therefore, if you become an employee in another country – rather than simply a U.S. employee fulfilling an international assignment – it’s important to ascertain how long your position is likely to last. Establishing this from the beginning could prevent a more complicated situation down the road.

Be familiar with your visa specifications.

Since work visas vary from country to country, make sure you research the stipulations surrounding the one you’ll be under. Remember that a reputable employer will assume responsibility for helping you obtain your work visa due to the intricate process involved. Nonetheless, be prepared to complete a copious amount of paperwork. Additionally, be aware that the banking processes and tax laws will also be at a variance, so make note of your specific employment status so you’ll know exactly how your income will be taxed.

Your taxes will still be filed with American IRS.

Bear in mind that even if you are paying taxes in a new country, you’ll likely still have to file with the IRS to indicate that you paid your taxes abroad.

Sort out any banking challenges.

Even if you have an excellent credit rating, getting credit in another country can be quite difficult. To avoid the hassle, open a credit card with an international company before leaving the U.S. Therefore, when you arrive you’ll only have to transfer the card, rather than apply for a whole new line of credit. Moreover, be sure to educate yourself on how to set up a bank account abroad. Research the minimums, fees, timing on transfers, as well as online capabilities. As a precaution, also look into obtaining a reference letter from your bank in the U.S.

Accepting Job Abroad - Luggage and passport


Consider the extras.

While the professional facets of your move are essential, Shaw reminds those relocating internationally to also take the social and personal factors into consideration. The following tips may help make your time abroad significantly more pleasant and contented.

  • Connect with fellow expats for camaraderie.
  • Get acquainted with local popular culture.
  • Prepare for the language barrier with basic conversational skills.
  • Reach out to and learn from your extended network.
  • Begin the visa process as far in advance as possible.
  • Don’t over-pack in the event you have to switch locales.
  • Get to know the driving laws and licensing differences.
  • And finally, don’t forget your visa when traveling between countries!

Fred Coon, CEO

Stewart, Cooper & Coon, has helped thousands of decision makers and senior executives move up in their careers and achieve significantly improved financial packages within short time frames. Contact Fred Coon – 866-883-4200, Ext. 200