So you have scored that overseas job. Now what? So many people have come to see bagging an overseas job as the pinnacle of their achievement that, oftentimes, they fail to plan for the rest of their lives. Remember that getting a high-paying post is not the be-all and end-all of your goals, it is merely the beginning.
Don’t Upgrade Your Lifestyle
It’s very easy to think of things to buy now that you can afford it. The problem is that there is no end to the things you think you “need”. It’s easy to give in to your kid asking for the latest gadget, maybe because there is that guilt associated with not being with them. If you think about it, gadgets’ lifespans are very short. A thousand dollars for the latest smartphone may sound reasonable but they will be outdated in a year or two – it’s like putting your money down the drain.
Buying signature clothes and bags are also pitfalls that you need to avoid. As my Dad said, he’d sign my pants if I really wanted signature jeans. Branded things might raise your self-esteem, but it doesn’t get you nearer your goals.
I know that life is not a race and all that, and that you also need to take time to smell the roses. Enjoying your life, though, doesn’t mean eschewing your retirement pay.
Don’t Let Go of Your Ties
Humans are social animals, although it’s too easy to not get in touch with your family back home. In this Information Age where communication is cheap, there is no excuse to not touch base. Another way to also alleviate loneliness is to establish ties where you’re at. Create friendships at your place of work and reach out to your expatriate community. They will be useful in giving you information that you might not have found out on your own.
Not Preparing for Contingencies
Being in a foreign country is challenging in itself. Find out as much as possible about the country you’ll be living in before you go. This will include any documents you might need to get verified and if you need to renew licenses. You don’t want to be in a position where you’re likely to be deported because you did not renew your license on time. There will be times when you would have submitted it on time but you would also need to take into consideration the turn-around-time that organizations will need.
Create a Master Plan
Some overseas workers tend to forget the end result: to get a comfortable life. There are too many pitfalls that can hinder this once you’re already abroad. One way to avoid this is to make a long-term plan, then break it down in shorter time frames. Apply the S.M.A.R.T. (specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-driven) principles to your goals. This will make sure that not only do you concretize what you want, it will also be achievable because you have assigned a due date to each dream.
For example, your dream might be to have a car, a house and lot, and a running business to retire to. Those are specific, but you need to assign a price-range and you need to itemize how much you are willing to set aside for each goal on a per month basis. Give yourself a deadline so you can measure your success by how near you are to your target. It should also be realistic. You can’t really aim for a Porsche if it will take you a quarter of a century to achieve. Make sure that your budget has room to also plan for contingencies and well, life.