Work without borders


What’s its really like to relocate for a job.

A lot of us tick the box on our job applications, ‘are you willing to relocate?’

But when it really comes down to it, how many of us would be actually willing to go through with it? Suzanne, my work colleague, and I have actually ticked that box and relocated for work.

But what are the implications, and is it really worth it?

For Suzanne it was career progression, being the test subject for her previous companies new intuitive Suzanne moved from Ashford in Kent to Watford

But in any case, a change of location can be daunting, Suzanne was actually put up in a hotel for 10 months and had her expenses covered by the company. However, she recalls “it was a lonely experience at times, the only person I knew outside of work was housekeeping”.

However, she recalls, “at the same time it was the right move for my career.”

So much so that after 10 months she was moved on to Aylesbury in Buckinghamshire.

However, what if it is not just a new job, a new location but an entirely new country?

In 2016 I moved from South Korea to Dublin aside from the fact I’m neither Korean nor Irish, but British and the change wasn’t as dramatic as when I first moved to Korea, you would think this should have been an easier transition.

The fact of the matter is whilst change is a good thing there are so many things to consider and not just swapping Carlsberg for Guinness[ .

Like any capital city, Dublin isn’t cheap add the influx of EU and Brit  expats moving over finding a property to live in is no easy feat. I lived in Airbnbs for two weeks before I found somewhere to live.

Another reason why moving can be difficult is the minefield of paperwork involved. For example, a tax code in Ireland call a PPS number, much like the NI number here in the UK, it is a fundamental requirement of holding any job.

Depending on the country banks can require a variety of different things from Letters from Employers and employment contracts to tenancy agreements or even payslips and tax codes.

Whilst this all makes perfect sense it can be a taxing process which is as time-consuming as it is stressful.

When I moved from Ireland back to the UK, I had to go through the exact same process of finding a house add on; the fact that I needed furniture and car and all that entails around owning them tax, insurance etc.

Finally, the added cultural difference I have spent time in Hong Kong, Rome, Seoul and Dublin and all are very different, they all have their pros and all have their cons.

Is it worth it? It is very much down to the individual. Moving for a company is an exciting prospect whether it’s a new company, a promotion or setting up a start-up.

There are so many variables to consider, first of all, is it the right move for you?

They say timing is everything, in this case, it couldn’t be truer?

Is it going to help your career progression?

Have you considered monetary implications?

The language or culture can be a mind field at times.

What’s the political landscape of the destination?

What’s your working environment going to be like?

How much paperwork is involved?

And what do your colleagues, friends and family think? And would you potentially have a similar support network whether you are going?

 The list is endless and you can add your own if you have been through the process.

Whether it is worth it is entirely down to the individual. All my moves have been extremely stressful but at the same time brought me moments of joy and amazing memories that most people I know cannot relate too. At times I feel blessed to have experienced what I have, meeting amazing people, forming bonds and lasting friendships with unlikely individuals. For others it is something they either haven’t considered or have no desire to do as their world and what they need is right in front of them. For me looking at all the stamps in my passport far outweighs any other accomplishment I have gained in my working life.

I will leave you with a quote which sums my experiences.

De tous les livres, celui que je préfère est mon passeport, unique in-octavo qui ouvre les frontières” By Alain Borer

“Out of all the books, the one I prefer to read is my passport, unique in octavo that opens the borders.”

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