Getting ready for an international assignment, you need to consider this
Going beyond the borders of your homeland is becoming a relatively “inevitable career” move – with few exceptions in the United States. Before hitting the ground, you need to keep these points in mind:
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You are expected to be “up and running”, day 1
Expats are hired because of the relative shortage of local expertise. Your new organization is expecting you to perform the moment you hit the ground. Accordingly, make sure you are well prepared to be effective before officially joining on day 1.
Have a plan for the relocation logistics
Relocation is hard, and if you have a family, it becomes a horror movie. Poor management of the relocation logistics will directly affect your focus level, hence your overall performance. To overcome this problem, have clear feasibility on the relocation details, timelines, and needed logistics to make sure these activities are smoothly moved out of the way.
Understand the cultural context
As obvious as this point might sound, a lot of executive candidates fall into this mistake, especially when they move to a different cultural context. Whilst business mistakes can be mitigated, in many perspectives, cultural mistakes are fatal. Hence, properly understand the context in which you will be operating.
A fresh start is the most outstanding opportunity humans get
Relocating to a new country is definitely a challenging mission. However, it’s an outstanding opportunity. You are relatively opening a clean sheet in your career path, which is seriously a merit. So, plan for this move with due attention.
Even if you were forced to move or some of the move logistics were not up to your expectations (i.e., Package, title, Roles and responsibilities, team size, country safety, cultural fit …etc.) it’s still an outstanding opportunity.
You are not a tourist!
Being in a new country is definitely an amazing opportunity to taste, feel, watch, and live a new experience. However, remember that you are not a tourist. You can’t plan a big activity each weekend; you can’t consume all of your evenings in discovering and trying. Truly, it’s important to build a healthy social life and to experience the country you are living in; however, you need first to establish a solid foundation for your work. You need to connect with your co-workers, meet customers, visit your shops, and watch your company ads and events. This all comes before exploring the country. In an ideal scenario, you will be lucky to explore the country, whilst building your work foundations.