Consider these factors when deciding whether you should find your first job abroad

If you’ve recently graduated college, or are soon to graduate, congratulations! You must be here because you’re figuring out for yourself whether a life abroad is best for you immediately after graduating.

Many people migrate abroad because opportunities found there, generally, are better. Other times, people choose to work or study abroad because they’re looking for an adventure or a change of pace from what they’ve gotten used to their whole lives. Whatever your reason is, this is no small change, and needs to be reflected on and thought about deeply.

Moving abroad — whether permanently or for a time — requires a lot of mental, physical, and emotional stamina. It’s a different world out there, with different cultures and different systems. For starters, depending on where you go, even the climate is a far cry from what you’re used to in the Philippines, so that in itself is already a big adjustment.

If you’re a constant traveller, you’re probably used to little changes like that. But the truth of the matter is, whether you’ve flown abroad multiple times in your life or this will be your first time out of the country, living abroad is going to be a time for adjustment.

While you think about whether you should fly abroad immediately after college, here’s a handy guide of five factors to consider before you make the big decision.

  1. Your real reason for wanting to work — or study — abroad.
    Ask yourself, “Why do I want to work (or study) abroad?” What it is about a different country that allures you or that makes you want to go there? Whether it’s the change of pace, the culture, or better opportunities, you have to figure out the real reason you want to leave the country. You also have to think about whether you want this change to be more permanent or if you’ll have the goal of returning to the Philippines after some time. Moving abroad will take out a lot from you — not just financially, but also mentally and physically. You have to be ready with the preparation and the planning that comes with it.
  2. The cost of living, plus other things you need to research on.
    When you’re thinking about going abroad, whether it’s for studying or working, remember to factor in the cost of living that it takes to survive in a different country. While the opportunities that will be presented to you may be better, it may also be a harder adjustment in terms of finances because the cost of living is vastly different from what you’re used to in the Philippines. Everywhere on the internet, there are cost of living calculators that can show you how much an average day in a specific country costs. You can use this as part of research, something that is incredibly important in your decision-making. You should also try to ask relatives or friends living abroad on their experiences there so that you get a better picture of what to expect, because then this will help you make a more informed decision.
  3. The benefits.
    By benefits, it doesn’t just mean financially — think about the bigger picture:  What will moving abroad do for you in terms of mental, emotional, and creative fulfillment? Think more than just salary and financial benefits. Think about what you’ll get in terms of your purpose as a human being, as someone who is part of the workforce, and as someone living their life in general. These are all important factors to consider because you’re uprooting your life and moving to a whole new world.
  4. Your career trajectory.
    It’s also important to think about your career trajectory. This is perhaps the time to make a career plan. What do you want to achieve in the next five, ten, fifteen years? Where do you want to be, work-wise? When making the decision to moving abroad, think about that. Make sure to consider how you want your career and job life to pan out. Don’t make any rash decisions; think about whether you want to first study abroad or to move there a bit more permanently. Sometimes, a temporary situation — such as moving abroad to work on your postgraduate degree — may influence your decision. Give it a test run first, in other words, by choosing to study abroad first. If you need financial support, there are a lot of scholarships available for international students — check those out.
  5. The country you’re moving to and what you’ll be leaving behind.
    Finally, as you decide whether you should go abroad immediately after college, think about which country you want to move to and what you’ll be leaving behind. It’s important to know whether the opportunities here will help you in the long run or not, so make sure you’re making an informed decision all throughout this process. Think of the jobs and the schools you could potentially have and go to here first.