Visa / Travel documents
Well, this one is to be started as soon as you finish accepting an offer for a job abroad. Make sure your passport is valid for at least a year. Many embassies take time to complete VISA formalities and demand a lot of paperwork. Siguraduhin lang na may sapat kang oras para ayusin ang lahat ng requirements na kailangan at iba pang travel documents na gagamitin.
Work Visas usually require a letter from the employer for approval of your stay and work period in a specified country, make sure you have that in place already. (Ikon will of course help you with all this).
Money reserve and banking
Bago ka sumabak sa bagong buhay sa ibang bansa, you should have an estimate of the monthly cost of living in the country that you are moving to and reserve your money for 1 to 2-month backup for ease of expenditure and emergencies. Napaka-importante nito at para lamang sa iyong kasiguraduhan. Your first salary will only come after 30 days and hence, you should have enough money in your hand.
If possible, try in advance to open a bank account in the country you are moving to as soon as possible, as this will help in channelizing your salary every month and securing your savings as well.
Research the new country and its culture as it will differ from the Philippines. Alamin mo ‘yung lengwahe na gamit nila at subukan mo din mag-aral ng kaunting basic na salita nila. These days, there are many mobile applications which help in translation. Remember to download one or two. Around the world, locals will always appreciate if you try to speak their language at makakatulong din ito in case of emergencies.
Maaari ka ring maghanap ng language courses in your budget and shortlist the ones near your vicinity. When you are new in the city with less things to do, it will give you something to do in your free time and will introduce you to new friends.
In many countries, finding a place to live can be a major task if your employer does not provide accommodation. Before moving abroad, make sure your initial accommodation is taken cared of, at least for a few days. Habang hindi ka pa nakakaalis, mas makakabuting maghanap ka na din online ng mga posibleng kwarto o apartment na maaari mong matuluyan. Make a list then contact and visit them pagdating mo doon. This will also give you an idea of cost of living and the cost of comforts in the country you are moving to.
Medication/ Health Insurance
If you are on some kind of medication, take along all necessary meds with you. Also remember to check if the incoming country rules allow you to bring those medicines in your hand-carry. If not, put them into your checked in luggage.
Mahal magkasakit lalo na kung nasa ibang bansa ka pa at nag-iisa. Make sure you have medical insurance if your employer does not provide it. It is always a good idea to take in advance health insurance, which covers the medical costs of the specific country you are moving to.
Working hours and holidays
It is a good idea to know your working days and hours in advance. In most parts of Asia, even Saturday is a working day. Whereas in Dubai and other Middle East countries, they usually work from Sunday to Thursday while Friday and Saturday are rest days.
Know your working hours prior to starting your job and also find out if the country has a culture of overtime. Maaaring may shifting din like you could be working an early morning or a night time shift. You can always check with your Recruitment Manager about your working hours and ways of transportation for odd times.
Packing and dressing
Ito ang madalas na challenge when travelling, lalo na ngayong mas matagal ka maninirahan sa ibang bansa. But still make sure to pack efficiently and resourcefully. Try not to overstuff but that does not mean you have to leave the essentials behind. It might take you some time to get acquainted with the new city to buy stuff hence, it is a good idea to take all that is necessary on a daily basis.
From your hairdryer to work or formal footwear, you need to carry a minimum of all basic requirements. Also, pack some smart formals. It will give you confidence in your first days of work and leave a good impression.
Exploration listWell, all work and no play will make you dull. Mahirap ma-bored at ma-homesick so mag-research and make a list of places you want to visit when you reach your destination. Things that you want to do, foods that you want to try. These will keep your excitement high about the place and give you topics to converse about with your colleagues. You can also plan group hangouts with your colleagues. It will help you in bonding with them and will lead to a fun atmosphere at work.
Keep in touch
Nakakalungkot magpaalam pero sa panahon ngayon, why say goodbye? Sa bilis ng technology, ang daming paraan to keep in touch with your old friends and relatives, it can be via Whatsapp, WeChat, FaceTime, Skype, internet calling and a lot more. These methods are economical and reliable for everyone.
You can always download these applications on your mobile and on your loved ones’ mobiles especially for those struggling with technology. This way you will always be near to your loved ones and with just a few clicks away.
A little lengthy but this exhaustive checklist will hopefully make your travel easier, maintain your excitement about the journey ahead and keep you connected to your family and friends.
Happy journey, adios!
About the Author:
Paolo Martel is the Managing Director of Ikon Solutions Asia, Inc., a POEA-licensed agency.
If you have any questions, comments or suggestions for future columns, please email Paolo Martel at [email protected] (Replies will not be addressed individually.)
For available jobs from the agency, visit their WorkAbroad.ph profile.