Five ways to reinvent your expatriation

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Published 2020-06-08 10:02

You will agree that moving abroad, whether alone or with your family, has never been an easy thing. It's, therefore, crucial to have proper planning, but above all, keep in mind that things won't always turn out as planned. If the global health crisis has compromised your stay abroad, here are some tips for survival.

Look for new opportunities

If the industry you work in has been spared by the financial crisis resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic, you are in luck, but not everyone is as lucky as you. Today, the careers of thousands of expatriates around the globe are at risk. While some have already been fired, others have been temporarily laid off. We don't want this to happen to you; still, there's no need to panic and pack your bags if it is the case. First of all, assess your profile and your skills to determine the other sectors in which you could be hired. For those who have been temporarily laid off, why not find a part-time job? You would be able to make some extra cash. Keep an eye on job adverts on job sites, on social networks and public job boards, and pay attention to word of mouth. In this way, you won't miss any opportunity.

Change of status

Freelancing is an interesting option for those who have particular skills, especially in IT, communication, design, etc. Feel free to ask people around you for new opportunities. Your professional network - if you managed to expand it during your stay - can be of great help. If you have developed an innovative project, why not take advantage of the current situation to start your own business? Many countries around the world are currently implementing new immigration policies to stimulate their economies through investment and entrepreneurship. However, make sure to check with relevant authorities beforehand regarding your change of status from employee to that of an entrepreneur. You will probably have to apply for a new visa and register with some organisations before starting your activities.

Redefine your budget

The rising cost of living looks inevitable in the current context, and this is likely to be a serious issue for those who have just been fired or temporarily been laid off. Again, panic will lead you nowhere. There are solutions you may not have thought of. First, reassess your budget, whether you are alone or with your family. Obviously, there are costs that you will not be able to escape, such as rent, or your children's school fees. Explore the various ways in which you can cut on your expenses - like cancelling non-essential subscriptions (gym, leisure club, Netflix, etc.). Another solution which may seem drastic is to find a more affordable accommodation to cut costs in terms of rent. Once things get better and you start earning normally, you can get back to your usual lifestyle. Also, live like a local instead of buying mainly imported foodstuff and products. Your monthly expenses will drop considerably.

Pursue your studies

Being unemployed does not mean you have plenty of time to do nothing. Consider it an opportunity to reinvent yourself. Have you ever thought about getting a new degree? If not, your spare time will be of use. You don't really need to enrol at a university as a wide range of online courses are available for different types of profiles. This will allow you not only to boost your profile but also to acquire new skills that might be of use in your field of activity or another. And if you have always dreamed of learning the language of your host country or another foreign language, you'd better get started! Knowledge of foreign languages is an essential criterion for candidates applying for a new job.

Go back home?

Even if none of these methods works for you, don't give up. Whatever the reason for your stay abroad, you will always find a way to get back on track when things go wrong. Of course, everything will depend on the country in which you are currently living - it may have been more affected than others or have more strict immigration policies. If so, why not give it a try in a neighbouring country until things get better? For others, crossing the border to go to work in another country is an option, especially since many countries around the globe are gradually lifting their travel restrictions. Obviously, it is strongly recommended that you inquire beforehand with your embassy about the conditions to be met and formalities to be fulfilled. If this is not an option for you, you might consider going back to your home country for some time, but that doesn't mean wasting your time. Consider this an opportunity to think about the future - whether you will go back to your expat country or move to another country.