4 Moves to Prepare for an International Assignment

Globalization has made it possible for a lot of professionals to experience working abroad. Top-level companies offer exchange programs overseas for training. Likewise, they open positions from their main headquarters to high-performing employees from local offices.

If you work for a global organization, there’s a huge likelihood of getting an international assignment at one point of your professional career or another. It can be a short-term arrangement or a permanent one. Whichever of these assignments you end up with, it’s essential to prepare for it.

To provide you an idea of the things you need to do should the buzz about your international assignment becomes a reality, relocation and storage companies have pieces of advice that you can use. Four of them are listed below. 

1. Go through your possessions to determine what to bring, dispose of, give away, sell, or store.

Clearly, you cannot bring everything you own to the country you’re relocating. So, organize your possessions to better manage your upcoming move.

  • For the items to bring – these shouldn’t be a lot. These are items that you normally use and don’t need to be replaced.
  • As for the things to dispose of, these are mostly rubbish that you can no longer use and no longer serve their original purpose
  • For things to give away or sell, these are your personal items that are still useful but you don’t need to bring. You can put them up on auction online or you can dedicate a day to hold a garage sale. The money you’ll earn can be used for your new beginning overseas.
  • Lastly, the items to store are valuables that you cannot bring but cannot relinquish ownership of. You need to find a reliable storage company and go through the various options of safe and convenient storage solutions.

Storage companies are not created the same – compare your options thoughtfully. You need one that offers units in a variety of sizes and pricing. Along with that, you need the storage facilities to be secure, with the ability to maintain the quality of the items you will retrieve and use again someday.

2. Learn more about the culture of the country you’re moving to.

This is one of the things that you need to do because it will allow you to assimilate much faster and easier. Likewise, it will prevent you from making serious social faux pas that may derail you from establishing meaningful connections in the new workplace and community.

If the country also speaks a different language, take the time to enroll in a language class. This is a must because your job and daily life will rely heavily on your ability to communicate in the vernacular.

3. Read up on the climate of the region.

Research on the climate of the country you’ll be relocating to because it may be too different from what you’re used to. Countries with extreme weather can prove to be too challenging for one’s healthespecially if you have a medical condition that can flare up due to an unfamiliar climate. 

Discuss this with your bosses. If you are the only choice for the position in the international office, informing them about this concern will likely prompt them to make the best living and work arrangements for you.

It’s worth noting too that learning more about the typical weather of the place you’re moving to will direct your packing and shopping for a new wardrobe.

 If you’re coming from a really cold nation and you’re moving to the tropics or the desert, you definitely will not be needing any of your thick, padded coats and footwear. These are items you may want to give away, sell, or put in storage before you leave.

4. Collect all the important documents to bring with you.

If you’re married and your company will be letting you bring your family, the documents you need are:

  • IDs
  • Marriage license
  • Your children’s birth certificates
  • Contracts for assets or properties under your name
  • School records and others

You need all these especially if the international assignment is a permanent one. You may one day decide to purchase your own home and open a bank account. Plus, when your children go to school, they will need their documents as well.

Moving abroad for your job sounds exciting but it’s not going to be an easy transition. Get all the help you can and consider utilising immigration consultant services to ease the pressure of ensuring all the steps for the move are sorted. Your international assignment may be everything you need to advance in life. Before you leave for greener pastures, settle all your affairs properly and make the necessary preparation for the new life that awaits.


Chris Humphrey is the General Manager of Easytruck Moving & Storage. In 2013, the company combined their expertise in professional moving services & storage to create an entirely new approach to the business – and mobile storage was born! Easytruck now operates over 30,000 sqft of air-conditioned facilities in three convenient locations in Dubai and is the only Mobile Storage operator in the UAE.

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