One of the biggest decisions you can make in life is to relocate to a new country. A different culture, new faces, and a whole lot of unknowns make for an undeniably exciting chapter in your life, but also one that can generate a fair amount of anxiety!
For some people, the biggest concern when relocating is starting a new job. To help you tackle this fear head-on and become confident in your new role, we’ve put together some tips that will make the transition a little easier.
Relocating for a new job can be pretty overwhelming, but the sooner you start to research, plan, and prepare, the less stressed you’ll feel.
Research the country and local area you’re moving to, getting to grips with the culture. Look into work visas and make sure you apply for yours in good time, before checking what - if any - insurance you’re likely to need, too.
If you’ve already got a new job sorted, your employer will be able to help you with much of your research. If you’re planning on finding a job once you’ve relocated, start doing some research into how you’ll go about that. Is it best to hand out your CV door-to-door or could a job board be your best bet?
By knowing what to expect before you move, you’ll find it easier to get your anxiety under control. If you’re unsure what sort of job you’re interested in, then make a mind map! Consider your skills, background and finances.
How much do you need to earn to live comfortably? How well can you speak the language? What skills do you have? Ask yourself these questions then browse our website to find opportunities!
Whether you’re a naturally anxious person or not, if your relocation is keeping you up at night, it’s important to learn how to calm your nerves. Some great tips to help reduce anxiety include:
Practising calming breathing techniques
Journalling your thoughts and feelings
Writing down a list of reasons you’re excited for the move
Getting enough sleep and exercise
Cutting down on alcohol and caffeine
Getting out into nature
Try to eat as healthily as you can
Creating a mood board of your dream life after relocation
Remember, too, that chronic anxiety is a mental health issue. When anxiety gets in the way of your life or brings you down, be sure to seek professional treatment. With the help of a trained therapist, you can treat the root causes of your anxiety and create tailored coping mechanisms to calm your nerves.
Anxiety can make the entire idea of relocating and starting a new job seem terrifying. In reality, though, it’s probably only a few specific things that are triggering your nerves. By taking the time to pinpoint what these are, you can begin to address them.
For example, if you’re worried about taking on new responsibilities, talk to your manager about what a typical workday will look like before you begin. Once you know what you’ll be doing, you can start researching your designated tasks to make you feel more prepared.
Or, perhaps your anxiety stems from the job hunt itself, in which case we recommend checking out our advice that’s tailored for people looking for jobs abroad.
By breaking your anxiety down into specific thoughts, it becomes a lot easier to manage. Once your nerves are under control, you’ll be better able to see all the exciting opportunities coming your way, too, which is bound to make you feel less anxious about your new job.
To feel more prepared for your new life, get to grips with the local language. Even if your job requires you to speak in your native tongue, your colleagues might not which will make it tricky to connect, and it’s nice to be able to order in a restaurant without pointing at pictures, right?
You’ll feel far better equipped for the move, too, and can slip into local culture without the anxiety of being a non-native speaker.
To speed up language learning, take classes or try out a language-learning app. Language apps can actually be really engaging and fun, especially if you have prior knowledge and just need to scrub up on your skills!
For more intense learning, a fast-paced course is your best bet, so that you can really immerse yourself in the language-learning process. Listen to music, watch TV, and read books in the country’s native language, too, and throw yourself into the culture of your new home.
Going into your new job with the expectation that everything will be perfect is bound to lead to anxiety. Instead, remind yourself that there will likely be hurdles to overcome and mistakes you’ll make along the way, and that that’s okay. The important part is that you’re willing to try.
Letting yourself fail or slip up is vital to reducing anxiety in the workplace. People aren’t perfect and no one’s going to expect you to get everything right on the first try, so don’t put that pressure on yourself.
Meeting new people can be an actual anxiety trigger, especially when you’re in a different country! But don’t let your nerves hold you back from making connections. In fact, the quicker you make friends with your colleagues, the less anxious you’re likely to feel about your new job.
Be prepared for the first conversations by having some questions ready to go. You might ask your colleagues if they have any advice for your relocation, for example, or what they like best about the local area. This opens up the conversation to non-work-related topics, building stronger connections and helping you get to know your team.
Say yes to going out to coffee or for after-work drinks, and prioritize making connections over easing your anxiety. Once you’ve settled in and have a group of friends, you’ll feel a lot more confident in your new role!
It might go without saying but staying in touch with your ‘home’ family and friends is super important for your mental health! Ensure that you take the time each day, or once a week, to reach out to your loved ones. It’s crucial not to let your new environment overwhelm you, and reaching out to friends or family can be a comfortable way to mitigate this.
Of course, it can be tricky with the time difference - but there are ways around this. This can be as simple as setting aside an hour each weekend to schedule a Facetime with your best friend, or your parents.
You might be thinking ‘But what if I don’t have anyone to stay in touch with’? In this case, reach out! You can make new friends just by putting yourself out there, be that at a yoga workshop, an art class, or just at local restaurants and cafes.
If you find that this is too anxiety-inducing, or if you’d prefer to start new friendships online, then why not try out one of the free friendship ‘dating’ apps? Making friends online and then meeting in a safe, public space can reduce anxiety and create long-lasting connections!
Self-care is a term that we’ve all heard a million times, but it really is crucial to your mental well-being! If you feel lonely, down or overwhelmed, take some time out to recharge and regain clarity with yourself. This can be as simple as taking a long walk, grabbing a smoothie, going for a swim or getting a haircut.
Do something for yourself that brings you joy - even if it only makes a tiny difference, it's a step in the right direction. Make sure to ask yourself if there is anything in your environment that you can change to reduce your anxiety.
For example, Is your room tidy and clean? Are you getting enough fresh air? Your health is the most important thing and influences all aspects of your life.
You’re about to be in a different country, starting a new job - that’s amazing! Not many people are brave enough to get where you are, so give yourself time to celebrate that.
When anxiety begins to rear its head, remind yourself of the achievements you’ve already made, be it deciding to relocate, beginning your research, or even securing a new role, and show those nervous thoughts about who’s boss.
Remember, this is a big move and could even turn into a life-changing experience, be proud of yourself!
There’s no doubt that you’re going to feel a little anxious about starting a new job in a new country; you’re human, after all. But with these tips, you should be able to manage your nerves better, feel the fear, and say “yes” anyway.