Travel: 5 Things To Consider When Choosing To Work Abroad


When I think about the Kenyan job market, one song comes to mind and its Randy Newman’s ‘It’s a jungle out there’ because of cutthroat and sometimes disorderly and confusing process of finding a job. Fortunately for us, the world is a global village and telecommunication and the internet has provided us with information and opened us up to new job markets and opportunities in other countries.

There might be several reasons that would make you consider going to work abroad. One of them could be because of the limitless exposure you are bound to get, it could be a desire to try a new experience in order to make you more competitive not only in your home country but internationally as well. It could also be due to the frustration of unemployment in Kenya so you opt for greener pastures abroad.

Whatever your reasons might be, there are some general reasons to consider and these are:

Passport and visa requirements.

Your paperwork is your bedrock. Your passport and your visa are your tickets to expatriate employment. In Kenya, the process of acquiring a passport has been made fairly easy through the ecitizen government platform. What usually turns out to be an obstacle for most people is understanding the visa requirements because they vary from country to country. Finding the correct websites to read and sifting through the information to get to what you want is also a challenge. However, on JobVine, the information search has been made very easy. The website has a map that outlines the visa and passport requirements for each country. All you have to do is click on the country you’re interested in and a pop up will appear with a link to the websites you need to be on.


Kenya Visa requirements by JOBVINE

Understand the cultural differences.

Read up on the country you’ve identified. Find out the national and official language and whether or not it differs from the ones that are spoken in Kenya. This will help you to plan in advance if you’d need to take a foreign language class before you leave.

The culture of the country also entails the food and form of dress. Some countries favour a more conservative style of dressing while others tend to me liberal. This will help you pack appropriately so that you don’t end up offending the locals. You’d need to know the type of food that is mostly eaten there and adjust your dietary requirements if need be.

Knowing the social norms will also help in your day to day interactions at your new workplace and your life outside of it.

Cost of living in comparison to your salary.

You can go through magazines or blogs that will help outline the cost of utilities and food. If you have already been offered a contract, do a side by side comparison of that cost against your salary per month. This way, you will know how much you’d need to live comfortably.

Even if you’re leaving Kenya to go another country to prospect for a job, you can still find out how much you’d get paid and do the comparison. This provides you with a clear assessment of how sustainable life will be in your new country.

Your long term career plan.

How does your job abroad map out in the overall scheme of things career wise?

You’d need to look at your end goals and what you hope to achieve. If you’re planning to return to Kenya at some point, you should choose a job that will allow you to maintain ties with people and organisations in your home country as opposed to completely cutting you off. These ties will give you a smooth transition into the job market when you come back.

Your family and friends.

Working abroad will have an effect on your relationships back home. You, therefore, need to think about the extent of the implications that it will have on these relationships and whether or not it will be worth it.

It might mean moving your family with you if you’re the sole breadwinner and you have young children or finding an affordable and reliable form of communication with the people back home so that you stay in touch and maintain those relationships.

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