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Tips for working away from home

18 Jan 2017

Could the best decision for your career to be to move overseas? We take a look at some of the ways in which expats or contractors overcome issues with being away from home…

Do your research

PSR International specialises in recruiting to the construction industry in the Middle East, Far East, US, Canada and Australia and we also have a sister office in the UK. As a result of this and the very nature of the industry sectors we support, we see many foreign nationals coming to work on prestigious projects with leading construction firms here in the Middle East, Far East, US, Canada and Australia. Prior to committing to work for any overseas organisation, it is crucial that a significant amount of time is invested in researching that company before committing to a relocation. 

Perfect your video interview skills

It goes without saying that if you are currently based thousands of miles away from a potential employer that they are most likely to request the early interviews are done via video or conference call. To maximise your success here, we’d recommend sourcing and watching some videos that offer tips and advice on the best techniques to employ when being interviewed remotely.

Pros and cons

To help you decide if working away from home is right for you, make a detailed list of the pros and cons that face you. Pros are likely to be the benefits of working abroad including remuneration and career advancement, whilst cons are going to be coming to terms with having some distance between friends and family.

Dealing with distance

Once working overseas it’s a good idea to diarise communication slots with friends and family. That way both parties know when to expect to be able to talk. Initially, your family may not be keen about you moving away but once they are reassured that they will hear/ see you regularly this will really help. Social media is key here and can obviously play a vital role in making sure no one suffers from isolation.

Meet new people

Possibly the greatest advantage of working overseas is the opportunity to meet, work with and socialise with a new set of people. Experiencing a new cultural way of life will add breadth and depth to your personal and professional life but it is important to get involved so as not to feel isolated. There are huge expat communities in places like Australia, Japan and the Middle East so tap into those and you’ll soon feel closer to home.


This is a time to really shine.  Working for a new company with a new team, you can start afresh and really target your objectives to boost your career for the current project and with a view to opening up new ventures in the future. Focus on your role and seek out any new opportunity that will allow you to develop and expand your career. Ask for additional responsibilities and be prepared to go the extra mile.

Have a plan for coming home

Again, this will reassure family left at home but also provide some clarity for yourself. If your contract is temporary then your return home date will most likely centre around this but if you have a permanent contract then it’s important to agree annual leave with your employer to allow you to make trips home.

Revise the rules

Wherever you relocate to, be aware that employment laws and rules and regulations may differ from home. Check things like working conditions, permits required to work, remuneration and annual leave entitlement etc., your recruiter will be able to help with this is you are unsure.

Go on holiday

It sounds obvious, but before taking the plunge, book a holiday to the country where you are looking for work and spend some time there getting a feel for whether or not it could be for you.

Our construction recruitment specialists are based in New York and would love to help you find your dream job. Contact us in confidence, register or send us your CV and let’s get started!

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