Step 1: Going expatriate

When you accept a position in Asia, lives are going to change tremendously. You are joining a group of highly flexible and adjustable people and will broaden your horizon substantially.

Only a few years living and working in this continent will change your perspectives, your view of the world and make you feel different from many friends and relatives who have never left their home country.

Step 1 assists you in making up your mind if you want to enter a new chapter in your life and probably change forever into an expatriate (short form "expat"). The term "expatriate" derives from the Latin words "ex" meaning "out of" and "patria" meaning "homeland". Expatriate is generally used for people working outside their home country for a couple of months or years. Some refer to them as migrant workers and Singapore has created the term "foreign talent" for those expatriates with higher skills and qualifications.

Children of expatriate parents are called Third Culture Kids who grow up to be Third Culture Adults who themselves will turn again into expatriates. Global companies nurture this new breed often for obvious reasons!

Expatriates tend to feel different from their compatriates when they return. Many have problems to readjust and will take up further assignments abroad as soon as possible. Your life will change in many ways!

Before you decide follow these rules of wisdom:

  • Do not discuss going abroad in the office before your contract is finalized.
  • Assess your personal situation and career prospects.
  • Make yourself familiar with the target country.