What makes a good expat?


These days more and more people are choosing to leave the United Kingdom to seek a better working, and personal, life abroad. Working abroad comes with many bonuses to lure weary Brits away from the grey skies and heavy taxes that are synonymous with England, be it increased wages, more opportunities for educated professionals, more attractive surroundings, or simply a need for change, yes there are certainly many reasons for people to choose an expat life.

However, whilst there may be a large amount of positives for moving aboard, there also comes a lot of work, a lot of planning, and a lot of change, change that for some, may be too much. Some people may dream of moving abroad but ultimately it may not always be the right option, remember working abroad isn’t just a holiday, it’s a complete life overhaul- you’ll be in a new place, with a new job, working with new people- you’ll have is a completely new life.

Such drastic changes could dissuade an individual from accepting that job offer overseas, so what is it that makes a good expat, what traits are useful for people who want to succeed abroad?

First of all, to succeed as an expat you need to be open to a challenge, you will need to be the kind of person who is always open minded with regards to new experiences. If you are the kind of person who hates the prospect of change, and prefers to go through life the easy way, then that’s fine but it’s probably not the right outlook for a potential expatriate. Bear in mind that as an expat you may have to start things from scratch- you’ll need to learn about your new home, where to shop, where to socialise, even where to live- and being un-adventurous in this environment will not serve you well.

It will also help to be a person who is willing to think outside the box, and not retreat into a shell when faced with scenarios that are outside your comfort zone. Other countries often have completely different culture and codes of conduct, what could be seen as wholly wrong in the one country can be the norm in another country. Having the ability to adjust your thought process to suit this new culture is an essential part of expat life.

It will also be important for your current life to be free from worries, if you have a lot of debts, or family commitments back home then they may hinder your transition. Try and tie up all loose ends before you go, that way you’ll be able to enjoy your new life to the fullest.

In reality most motivated and ambitious people have all of these qualities, sometimes they might just need to be prised out. Working abroad, should you choose to embark, will no doubt be one of the most exciting and rewarding chapters of your life. There is so much to learn from other cultures, and by becoming an expat you will surely grow as a person.