Taking the plunge and working outside of your native country can be a nerve-wracking thing, but with the right planning and preparation it could end up being the best move of your life.
Here are some top tips on what to think about before taking the plunge and then when you are on the ground…
1. Put Yourself Out There
If you are looking for a position then put yourself out there – many successful candidates for jobs in other countries have taken the plunge and gone out to the country first to either look for positions, connect and network with people, or perhaps even for a face-to-face interview rather than over Skype or the telephone. Maybe even take an extended holiday and rent an apartment to get a taste of life there.
2. Research, Research, Research
Research the country, its history, culture and traditions. You might be going somewhere quite similar to where you currently live but it is almost a certainty that they will do things differently and you should do your best to learn about these and adapt yourself to their country.
@pgasofeurope I took a risk, went to a country I hardly knew. Began to learn another language. It was the best decision I’ve ever made.
— Danny Heard (@danthegolfer79) February 25, 2016
3. Understand the Golf Market
Just like everyday culture, the golf market has its intricacies and nuances in every country. We can see this at the Confederation of Professional Golf quite easily on a day-to-day basis as each and every one of our 37 Member PGAs operates in their own unique way.
Locate some local golfing ‘experts’, journalists, PGAs, their PGA Professionals and the amateur Federation and simply send them an email or ask to meet to discuss how golf works in that country.
@pgasofeurope join the local PGA and slowly gain the respect of the pro community. Better in the long run.
— David Poulton (@doglegpar3) February 25, 2016
4. Get your documents In Order
Speak to your country’s foreign/international office and your national embassy in the destination country to make sure you are doing all the right things. It’s great if your new employer is going to help sort a lot of it out but you need to ensure you understand everything you should yourself.
Make sure you understand the country’s employment regulations for international workers, what visa requirements there might be, travel documentation require, insurance, and of course any associated costs.
5. Find a Mentor
PGA of Germany Professional, Craig West, moved from South Africa to Germany and suggests having someone with you, at least at first, who can help you translate if required and understands what you need to do to get off on the right foot. Plus they can be the link between you and other local people, fellow staff members and in the local golfing industry.
@pgasofeurope learn the language as well & as quickly as possible.That opens door to understanding the new culture & gains respect of locals
— Ian Peek (@IanPeekGolf) February 25, 2016
6. Learn the Language
The local language is one of the most important tools you can have when working in a different country. It makes every day-to-day task easier and can allow you to understand and operate more effectively. It also means locals will not have to adjust themselves to you as much which is great for building relationships with all walks of life. Even a few words here and there to begin with can be very beneficial!
(And if they speak your native language there already then learn a new language anyway – it will always come in useful!)
@pgasofeurope most important is 2 learn the language,adapt to the different culture of the people, this way u earn earn the respect.
— neil sweeney (@sweenpga) February 25, 2016
7. Don’t expect it to be easy!
Working in a different country can potentially be the most difficult thing you ever do in your career – not only do you have to do the job effectively, but you also have to adapt yourself into a different environment at the same time. But with well thought-out preparation and commitment then you will be able to do your best in your new position.
@pgasofeurope Great Climate, Lifestyle, Earnings. Didn’t speak German. Stayed 7 years. Had 2 children. Best years of my life. Recommended!
— christian vine (@christianvine1) February 26, 2016
8. Go With It!
Lastly, go with the flow and enjoy it! Your day-to-day working experience and the enjoyment and benefits you get from working abroad is directly related to how you approach it, so do your best to be outgoing, meet new people, try new foods and experience new cultural aspects to ingratiate yourself into the local life.