Expatriates who accomplish their arrival tasks quickly are more likely to have a successful assignment. Here are our top seven tasks to help you get off to a good start.
Attitude is everything. A positive, open and non-judgmental approach is most effective. Teamwork is key. Build and maintain a strong family team. Work together and divide tasks. Remember - Everyone will go through the changes at their own pace. When the following tasks 2,3 & 4 are done quickly on arrival, the ‘Arrivers’ have a statistically greater chance of having a successful assignment than those who don’t actively engage at this early stage.
2. Practical Tasks
Complete all practical tasks that help you settle in as quickly as possible. For example: unpack; buy and cook food; switch on the utilities; get your WiFi working; register with a Doctor etc. People who do these tasks early have a more positive experience.
3. Emotional Tasks
Complete initial emotional tasks as quickly as possible. For example: make it feel like home; display photos; celebrate as a family unit and have times of calm etc.
4. Social Tasks
Get out there and start networking in groups that interest you. For example: sports you enjoy; hobbies that you have; expatriate groups; local organisations etc. Have friends round to your home and get involved in your local community.
Take your time over the next 3 tasks and build a solid foundation to take you forward.
5. Explore and Learn
Make time to get to know your new town/city. Be curious about local history and customs. Try out local restaurants and discover the food culture of your new home. Practise your language skills with local people, even simple exchanges will help you feel more at home.
6. Keep and Make Connections
Prioritise time for keeping in touch with family and friends back home. Balance this with time for making new friends in your new location. The happiest Expat’s report having a mix of friends from both of these groups.
7. Accommodate The team
Everyone in the family has a need for connection with old and new friends. Make sure both you and your spouse pursue things that interest you. If you have kids, help them meet other kids, both locals and other Expats outside of school.
This crazy period will pass, it’s completely normal to feel overwhelmed at times. You have just bundled together some of the most stressful life events into a single move, allow yourself to kick back and remember everyone needs time off from the chaos of change - even you.