3 – Landing on your feet
Great! You have arrived to your destination! There is so much to discover in this new world, so much to enjoy after all this work and these sacrifices… But then you have to remain focus.
Go easy-peasy on the money
The first thing that is vital for you to keep being careful with the money: keep expenses to the necessities. Of course you can have a beer in a bar and some meal out once in a while, but be careful that doesn’t weight too much on your budget daily.
Sort out the admin work
The other thing to get done quickly is admin work. You should not wait to get your cellphone started on some local network, like within days following your arrival or the roaming fees will kill you.
Also, get everything regarding visa, work permit, health cover (hopefully) sorted as soon as possible. You’ll probably have some temporary housing but that won’t last and you have to be on the look out for best opportunity in your budget for a place of your own, being a full house, a flat, or just a room. Getting a permanent address is crucial for some paperwork, and job hunting. Speaking of which, you should probably be able to set things up for your local bank account during your first two weeks abroad. This way you’ll save on some banking substantial banking fees. There is no particular order but I went myself while settling on London UK with: communications (cellphone plan) first, the work permit and social things, then housing and then bank. Job was next…
Get some job done
Once you’re up and rolling on these things, it’s time to get to work (yeah, so far it was just warming up). Keep in mind that you’re not on holiday, you have invested in yourself (with a substantial amount of money) for your personal growth. And the best way to reach that growth, and getting your return on investment (so you can really start enjoying this new life abroad) is by getting a job. This won’t drop from the sky and some serious and dedicated work have to be put in it. It’s easy to loose track and one way to avoid that is by having some kind of routine. Don’t stay in your room emerging at 11am and staying in your Pjs all day, scrolling on Facebook and sending a resume once in a while. Get up no later than 8am, have some proper breakfast, dress yourself and go out there! I not talking sitting at Starbuck’s siping 8 dollars lattes of course… Find some library where you can sit for the morning or the afternoon and work. This will get you in the dynamic. When I was in London, I would sit at the Canada Water Library for the whole day and send out 20 or 30 applications per day. Always trimming and adapting my resume and writing custom cover letters. Sometime I would send even more of these!
That being said, a library is not the best place to get social because… Well you have to… you know! Keep it down…
Meet and greet
That’s where networking comes into play. Sign up to meetup.com and start engaging with people in the area for professional contacts, business or just fun. It’s a great way to meet new people.
If you feel you need more support, look out for some government funded immigrant/newcomers workshop and seminars, these will provide you with insightful tips and advice about your new country and how things are done there. You should also break for a bit with your homeland newsfeed and listen to some local news, this will allow you to be in-the-know of major events happening locally and it will allow you the bound more easily with locals, wether comrades or potential employers.
Don’t sulk away from volunteering
Another way to get on a good start is looking at opportunities to volunteer locally, preferably in some area related to your professional expertise or project. This will give you the chance to acquire experience in the local environment and credentials, while meeting new people. Overall, in many places volunteering is always perceived as a very good thing socially.
Learn as you go
Finally, throughout your journey, you are going to make mistakes. Some small, some others bigger. And you know what they say, this is how you learn. This is how we, human beings, learn our way to perfection! By making mistakes. As a matter of fact, machines are also learning that way. That proves error is the best tool to learn! It gives you a referential to measure success, achievement. So, always debrief when critical situation arrive: what went well, what didn’t… appraise and adjust from there. That’s for budget management as well as job interviews. You’re here to learn, so be it!