Moving abroad after your service ends can offer exciting career opportunities in new and stimulating surroundings, and it may seem like a good option if you are finding it tough to secure jobs for ex-military at home. Having served in the military, you might well have been stationed in different locations around the world, and you will certainly be used to dealing with a wide range of people from different backgrounds and adapting to new and sometimes challenging situations.
However, a move abroad does represent a major commitment and there are a number of things to consider.
Firstly, do you have a job offer in place or would you be moving on spec? If it’s the latter, make sure your expectations are realistic by researching the job market before you go. Ask questions like, ‘Are there vacancies available in my chosen area?’ ‘What is the pay like compared to the cost of living?’ and ‘Do I have the right qualifications to land these jobs in this country?’
Some countries, such as Australia and the USA, have strict entry and visa requirements. They might require you to have a job lined up, have specific skills and qualifications, or a certain amount of money in the bank. The EU has free movement of labour, but if you are planning to relocate long-term it’s worth remembering that there’s a referendum on the UK’s EU membership looming.
If you have family you will need to research schooling arrangements, as well as having a suitable place to live lined up. There may also be cultural difficulties settling in, which could involve a language barrier and an initial lack of social contacts if you are moving to a completely new area.
Moving abroad can bring a wealth of exciting opportunities, but it can also be a challenging process. It’s therefore important to research your potential destination thoroughly beforehand.