Balancing work-life abroad

Moving to another country for a job assignment is a remarkable opportunity for anybody. It usually comes with benefit options such as: salary increase, language training, family benefit packages and relocation and accommodation benefits. 

However, a big downside to being expatriated is how stressful the process can be. 

Oftentimes, expats feel pressured to adapt quickly to the new environment and have an excellent job performance from the get-go. 

In doing so, an unbalance occurs, as suddenly expats prioritize their professional life over their personal life. 

The first weeks might call for a bit of extra time at work o ensure a smooth on-boarding. Yet, it is easy to let this become a bad habit.

Thus, here are a few tips to keep your priorities in check and make sure work does not take over your life abroad:

Work is a part of your life

Not your life. Allowing yourself to partake in other activities, will allow your mind to freshen up and be sharper whenever you do need to concentrate. Whenever we don’t let our bodies take a break from stress, we cause ourselves a disservice. First, we facilitate the development of health risks. Second, we will  find ourselves in a constant state of tiredness and unefficiency.

List the things that matter to you and bring you joy

Of course, this list can include doing great at work. But try paying more attention to other unrelated interests and hobbies. This will give you a visual overview of the areas you can dedicate more time and attention to.

Do not overthink the ‘balance’ concept

Keep an open mind to accept that your priorities can change as time passes by. If you have a deadline nearing, it is completely understandable that you will be more involved in work. And that is OK. Once the busy lapse has passed, re-calibrate and tend to the other matters that you left behind. 

Know your limits

And this applies to workload and to time off. Do not over-saturate yourself unless there is a major urgency taking place. However, make sure you are not overcompensating yourself with relaxation time, leaving your responsibilities aside. 

Integrate with the local community

 Take on cultural and language training programs to better understand the local approaches inside and outside work environments. Also, whenever you have spare time, partake in activities in the host location and try building a local network. 

It is not every day that the opportunity to work abroad crosses your way. So, what better than to take care of yourself and your priorities to make the most out of it.

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