Supporting a family while working abroad

Working abroad can be an appealing option for many reasons, from the sense of adventure to the promise of bumper pay packets that could dwarf what you would be getting at home.

The ceaseless development of technology has opened up global communication channels and expanding air travel networks have brought a wider range of destinations within easy reach, making it more feasible than ever to pursue overseas opportunities.

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Read on to find out more about working abroad and some of the things to think about if you are considering this option for yourself.

The lure of overseas work

Jetting off to a foreign country to pursue a new career path is undoubtedly an exciting opportunity, offering a sense of excitement and escape from established ‘nine-to-five’ routines that many would welcome.

It is an option that appears to be proving popular among Britons. According to figures released by the Home Office in November 2012, approximately 4.7 million people born in the UK now live abroad. The UK is ranked eighth on the list of countries around the world with the most nationals living abroad.

Australia has consistently been the most popular location for British emigrants over the past 20 years, while Spain, the US, France, Germany, Canada and New Zealand are also key destinations.

The figures challenged the common idea that most expatriates are retirees planning to enjoy their twilight years in the Spanish sun, with the vast majority (93 per cent) of people moving abroad of working age.

According to the 2013 Global Professionals on the Move report from recruitment firm Hydrogen, 83 per cent of survey respondents who had relocated thought it had boosted their personal development.

Over three-quarters (77 per cent) said the move had helped their career prospects and 72 per cent stated that it had enhanced their salaries.

Boost your earnings to support family at home

One of the most powerful reasons for heading abroad to work is boosting your income to provide for your family back home.

When you have a world of job opportunities to choose from, you are likely to have a much higher chance of finding a position that suits you with a company that is willing to pay for your skills than in a potentially crowded employment market at home.

Expat lifestyle website Shelter Offshore points out that destinations in Asia, such as Singapore, Hong Kong and China, can offer high salaries to professionals with experience in areas such as finance, management, IT and law.

There is also the promise of tax breaks in locations such as Dubai. It is often said that Dubai is completely tax-free, and while this is not entirely true, there is certainly potential for foreigners to work in the emirate and pay much less tax than they would at home.

If your primary motivation for going abroad to work is supporting family at home, it is worth using a service to make overseas money transfers. This will give you a guarantee that your funds will be moved quickly as and when you choose, with the added benefit of bank-beating exchange rates.

Keep in touch

While being separated from people at home is likely to be one of the most difficult aspects of working in a foreign country, the modern world with all its hi-tech benefits and provisions means you can feel more connected than ever before.

Video calling services such as Skype provide the option of not only speaking to but seeing loved ones every day, while email, instant messaging and social networks like Facebook also make it easy to keep in touch.

The regularity of international flights from the UK to destinations across the globe is another reassurance for people working abroad. Dubai, for instance, is accessible via dozens of daily flights from airports including London Heathrow and Manchester.

Direct or one-stop flights are available to popular expat destinations and booming economies all over the world, including Australia, the US, China and Canada.