Preparing yourself before going for an overseas assignment

Preparing yourself before going for an overseas assignmentMany employees particularly in the IT/ ITeS sector have to go and work at their client locations abroad. Such employees have mixed feelings. They are, on one hand, excited at the opportunity of visiting a new country. On the other hand, they are a bit tensed to think about the new way of life that they would have to adjust to. Combined efforts of the employee along with their employer can help groom such employees before they go for an overseas assignment.

An HR executive informs, “All travel related information is accessible to our employees in our company’s intranet. They are also given language training sessions before their departure. It is important that they do not copy others’ accents for that would annoy the opposite party for sure. If the passport is nearing its expiry date it is better to renew the same. We assist our employees with the visa processing. Actually all the formalities are taken care of by the parent organization but the employees should also make it a point to recheck it on their own.”

A software engineer who just returned from an onsite assignment says, “Use the internet or alternatively read a book to learn as much as possible about the country you are visiting. You should be aware of their currency, culture, food, transportation, places to see etc. You can also contact the embassy if necessary. Make sure you carry such clothing that is appropriate for that time of the year in that particular country. Do not carry too much baggage with you as it will be difficult to move with them from one place to another. Moreover, you have to pay for excess baggage, if any. It is good to consult your company doctor and vaccinate yourself appropriately before traveling abroad. Do not forget to carry any special medications that you may need along with a prescription from your medical practitioner.”

Talk to your friends and relatives who may be living in that country or have visited it before. Remember to leave a copy of all your important documents with your family members back home. Before departure, make sure you get all the necessary information from your company regarding your accommodation (if provided by the company), airport pick up, whom to report to and other relevant information.

Going abroad for an assignment is of course prestigious but it is important that, you gather some information about their way of life and prepare yourself mentally in advance for the trip.


- Ranjita Chattopadhyay (views expressed in the article are that of the author)


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