7 Things You Need To Think About Before Working Overseas

We have job opportunities in Malaysia. Singapore. Philippines. Indonesia. Sometimes even in the UK.

Regardless of where you’re from, some of you will definitely have that yearning to work overseas. We get the appeal. Working far away from home, building a new life for yourself in a foreign land, learning about new cultures and food and healthcare methods… the works.

Before you do take that gigantic leap of faith to pack your bags and go off, here are some key points you should think about. Remember: working overseas is a huge step for your career. Don’t be careless!

1. Understand what you’re about to do

If you’re lucky enough to be able to bring your family with you, great job. You’ve landed yourself a sweet deal. Most of the time, you’ll be leaving family behind, only to see them during short holidays.

Are you willing to give that up for a certain amount of time?

Same goes for friends and relatives. It can even be the same for your favorite food, weather, entertainment, etc.

2. Visa visa visa

You need to properly and diligently ponder over your visa. Understand it fully. Depending on which work visa you have, you might have to return to your home country if you resign or get fired.

Some visas just don’t allow you to look for a job elsewhere after you arrive.

3. Get an employer who can help you

Negotiate! Negotiate and make sure you get a nice package that covers your expenses to relocate. Some employers even provide some aid to job searching for your partner if he/she accompanies you in your overseas journey.

It’s a big help if your employer helps you understand the local laws, taxes, and infrastructure, especially in countries where there is a language barrier to be overcome.

4. Cultural differences

We’re not just talking about intercultural relations. We mean corporate culture, or workplace culture. In some places, the norm is to take 2 hours off on Friday for prayers; something which is unacceptable in other countries.

Vacation packages are part of workplace culture as well. The UK gives an average of 25 paid days of leave, compared to 12-15 for countries in the ASEAN region. Make sure you ask about this, and understand it.

5. Finances

Take care of your finances even before you go off. It can get rather complicated.

Read up on how to set up an account abroad. Better still, get your employer to help you with it. Look into rates for transferring back to your home country.

6. Language and mannerisms

Prepare for the language barrier! Make sure you have basic conversational skills so you can go over necessities right away.

One tip is to read about the local pop culture and watch their popular shows, movies, and listen to their music. You’ll achieve a better understanding of the people, which helps in acquainting yourself in a foreign land.

7. Figure out how to get around

Will you need to drive? If yes, find out the processes for transferring your license into a local equivalent over there. You might have to do a re-test.

Find out if you need a car for navigating around, how much it normally costs, and how you’d finance it.

Want to try working overseas?

Search for high-paying overseas jobs at MIMS Career. MIMS Career is a premier, healthcare-focused job portal site for Malaysia, Singapore, the Philippines and Indonesia. Our simple sign-up process allows you to easily apply for jobs you might be interested in with a single click. Job locations include hospitals, nursing homes, and private practices. It’s free, easy to use, and safe.

Can’t find what you’re looking for? Set up a job alert and we’ll notify you by email whenever positions that suit your preferences are available. All of our pages are mobile-responsive, so you can take your applications with you on the go.

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  Photo by Rami Al-Zayat  

  1. Note-taking  
 2. Scheduling  
 3. Reading  

 Smartphone as a work assistant 

 Our phones have gone from blocky, awkward devices to sleek, thin machines. It is now 2017, and processing power in smartphones (even in budget ones) have overcome the performance of some computers just ten years ago. 

 With the modern smartphone now more of a pocket computer than a communication device, several apps have been made to make work easier. These apps, when used with a bit of creativity and time, can help you  stay on top of your goals, never miss an important piece of info, track everything that matters to you and increase mental focus.  

 Read on to find out how you can transform your phone from a typical communications device to an indispensable work and life assistant. 

 1. Note-taking 

 Text 

 Take notes with your phone rather than on a piece of paper. Unlike paper, you won’t lose digital notes if you have them backed up to the cloud. Moreover, you can take hundreds of notes with you on your phone without needing to carry thick notebooks everywhere you go. 

 Most note-taking apps are searchable, like a web browser. Retrieve your information quickly and easily, whenever you need it. On Android, the best note-taking app is  Google Keep . Keep allows your to color-code your notes to your fancy. Add them to your home screen as a widget for quick access. You can still view your notes on any computer with an internet connection. Simply go over to the  Google Keep  site, log in with your Google account, and browse through your notes. 

   

  source  

   

  source  

 On iOS, we recommend the default Notes app. It’s beautifully designed, clean, and robust. Write notes on the fly, and format your text in  bold ,  italics , or underlined. Much like Google Keep, you can attach photos on to your notes. You can also organize them in folders, for easy retrieval. 

   

  source  

  Bonus tip : You can create a note with your voice! Activate Siri by long-pressing the home button, and say “ Make a note “. Siri will ask you what to write about, and it will write whatever you just said. 

 Scan documents 

 What if you had access to all the paper receipts, documents, letters, and notes; any time, anywhere? You can! Your smartphone has a camera. The best scanner is the scanner you always have with you! 

 Simply point your phone towards a paper document and take a photo. Make sure you adjust the focus a bit so text is clear on your phone’s screen. Then, simply create a photo album in your phone’s photos gallery, label it  SCANS  and move the photos of your documents there. 

 Evernote ( iOS ,  Android ) is a multi-platform note-taking app that has a really cool scanning function. When you scan documents with Evernote, the app will brighten the document, making it seem like it was really scanned using a proper scanner. In dark environments, the app will automatically activate your phone’s flash to brighten up the image. Even when taking scans of the document at an angle, Evernote will modify the image to make it seem like you took it straight down! 

   

  source  

 Evernote has OCR (Optical Character Recognition); meaning that words in the document scans are searchable in the app. It even works for handwriting! 

 Other alternatives to Evernote include  Scanbot ,  PDF Scanner + OCR Free , and  Scanner Pro . 

 Draw sketches 

 Sometimes text just doesn’t cut it. What if you need to draw something? It happens a lot, especially in nursing and medical work. 

 Both Google Keep and iOS notes have the ability to create drawings. Unlike pen and paper, you’ll never run out of ink! 

   

  Android Police  

   

  How to make a drawing in Notes iOS  

 2. Scheduling 

 Calendar 

 Schedule events or tasks that you can’t do today. Any calendar app works well; but we recommend Google Calendar ( iOS ,  Android ). It has natural language text-parsing, meaning you simply type your event into the app like how you’d say it. For example, typing: 

 
 Midwifery refresher seminar 8pm Sunday at UMMC 
 

 Will add a calendar entry  Midwifery refresher seminar , dated on Sunday at 8PM, and location at UMMC. The app can take the information of the location of the event from Google Maps. So on that day, it notifies you what time you should leave to arrive on time! 

   

  Macworld  

 3. Reading 

 Books 

 Why bring your whole bookshelf when you can just carry your phone with you? Many textbook publishers also offer ebook versions of their textbooks. With an ebook reader app, you can read books you’ve saved on your phone. Now you can refer your favorite 900-page physiology textbook anywhere without needing to break your back. 

 The Kindle ( iOS , Android ) app allows you to buy ebooks from Amazon and you can read them anytime you like. Check out their selection of  nursing textbooks  that you can get cheaper than the physical copies. Even if you delete the ebooks off your phone, you can still re-download them from Kindle. 

   

  Play Store  

 3. Task Management 

 Todoist (iOS, Android) 

 Putting tasks out of your head and into a system that you trust is one of the best ways to prevent information overload. This enables you to have less mental distractions as you only focus on the task you are currently doing, rather than having other future tasks nagging in your mind. 

 Using task management apps can seem complicated, but it actually is not. The end goal is to spend less time doing the things you want to do, so that you have more time to do the things you want to do. 

 Having a to-do list makes it easy for you to see what you have right now, and what actions are up next.  Todoist  is a great app for this. It’s available on all platforms: iOS, Android, Windows, and Chrome. 

   

  Todoist  

 Start by listing down tasks in your Inbox. As your task list grows, you might start to see some tasks are related to each other. Create projects in Todoist to group these tasks and sort them. 

 Some tasks are more complicated than other tasks. You can break down these tasks into a series of sub-tasks, allowing you to focus on tackling one thing at a time in pursuit of a larger goal. Remember, to eat an elephant, you need to take one bite at a time. 

   

  Todoist  

 Also, just like Google Calendar, Todoist accepts natural language input; set tasks to recur daily, monthly, every two weeks, or even something complicated such as “ Every third Saturday of the month “. Todoist will understand you. See  here  for the complete guide. 

 Todoist is free to use, but with a small subscription fee, premium features such as location-based reminders, file attachments, and tagging are unlocked. 

 
 The modern smartphone is a great tool for self-improvement, organization, and productivity. In such a small device, you can read books, take notes, and stay on top of your work any time, any day. As nurses’ work become more and more complex, we need better tools to help us keep track of daily life. Hopefully you have gained insight into using this great tool, and help you take on challenges that will advance your career as a nurse. 

 Head over to  MIMS Career  and discover our wide range of nurse jobs. All of our pages are mobile-responsive; browse jobs, sign up, and apply are all doable on your smartphone. Make your next career move, with  MIMS Career . 
   

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You Should Be Using These Apps On Your Phone

Photo by Rami Al-Zayat 1. Note-taking 2. Scheduling 3. Reading Smartphone as a work assistant Our phones have gone from blocky, awkward devices to sleek, thin machines. It is now 2017, and processing power in...

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  1. Start high  
 2. Look for an agreeable outcome  
 3. Be aware of supply in the area  
 4. Rates are not permanent  
 5. Negotiate other aspects of your rates  

 Locum Jobs 

 An advantage of taking up locum jobs to boost your income is that you have some flexibility to work. You choose the schedule that you are available to fit into. Also, it can  improve your CV  for future job applications at other institutions by showing that you have a diverse set of employers. 

 For new nurses, doing locum allows you extra time and exposure to choose how you want to plan out your nursing career. Like selecting a specialization. You can read more on the  advantages of doing locum to increase your income here . 

 People seem to be paralyzed into inaction when it comes to setting rates, simply accepting whatever the clinic offers to pay you. While this article focuses on nurses doing locum jobs at private practices, we hope that these points will still be able to help doctors, pharmacists, dentists, and other healthcare practitioners as well. 

 1. Start high 

   

  source: @dan_carl5on  

 Start out by always proposing a rate higher than you would. It doesn’t have to be a lot. 

 Say your desired rate is RM20 an hour. Just mention RM25 as your starting rate. You can slowly reduce it to the price that you sought out initially when discussing with the clinic or institution. 

 You don’t want to be working with people who feel like they have to squeeze the most out of their budget to accommodate you. Such scenarios do not lead to healthy long-term relationships. It’s better to make them feel like they’ve got a good deal. 

 2. Look for an agreeable outcome 

   

  source: pixabay  

 Remember, the owner of the clinic wants to fill some gaps in his workforce, and you want to get paid. Think of it as a bridge. Both of you are on either side. The best outcome is if you both meet in the middle. 

 Don’t rip people off. Good negotiation is about both parties walking away feeling like they both got a good deal. If you think that milking out money from people to the point where they are reluctantly agreeing to your prices, think again. That relationship isn’t going to last very long. 

 The best employer (whether they employ you full-time or otherwise) is one that continuously offers you work. They can’t do that if they don’t like you. 

 3. Be aware of supply in the area 

   

  source: pixabay  

 A lot of nurses doing locum jobs in the area? That might affect your locum fees. Try to look for clinics or institutions that have an under-supply of part-time nurses. The main reason why your locum employer is paying you below average is probably because a replacement for you is so easy to find. 

 Price is a reflection of the demand for the locum jobs and the supply of those capable of doing it in the area. This is commonly known as the law of supply and demand in economics. It applies here as well. 

 4. Rates are not permanent 

   

  source: here  

 Rates are not set in stone. Even if you’ve negotiated quite a while ago, you can still make some changes if you approach the employer tactfully. 

 Explain that you’ve been here for a while, and that you haven’t let him/her down. So you’d like an increase in your rates. 

 The worst thing that can happen is they say no. Don’t worry. It’s not the end of the world. At least you tried. 

 5. Negotiate other aspects of your rates 

   

  source: pixabay  

 While there is a fixed rate for your schedule, try to consider other aspects as well. Things like emergency calls, or last-minute requests to come in for locum. 

 Make it clear to the employer that these are out-of-the-norm occurrences, and that you would like to be compensated accordingly. 

 6. Losing locum jobs is not necessarily a bad thing 

   

  source: blupics  

 When increasing your rates, this isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Doubling your rates but losing half of locum opportunities is great. You get the same amount at the end, but work half as much, which frees up your time. 

 Plus, sometimes someone who charges RM40 per hour looks more professional and qualified than someone who charges RM20 per hour. 

 Conclusion 

 Don’t just look at financial rates; benefits are important as well. Is the job good for your reputation? Are they likely to recommend you to others? 

 Is the work consistent and secure? Do you trust the employer? 

 Remember these 6 steps when negotiating your fees.  If you don’t value your time, no one else will.  

 Browse through  MIMS Career  for an easy way to find locum or part-time jobs in your area.  MIMS Career  is a premier, healthcare-focused job portal site for Malaysia, Singapore, the Philippines and Indonesia. Our simple sign-up process allows you to easily apply for jobs you might be interested in with a single click. Job locations include hospitals, nursing homes, and private practices. It’s free, easy to use, and safe. 

 Can’t find what you’re looking for? Set up a job alert and we’ll notify you by email whenever positions that suit your preferences are available. All of our pages are mobile-responsive, so you can take your applications with you on the go. 
   

 Our Most Popular Articles 

  Think About These 5 Things Before You Decide On A Specialization  

  5 Things Nurses Need To Know To Be Paid More  

  10 Ways Malaysian Nurses Can Increase Their Income

The Complete Guide to Negotiating Locum Rates

1. Start high 2. Look for an agreeable outcome 3. Be aware of supply in the area 4. Rates are not permanent 5. Negotiate other aspects of your rates Locum Jobs An advantage of taking up locum jobs to boost your...

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