“All great things must come to an end”, and this saying goes well for international living too. After spending many years in a foreign location, the day comes when you will sadly have to bid adieu to your second home abroad. You will be engulfed in mixed feelings as you start packing your bags to return to your home country – otherwise known as repatriation.
Tips for expats preparing to return home
The thought of being back with old friends and family can be quite exciting. However, in the back of your mind, there would be a nagging feeling that you may not fit well into the old environment when you are home again. You must have worked hard to reach your expat destination. Similarly, your transition back to your homeland requires just as much strategic planning and focus. Here are the top five tips to ensure that your repatriation is smooth and hassle-free.
1. Have Realistic Expectations
Before deciding to return to your native country, you should have realistic expectations of what your new life would be when you arrive. Don’t expect that everything would be the same as before especially if you have been living as a global nomad for several years. Accept the harsh fact that things change with time. People back home would be busy living their own lives and friends might have moved to different cities for better jobs and lifestyles. If you are mentally prepared, you won’t be disappointed to see the difference.
2. Stay Informed on Your Industry in Your Home Country
For expats preparing to return home, it is easy for them to lose track of their industry in their native country if they have spent years on international job assignments. Before boarding a flight to return home, you should do thorough research on the companies you would like to join. You can keep yourself informed by following the organizations on social media or checking out various job websites. You can also set up job alerts that suit your search criteria or resume.
3. Hone Your Skills and Develop New Ones
If your job assignment abroad is different from your educational qualification and overall work experience, you have to hone your skills to match the latest industry standards. There are numerous professional courses online to brush up your skills even while living abroad. Going for a certificate course to improve your career prospects can be a good investment. It will add value to your resume before you start looking for good employment options back home.
4. Save Adequate Money
Expatriate life is not just about living life king-size. It is also important that you have enough savings for rainy days. The transition period during your return to your native land will eat into your precious savings. You should have adequate savings to last for at least six months after returning home. You will have a hard time resettling if you repatriate with limited savings. It is important to understand that getting a new job in your country or settling in a new city takes time. This is where your hard-earned money and savings will give you some peace of mind.
5. Get Prepared for Reversal Culture Shock
Many expats go through immense stress due to various reasons when they return to their native place. You would love to reunite with friends and family; however, everything won’t be rosy especially if your next move is not decided. Being used to a completely different culture and lifestyle abroad, returning to the realities of a home can be a reverse culture shock. Get in touch with fellow expats who have returned to their native place and get the right guidance for overcoming the culture shock. This will help you to get mentally prepared to face various hurdles.
For expats preparing to return home, the tips mentioned above will surely make your transition process smoother. However, inadequate planning can lead to a lot of hassles and anxiety when you land on your home soil. Build a solid strategy for your future life in your home country and make your repatriation period an experience to remember. We should also remind you to make sure you reactivate or obtain local health coverage when you get back home as expat health plans are generally no renewable if you move back home.