A few days ago, I was listening a Viv show, a podcast of a very smart girl moving from Iran to Poland for work. She and her guest were talking about some problems, that people will have to face when they leave their country and move to a new destination. I thought, I also have a similar experience. I moved to Estonia to study and I struggle to find a job as well. So I decided to write out some tips that I got from the show and add my experience and write down this article.
If you are not a student and don’t have a visa for your destination, then there are some questions you should ask the person that you got a job offer from.
First, one of the most important things is visa. If you are a student, then you already have a visa and work allowance. But if you are not a student and not living in Schengen area, you need to have your visa sponsored by the company that you are going to work at. You can only work at the company which sponsored your visa. If you want to change your job, even if you are in the same city, you need to reapply for the visa under the name of the new company.
Every job in different countries can be different from the same job in your country. The other fact that you need to consider, is if the salary is proper for living in that country or not. You have to search this online to see, what is the average salary for that position.
When you don’t have a stable job, then you better get ready to be very independent. You need to really know, how much exactly is the cost of living, and you should be very strict on each penny you spend. Saving money takes some pressure off you, always have some savings!
Important point is to also know the tax system in the country where you’re going to. It can differ from one country to another.
The other subtle thing is of ofcourse social life. Before you move, search about the city and list your reason, why you chose this city. When you arrive, organize and plan all the activities you want to do apart from work or school. Think about what activities are related to you or with what kind of people you want to be together with? For instance, I joined to EBS Student Council and it has given me a great opportunity to participate in many events, be familiar with new people and spend my free time.
But you will definitely experience some bitter days and moments as well. Since you will be often alone, it is very normal to feel a little homesick. And I can say, particularly when you are in Estonia during winter.
Since you will not be like a regular tourist, another important aspect is to get to know the culture beforehand. Research the holidays, religion, cultural differences etc.
As I mentioned before, Estonia really is a cold country during winter. When you come from a warm country like me (Iran), you really need to plan you healthy diet! Getting all the vitamins from your fresh food or supplements is essential here, as there sometimes is no sun for weeks. It is easy to get sick here, if you don’t protect yourself enough, and when you do, you need to be prepared as well. Cover you insurance and have a plan for worst case scenario too, just to be prepared. This might have sound depressive, don’t get scared! These are just as important points as all the positive ones.
Another tip is to adjust. Try not to live in the life that you’ve left behind. Try to live in the moment and start your own life right here. Try to remember some reasons that you’ve decided to move here, and give energy to move forward.
And at last, always have plan B. Even if you do have to go back to home and give up your dream have a plan B. It’s not because you’re weak just know your limits and give yourself a break.
Enjoy your life and try to take the most out of it, because you definitely have some reasons to choose Estonia. So if you get lost in your thoughts, find it in yourself again and follow the same path.
Editor: Liisa-Maria Lillepea