The vast majority of the time, expats relocate to a foreign country for work purposes. But why would an expat accept such a challenging task, especially if the whole family is included?

Professional advancement is one of the most motivating factors for expats and apart from that the whole travel/relocation journey is a appealing on both personal and social level. This can be attractive for both the assignee and their family.

Curiosity, the urge for an adventure and the opportunity of working abroad is often too good to reject.

Top reason for failure – Unhappiness in new country

This can be due to several matters. If the expat is careless or doesn’t plan the relocation well, it very easy not to be able to fulfil your goals. Furthermore, if your family is not happy in the new country, your professional life becomes even more difficult. In order to make sure that expats and their families are happy when relocation, we highlighted 5 key happiness factors that need to be considered.

By applying the following happiness factors, you are more likely to succeed with your journey and professional outcome.

Happiness Factor #1 – Be Prepared

Venturing into the unknown is no easy task, however, can also be exciting and ample fun! In order to minimise your ‘shock’ factor as much as possible, get well prepared and be aware of the new changes you have to undergo. 

  • Research – This is a crucial step. Research as much as you can about the new destination. Get to know the traditions, culture, work ethic and language. Learning the native tongue is proved to extremely help expats with their relocation. You can start with learning the basic greetings.
  • Family preparation – Don’t forget that the relocation is an adventure for your spouse and children too. If they are involved speak with them and prepare them well in advance.
  • Goody bye – This is a great way to close that chapter in your life and move on, onto the next one. Decide which are the things you wish to remove or sell and which items you want to keep. Close all loose ends.

Happiness Factor #2 – Be Organised

This goes hand in hand with the previous tip, being prepared. There are many things that need to be organised before your departure. Organise everything in order to avoid stressful and negative situations.

Some of the things to think about are;

  • Finances: Ensure you have enough money to venture through your journey until you start earning a suitable income. Consider the cost of living before you agree on your income.
  • Residency: Ensure that you have all the necessary documents to live in the new country. If you need to register with local authorities, set up insurance or any other processes are wise to consider beforehand.
  • Research well the company you will be working it to avoid unwanted surprises. Look into the company’s history and check whether you can speak to any employees currently working there. This will give you a good idea of what to expect.

Happiness Factor #3 – Adaptation & Acceptance stage

Expat alienation is one of the biggest reasons why individuals struggle with their relocation. This means when the expat struggles to adapt and feel at home in the new country. To overcome this, we have the following tips;

  • Join an expat community: This can be extremely helpful at any stage of your relocation. This is a great way to build friends and meet individuals that experienced or are currently experiencing a similar process to yourself.
  • Explore as much as you can: Do not allow yourself to feel down or stay back. Motivate yourself to be out going, join events and attend activities where you have the opportunity to meet new people and network. This will have a positive impact both on a social and professional perspective.  

Still not convinced about relocating to Malta? Read our 16 reasons why you should!