Checklist For An Overseas Career Change

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Why Move?

Indeed a handful of my contemporaries this year alone are threatening to become my neighbors in Paris, lulled into the reverie of awakening each morning in Paris (or Florence or Berlin or London or…or..or..). Most want to continue to work – and with the Internet this is more possible than it has even been; others are considering a job offer that would plunk them down in foreign lands for a two-year stint, leading a satellite European office. It is a career change, and a life change rolled into one. Sounds glamorous and desirable, but it takes work…and most of all, planning.

I’ve lived overseas for some three decades in four (European) countries and often find myself the oracle to which “aspirational Hemingways” turn before booking their plane tickets. And in preparation for this post I canvassed a handful of mid-career ex-pat friends (not all Americans) about their own experiences, trials and tribulations. Given our collective experience, the following checklist is based on European countries, though I suspect some of the psychological issues are likely to be similar regardless of where you re-locate.

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