There has been an increase in migration from Africa to other countries of the world and many persons have sought my professional counsel about the option of traveling abroads to look for greener pastures.
Must one relocate to another country before one becomes financially successful? What if one stays back in his/her country to start a business and grows it into a successful multinational company which employs many people in the future?
Making this decision is not easy especially if you have the wherewithal to either start a business or to relocate. It is a very critical decision that shouldn’t be taken lightly. It is a decision that shouldn’t be taken in a hurry. It requires a wholistic approach and a detailed consideration of several factors, in order to prevent future regrets.
This article is intended to help you make the right decision when it comes to deciding to traveling abroads to look for work or starting and growing a business back home.
In this article, we assume that only legal migration options are considered. We do not in anyway encourage illegal migration of any sort to any country. In fact, we discourage it. Illegal migration is not an option at all, as it has a lot of ills which includes: hardship, death, misfortune, rape, child labour and several other unfavourable situations.
The cons of traveling abroads
Here are some challenges you may face when you travel abroads to look for greener pastures:
1. In many cases, when you get there, you may have to start your career afresh. You might need to get retrained, as in many cases employers in your host country do not consider your native country’s educational qualifications and job experiences as sufficient or suitable.
2. You may experience racism. You might be victimised or neglected because of the colour of your skin or your race. Many Nigerians living in South Africa have suffered xenophobic attacks and killings. This wouldn’t have happened if they were in their own country.
3. You may fall into the hands of agents of illegal migration who promises a bright future to those who want to travel but have them end up in prostitution and other illegal activities in other to survive in the new country.
4. It might cost a lot of money to migrate. Some persons have had to spend all their life savings to migrate to another country. Monies that could been used to establish a business in their native country.
5. When you migrate to another country, you miss your family members and friends. Sometimes you may have to save for many months in order to get the money you can use to plan a vacation to your native country to see your family members and friends.
6. You may experience culture shock. You may be shocked to experience several cultures that you are not used to. For example, as an African man, you may be shocked to know that women in western countries are treated with equality without any gender bias. As a husband, you might have to start doing some house chores you don’t do before back home in order to adjust. You may have to live with and adapt to seeing gays, lesbians and people with other sexual orientations in the community, because the law allows such orientations in these countries.
7. You may have to deal with severe weather conditions. If you migrate to Russia and North American countries, you may have to deal with cold. Several times during the winter, the temperature in these countries get to subzero temperatures which you may not find easy to adapt to.
The pros of traveling abroads
Despite the ills of traveling abroads , we can’t deny the fact that there are some benefits you can get by migrating to another country.
1. You and your children can get better education and training when you travel abroads.
2. You could earn more money which you can invest in your native country by working abroads. This is even more easier if the exchange rate of the foreign country is higher than that of your native country.
3. You and your family can get better health care when you migrate to another country.
4. You could enjoy better amenities like good roads, cleaner air, security, constant power supply if these amenities are not available in your country country.
5. You might become a citizen of the foreign country over time, if you meet their citizenship criteria.
6. You can have the opportunity to learn a new language.
7. You will have the opportunity to build new network with persons from various countries who might help you make more progress in life.
8. It will broaden your perspective about life generally. Your general outlook on life will change as you meet new people from various cultures and nationalities.
9. It will help to boost your curriculum vitae and help you get a better job, in case you choose to return to work in your native country.
Factors you should consider before relocating to any country
Here are few important factors you should consider before relocating to any country.
1. Why do I really want to relocate? Am I relocating for the right reasons? You need to know this. You don’t need to relocate because all your friends are relocating. Relocating for the purpose of furthering your education or because you have skills that are needed in another country are better reasons of migrating.
2. Am I relocating to the right country? Not all countries are just right for you. Why go to a country that is experiencing wars and conflicts? Why go to a country that does not respect human rights? Why go to a country that doesn’t do not welcome immigrants?
3. Does the country welcome immigrations? There is no use going to where you are not welcome in the first place. You won’t find it any easy I’m such countries.
4. Do I know all about the legal means of relocating to the country of my choice? Illegal migration is sucidal. Avoid it by every means possible.
5. Do I have the skills that are need in the country of my choice? Or do I intend to further my education once I get there?
6. Can I speak the language of the country? Being able to speak the language spoken in the country will make things easier for you, like getting a job and networking.
7. Are there job opportunities in the country? You don’t want to move from drying pan to fire. You need a job to maintain a good life and pay your bills. If there few jobs in the country you are going to, it may not be a wise choice for you.
8. Do I have the financial resources needed for my relocation plans? Relocating to a new country involves a lot of financial costs. You don’t want to travel and get frustrated and having to depend on charity. Therefore, it is wise to save up and have enough money that can sustain you and all your dependents in the new country for at least 6 months before getting a job.
For those who are considering migrating to another country, with the aid of the information provided above you need to sit down and assess your options critically. You need to do as much research as possible about the country you intend to go to and you need to be aware of the facts. You can’t depend on hearsay. This is a life decision and you don’t need to take it lightly. You need to arm yourself with as much information as possible in order to make a balanced decision.
If you have the financial resources to relocate LEGALLY and you have skills that are needed in the country you wish to go to, or you want to go for studies or there are job opportunities in the country suitable to the skills that you have, and the economy of the country is better than that of your native country, then I see nothing wrong with traveling abroads for greener pastures.
I know several persons who are abroads and are still doing several businesses in their native countries in Africa. They have someone supervising the businesses for them. They travel back to their countries annually or biannually or even more to check their businesses and to invest more.
One good advantage some of these countries may have over your country is the higher exchange rate, better educational standards for your children, improved health care and social amenities. Higher exchange rate is in favour of most persons working abroads.
However, it is strictly up to you to know what is best for you.
You can also decide to set up and grow your business here and then travel out from time to time for vacation and to look for foreign investors that you can partner with to come to your country to invest and build a bigger business with you.
No matter the decision you take, don’t approach it as if you are running away from your country. The goal is not to escape, but to increase your capacity to get better economically and to help others get better too. If you choose to relocate, don’t forget your father land. Attract investors and build your own companies or businesses in your country which would create jobs and better the lots of your fellow countrymen. After all, there is no place like home!
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