Migrating to a new country is one of the scariest things anyone can do. To completely pack up your existing life, move across the world and start again, usually from scratch, is simply daunting, no matter who you are. As a parent, I found it even harder to do, knowing I was fully responsible for the future of my child. I questioned myself every step of the way as I am sure anyone who has gone through the migration process has done, or is doing right now.
Here is my guide on how to cope with your fear of emigrating and some of the questions I asked myself over and over and how I overcame them (eventually!).
Is This The Right Thing To Do?
This question will stay with you for your entire migration journey, from even before you make your decision to move, to after the move while you are still settling into your new life. Truly, only you will be able to answer this, but personally after we had made the decision to apply for our visas, I felt like we were on the right path for our family. I could not see a future for us where we were but I could easily imagine us living our lives in Australia. Close your eyes and imagine your future. If it lies in Australia (or whatever country you are choosing), then you are more than likely doing the right thing.
Will I Find A Job?
Another tough question which will often only be answered once you get here! How scary is that! For every person that managed to get a job offer before they move, there must be at least ten or even more that arrive unemployed and look to secure a job once on Australian soil. Whether you will find a job will vary heavily dependent on your qualifications (the Aussies looooove qualifications, but mostly Australian ones which can be frustrating) and your industry as well as your experience.
To help answer this question, do your research. Check out employment websites like Seek and CareerOne and also Gumtree for more admin type roles and roles that require less formal training and experience as many smaller employers use Gumtree as it is free. Don’t believe everything Seek says though as many unscrupulous recruiters will post the same job ad numerous times which may give the impression there are lots of jobs going whereas in reality it may be a very different story.
Also it is worth noting that just because you qualify for a skilled visa (i.e. your job is on the skilled list) it doesn’t mean there are lots of jobs for you. Qualifying for a visa is very different to current market needs so pick your area to live carefully around the potential job opportunities you find when researching.
Will We Find Somewhere To Live?
Yes! I would recommend renting to start with when you arrive, at least for 6 to 12 months as you get a feel for the city. The rental market 2 years ago was very different to today. When we went to our first home open back in 2013, the house was small and had an almost non-existent back yard, but there were over 25 families lined up waiting for it to open. You could barely move in the house trying to look around!
These days, properties are standing empty for longer and many landlords are choosing to lower their rents in order to attract tenants. I know of some families who have negotiated no rent increase when renewing their lease, and others who have even gotten a substantial reduction.
Of course it all depends on area and what your budget is, but you can rest assured that Perth in 2015 is no longer a landlords’ dream and is weighted much more in favour of tenants.
How Will My Child Cope?
For any family with children to think about, this can be a big worry. Suffice to say, you as a parent are the one who knows your child best. Most kids are pretty resilient, and even though people tell you your kids will be fine, it comes with the territory that you are going to worry anyway!
Make sure you talk to your children enough about what is happening so they don’t feel like they are being left out, but make sure there is enough normality in your life to so everything is not consumed by the migration process.
Do all the things you would normally do, after-school activities, visiting friends and family, and the like, so your routine remains as regular as possible for your kids. Stability is key and migration virtually guarantees being unstable at least for some time so the more you can keep things even and balanced at least for your children the better.
Will It All Work Out For Us?
Ah, the ultimate question – how many times have you asked yourself this question and felt completely overwhelmed by everything? I know I did many many times! At the end of the day, I firmly believe in two things – a positive attitude and a ridiculous amount of research. The more you can find out about where you are going and what it will be like, the less surprises there will be and the more you can anticipate how things may pan out.
Of course that’s not to say it’s all going to be sunshine and roses but having some knowledge of how to approach situations and potential challenges means you will be less stressed about the little things and more focused on how to achieve your goals, whether that’s to find a house to rent or your first job or the right school for your children or making new friends or simply even how to get to the shops and back!
I hope you have found this useful as a guide on how to cope with your fear of emigrating.
What questions about the migration process do you find yourself asking over and over and not coming up with any sort of answer? I’d love to hear from you!
If you want eliminate some more doubts and worries and find out just how much money you need to survive in Perth, read my post about the cost of living in Perth here.
Hanlie7th June 2015 at 8:48 pm
No fear experienced when emigrating, only extreme excitement. The fear was having to stay in RSA before Visa’s and work were finalized.
Mel8th June 2015 at 10:38 am
1.Some of us expats left because the pain and torture of apartheid was not what we wanted for our children. Pain comes in many guises when you’re talking about South Africa and none of it really leaves. So when we talk about the post-apartheid trauma, let’s not forget the apartheid trauma too.
2. Yes, it seems expats are deemed to be ineligible to have a voice about RSA yet the double standard is amusing- when you hear pool who have never left RSA tell you about how terrible Australia, Canada, UK, USA etc is for “our people “. Furthermore they cite how terrible it is that their people have changed so much and have a “twang”.
Oh the joys and there ARE many- live and let live people.
Hussam29th July 2019 at 7:20 am
Me and wife will move soon , i am 32 y old and didnt feel scared before like now . The idea of leaving behind home, family , friends and everything else to start over again is terffiyng idea .
Thanks Reeva for this blog it is super useful, i will spend the rest of the night reading .
Reeva Cutting28th August 2019 at 5:13 pm
Glad you are finding it useful – if there are any topics you’d like to see covered let me know 🙂
Fashionable Librarian9th June 2015 at 1:21 am
Fashionable Librarian9th June 2015 at 1:22 am
Never easy but sometimes it has to be done.
Lorraine1st April 2016 at 7:40 am
For us there were justified answers to all the questions. The reality of now living in Perth is slightly different from original expectations. We are lucky enough to have family that also live here and went through the migration process before us. But having been separated from them for so long has had an impact on the relationship and we don’t feel as close as we thought we would.
Then there is the job situation. I left a very stable, wonderful and fulfilling job to move to Perth and was lucky enough to find work a little over a month after we arrived. Happy with my job, but it’s not what I had back in RSA. My husband had been made redundant 3 times before we left RSA and we were positive Perth would offer him a better future for his career. It has now been 10 months since our arrival and he still doesn’t have stable employment. It is really tough and we gave up soooo much kn the hope for a better future. The only thing keeping us going is the definite better future for our son. That is unquestionable.