Keeping in touch with people back home

Wherever you are, don’t neglect relationships back home. They are a source of strength, sanity and career salvation (if things go awry in your adopted country):

  1. Set up a regular “check-in” with the boss. This could be a weekly call or a status update dropped in their inbox. Of all relationships, this might be your most important. Get this wrong and the expat dream is over.
  2. Similarly, keep recruiters updated on your whereabouts and situation. Anything can happen these days: is your job that safe?
  3. On those occasions when you return to your home country, make sure to meet with the people that matter – the boss, your family and friends. This is paramount.
  4. Launch a video chat to chat with family for that extra personal connection. This is especially true when maintaining relationships with younger people, who develop so quickly (unlike the rest of us).
  5. Similar to the above, digital technologies are uniting the world like never before. Identify the social network or messaging app that works best for you and your connections, whether it’s Facebook, Google+, WhatsApp or any other medium.
  6. Go back to snail mail. A handwritten letter is a romantic thing to do and carries more meaning than a hastily written post in social media.
  7. A few words are better than no words. An email that simply says “Busy at the moment. Will write more later.”, while appearing curt, is a reminder that you are still alive.