Secondment refers to travelling for an extended period of time or living abroad on a posting for work with the intention of returning after said posting is over. For example; a South African woman is sent to help with aid and development in The Congo. She knows she will return after four years. What is her plan of action? This begins the three phases of secondment.
Phase 1: Getting your Affairs in Order
- One will have to decide if you will be renting out your home for four years or selling it and diving back into the property market upon returning
- If you have pets you may have the option of letting them live with family or a friend for that period. You may have to find them a new home altogether.
- You will have to decide if you would like to put your furniture and items you will not be taking with you in storage. Selling these items is also an option as you can refurnish once you move back.
- If you have the option of shipping your furniture, you will still have to minimise what you take with; remember that you only need the essentials.
- Make sure to renew any licenses that may expire while you are abroad to avoid more hassle upon your return; i.e. car license.
Phase 2: Getting Ready for the Journey
- Getting your passport and visa in order are crucial to a successful journey. Although this process actually falls under phase 1, you should use this time to verify that everything is correct and in order.
- Making sure your baggage is within the weight limits is crucial; unless you are having more things shipped down later. If not, make sure you know the airport’s regulations on overweight luggage and be ready to pay any necessary fees.
- Include anything you will need to work with in your luggage and have enough clothes for up to the next month so that you are comfortable until the rest of your things arrive.
Phase 3: Arriving
- Make sure that you have your transport sorted out before you arrive. If you need a vehicle, make sure you have arranged so beforehand. Explore the vehicle range that are available from KJAER and KJAER, and we will ensure your vehicle gets delivered right to you. (too many sure) or contact our inhouse specialist /vehicles/expatriates-vehicles.aspx for the right vehicle decision.
- Once settled, you should locate your embassy. As representatives of your country they will help you with situations like lost baggage with the airline, trouble with your visa or general inquiries about the area and its languages etc.
- Make yourself familiar with the surroundings in terms of hospitals, police stations, banks and grocery stores.
- If you do not have an established web of contacts you should have an emergency contact that knows the country better than you do; for the small and big issues you may have.
Secondment can be intimidating, but it really is a life-changing opportunity. Don’t be afraid, home is waiting for you, so enjoy the ride!