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My fun in the sun! The Dos and Don’ts of moving abroad

My name is Charlotte and I work as the Client Relationship Manager for Nordic Jobs Worldwide. I have recently moved back to Oslo after several years by the Mediterranean and the beautiful islands of Malta. This is my story of how it all started and the challenges you might face when leaving the safe comfort zone here at home. It’s about how I decided I didn’t want another year of the dark and cold winter life here in the Nordics and how I packed my bags, left a great job, apartment and friends here in Oslo, not knowing what I had to expect – more than 320 days of sunshine. And that … was enough for me!

Moving abroad and have a life in the sun is something many people dream about. Yet so many people fail to make this a reality for themselves. “It’s not that easy, you can’t just leave everything” you might think now. But I don’t agree.

Yes you can. It might both sound harsh and a cliché – but nobody decides what you want to do with your life – more than yourself! If you have a dream about moving to another country, you have to do the research, find out how you are going to get there, what it takes, what you have to sacrifice, and what you will win in the end by doing those things. And then – you have to make a decision and go for it! If you see that other people around you are doing it – ask yourself – why wouldn’t you be able to do the same?

In this blog post I will tell you a little bit from my own story and hopefully it will both be helpful and also inspiring – as moving to Malta is the best decision I have dared to make in my entire life! I will also go through what challenges you most likely will have to face – and how to win over them!

WHAT TO DO – WHERE TO START – WHERE TO GO?

It might be easy to look at Instagram, beautiful pictures of that girl in a pretty dress with the wind in her hair, or that guy partying at some cool beach club and a capture that makes it all sounds fluffy, warm and easy. But when you land at the airport in a foreign country (maybe somewhere you never have been before!) perhaps on your own, not knowing if the taxi is going to show up, or maybe like me, with a lost luggage. Then its very easy for evil thoughts such as “Omg what have I done?” to appear. For me it was exactly like that. I have just said good bye to my boss and a job I had been very good at for over 5 years, packed all my stuff and left an amazing apartment in the central parts of Oslo, and waved goodbye to my dear friends at the airport. 4 hours later I stood alone at the airport in Malta, waiting by the luggage claim – just to realize my luggage was missing. All my clothes, toilet bag, documents – everything was gone. I only had my hand luggage and my phone. Not a great start …

I have done a lot of traveling through my life, so I tried to stay calm and think that it will be alright. I found my way to the desk and reported the missing bag. This was of course after I had to wait for 1 hour in line, and this was my first interaction with the fact that Maltese people – don’t stress. Ever. But they are also very kind and eager to help! I filled in the documents, my flight number and then … all I could do was to cross my fingers and wait for it to come back to me!

ACCOMMODATION IN MALTA – DO YOUR RESEARCH AND DON’T GET FOOLED BY REAL ESTATE AGENTS

Finding apartments in Malta is very easy. You can choose if you wish to live on your own and pay a little bit more, but most people are sharing a flat. By sharing your apartment with either friends you’ve perhaps moved down with together or if you find new friends on the island, you will get a really nice, big apartment with a sea view. Remember that Malta is a very small island, so no matter what, you will be close to both the sea, shopping or your job. It is also important to remember that you can find an apartment on your own – don’t rely on the different real-estate agents as they usually charge a very high fee on finding you a new home. Standard in Malta if you for instance have a rent of €1000 is that you will first have to pay 1 month rent – 1 month of deposit and then half of the charge to the broker. That makes it €2500 in one go. If you find your own place before arriving, (ask for help from the group “Maltasvenskar” on Facebook) you can just move right in and take over a room from someone leaving, and then you don’t have to pay this fee. In either way – it’s always good to prepare with some savings before moving, just in case. And guess what? My luggage arrived on my door just a few days after my arrival! So, it all ended well and I could start my new life in the sun with my best friend!

Example: My sea view from my flat (4 bedrooms!!) that
I shared with a friend for €1400

FINDING A JOB – MALTA OFFERS WELL PAID JOBS AND GREAT CAREER OPPORTUNITIES

When I first heard of Malta, I knew a lot of people worked in the iGaming industry, and companies like Betsson, Leo Vegas, Mr Green and many more have their offices on the island. However, since I have been working in sales all my life – I tried to find a job within sales. I did find a job as a Scandinavian travel agent. I applied for the job and it didn’t take long until someone called me and after this phone call I was offered the job! Now I was even more eager to move! But in all excitement, I also got worried. Was this really happening? Was I going to leave my job after 5 years and a boss I had a very good relationship with? Was I ready to leave all my dear friends and my amazing apartment that I loved so much and spent time in decorating and making my own? These are all things you have to consider when moving abroad. Its going to be a big change leaving all that to come to something different and brand new.

It was time for my first day at work in Malta and I was stoked! I met the team, my boss who was from England and the first thing that happened was the following:
“ Do you have a phone Charlotte?
– Yes, of course.
“Can you show it to me?”

I picked up my iPhone from my bag and glanced confused at him. He looked at me with confident blue eyes and with a sneaky smile he said “Now I want you to sell it to me. Make me want to buy your phone” Just like that. That was a few nervous seconds, but I manage to pass the test. The point of this was of course just to see how I handled the situation and that I didn’t break under pressure. That might sound a little bit harsh, but it also taught me something on my very first day. Later, after a few months as an agent, I got promoted and offered the position as Scandinavian Team leader and Social Media Executive instead. I then had the opportunity to build up my very own team of agents. This was an amazing experience and I learned so much about myself. It was challenging going from being a colleague to the team members just to all of a sudden becoming their Team leader telling them what to do and how to manage their sales – but it went great and we had an amazing time together! I am thankful I had a boss who believed in me and gave me that chance.

Golden Sands beach – My view from my first job on the island

After a few years I left my position at the hotel for a new challenge. I decided to enter the iGaming industry, even though it was scary to me! I knew nothing about casino, poker or sports – but I just had to give it a try! Again – I was offered an exciting position as a traveling Sales Executive for a big language provider, offering translation and content services within iGaming. Here I had a great boss again who believed in me as a person and my skills, and I got the chance to enter conferences in places like Las Vegas, London and Lisbon. I also got to go on a big Blockchain cruise to Monaco and Ibiza learning about the Crypto world, which was also brand new to me.

These months were the most challenging ones of my life, I think. Selling a product or being in an industry that is brand new is scary, but I can’t even describe how much you grow from this as a person! You become “fearless” and you dare to dive into new things you didn’t think you would manage. How many people in Sweden would get a chance like that without any education or a fancy degree? Malta gives you great chances and career opportunities!

My years in Malta gave me endless opportunities, great parties, amazing views, beautiful climate with sunshine all year around, new friends, so many important lessons and a LOT OF FUN! It doesn’t matter if you work as a Customer Service Agent or if you wish to enter a new industry using your marketing degree in a senior position in iGaming. You will have an amazing time either way!

I can promise you, no matter the challenges you will face – it´s all going to be worth it!
And you know how I can make that promise?
Because I did it! And now … it´s your turn
😊 Good luck !

Charlotte Kamlin - Client Relationship Manager
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