With over 60 nuclear reactors currently under construction abroad and even more proposed, relocating could be a possibility for many UK engineers whose skills are in demand overseas. Countries around the world are recruiting low and high-skilled engineers at nuclear power plants for design, manufacturing and production, as there’s a gap of expertise and an increasing need for low carbon, high output energy.
If you’re wanting to relocate for a job at a nuclear power plant, here’s how you can make moving abroad less stressful.
1) Research the country’s nuclear industry
All power plants have a lifespan – some may be active for another 20 years, while others are being closed or upgraded. Will there be an opportunity to work after your contract has ended? Positions may be available at other plants, on decommissioning projects and in different regions. Researching the country’s nuclear industry allows you to identify the full landscape, with the opportunity to plan for your career’s future.
2) Find out the job benefits
Relocating usually includes a package to fund your move, but, if not, don’t be afraid to ask for relocation assistance from your employer. This can include costly necessities such as paid flights and help with selling your home. Relocation packages can be provided as a lump sum or as expenses, and it’s important to assess the benefits you’ll be receiving to ensure you’re not left out of pocket.
3) Visit your new location
The only way to really get a feel for your new location is by visiting it. Familiarising yourself with the commute, the community and your new home will minimise the mental worry that comes with relocating. Use this as an opportunity to assess the working conditions, meet with colleagues and understand the local customs and cultures. While there, set up a bank account, pre-arrange your utilities and complete other tasks you need for a stress-free move.
4) Join ex-pat forums and speak to other engineers
Relocating can be both physically and mentally trying, but one way to minimise this is to speak to other engineers who have moved. Knowing what challenges they faced when relocating will help you to better plan your move. Join ex-pat forums to meet new friends away from work and for tips on the local area.
5) Learn about the country’s nuclear processes
It’s important to ask how nuclear procedures will be different to those in the UK. Other countries have different laws on taxes, labour, certification and safety processes. Using a compliance division or the company’s HR department to ensure you’re knowledgeable will leave less room for error and give you an insight into what to expect while working overseas.
6) Remember the end goal
It can take a while to settle in after moving to a new country. For international relocation, there are four stages, according to the Settlement Curve – Fun, Fright, Fight and Fit. Until you have a routine, you may feel disconnected from your friends at home or anxious about your new role – this is perfectly natural. Make a list of why you’re relocating, the great opportunities you have in front of you, the benefits and where this will take you. Knowing your end goal will keep you motivated when you find yourself missing home.
With all of these in mind, you can begin to enjoy the next step in your career abroad.
Willing to relocate for a job at a nuclear power plant? View our range of nuclear jobs available.