The process of getting ready for your UX contract abroad is much like preparing to go on holiday, however in this instance you’re looking to earn money in another country. Either mentally or on paper/digital, you’re going to need to start with a comprehensive checklist of things to get in order before you leave.
Make sure to do your research beforehand and settle on a day rate that works for you and the employer. Figure out how much of your day to day expenses will have to come out of your own pocket, and therefore what kind of wiggle room you need on your rate. Look up local contracting rates and check that your expectations are along the right lines. Consider conversion rates and how they may fluctuate slightly over the course of your contract – it is likely you will lock down a day rate in the country’s currency, however this could translate into different amounts each pay day if you are being paid into a UK bank account.
You should endeavour to network with other UX contractors to find the best options for accommodation. Looking online is a great first step, too! Some people like to secure short term hotel accommodation for their first few days abroad, and then settle upon somewhere more permanent once they’ve spent some more time there. You may also need to consider any rent or mortgage at home, too – are you able to be mobile at this point in time, can you sub-let, or are you coming to the end of a tenancy?
If this is your first time taking contract UX work abroad, you should reach out within your network or with an industry recruiter to learn about the ins and outs. Depending on the company, you may be able to receive pay into your existing bank account, but you may well need to take steps to make payment possible within your country of work. Ask these question at the earliest possible opportunity, similarly if you are working via a recruiter. You also need to consider whether you would like to work via your own limited company, or if you need to sign up with an umbrella firm to help you process payment. In this case, ask people you know for recommendations on reliable providers and search around for the best rates.
You should check with your employer beforehand regarding expenses. Will you be able to expense travel, food and accommodation? Or, would you need to factor this into your day rate (see step one)? Find out what their expenses process is like – can you submit as you go along, or do you have to wait until you invoice? Make sure to find out about all of the help you are able to receive in this area, to make certain your earnings go further.
We hope these tips have been helpful. Read more on the IC Resources news section for insights on contract and permanent employment within UX.
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