Are you overqualified, but cannot seem to progress professionally? Or do you simply feel like a change? If you’re feeling stuck in the career you’ve built for yourself at home, have you ever considered the increasingly popular solution of working abroad? Here is why packing up for a new adventure might be the key to boosting your career prospects.
In our globalised economy, the prospect of working abroad is becoming more and more common among young professionals. The professional and personal development promised by a change of scene could appeal to you if you are feeling unfulfilled.
At TeamRH, a recruitment company with an increasing number of international clients from across the globe, we understand that moving abroad can significantly improve your professional and personal skills. Here are a few reasons why expatriation can change your (working) life!
Better job prospects
It could be that your professional skillset has a much greater value in other parts of the world. If you are happy working in your chosen sector, but feel like there are not many opportunities in that field in your country, it might be worth doing some research on how you can use your skills effectively elsewhere. If they are well sought-after, you may even receive a higher income, or promising opportunities for promotion.
The work culture in your new country is likely to differ from what you are used to. This may take some time to adjust to, but by doing so, you will acquire a new perspective on working life, as well as many other qualities and skills.
It is probable that your new job will provide you with new technical skills, ‘hard skills’, which will boost your CV without a doubt. But the real advantage of working abroad is the abundant acquisition of soft skills, the human skills and qualities associated with emotional intelligence, which are acquired over a long period of time. Your resilience, ability to adapt, open-mindedness, determination and communication skills will flourish and significantly improve your performance in interview. It has also been suggested that adapting to new cultures improves problem-solving skills, as testified in a study by William W. Maddux, which is very appealing to employers looking to hire fast-learning candidates.
Living abroad will inevitably mean meeting new people, especially in the workplace. If you wish to maintain and develop an international career, networking abroad is the best way to do it.
Many high-ranking positions require international experience and the ability to manage an international team, particularly within large companies. Making connections across the globe will therefore allow you to build a network which will help you if you want to progress towards senior management positions.
A new language
Depending on where you are relocating, you may have the opportunity to learn a new language. This is a huge professional advantage in many ways, as multilingual employees are often sought-after in large firms.
The importance of languages must not be undermined. Not only does language learning improve your cognitive abilities, but many languages, English, but also others, are essential in business. At TeamRH, we know that bilingual or trilingual workers are increasingly in demand. Further, learning the language of the country you are living in is crucial if you are to form real bonds with your colleagues and truly understand their culture. So, why not relocate to a country where you can challenge yourself to take up or brush up on a language?
Quality of life
It could be that you are looking to improve your personal life, as well as your professional one. Sometimes, the two are linked. Many expats working in countries such as Switzerland, Germany or Canada note the excellent work/life balance compared to their home countries.
Researching the general working hours, the health of the economy, the cost of living and the local culture and customs are essential if you are considering moving abroad.
But how to decide where to move to? Taking the HSBC expat explorer survey as inspiration, let us tell you why their top 3 destinations for working abroad are so attractive to expats.
Top destinations for working abroad
Your ideal country to live and work in will depend on what you are looking for in your career and lifestyle. But these top 3 destinations offer great professional and personal development overall. Here is why:
Canada – a booming economy, a great healthcare system, an easy, friendly integration process and an urgent need for expat workers! Things to consider:
Canada’s growing economy and abundant natural resources have meant that employment rates have dropped in the last few years. There is a great need for foreign workers in specific sectors, such as hospitality, healthcare, industry and IT, meaning that Canada is opening its doors to international recruitment. The income in these sectors cannot be ignored, with expat salaries tending to be higher than in other Anglophone countries like the UK or the US. And if you are bilingual, even better, as businesses in both the English provinces and Quebec are desperate for speakers of both languages.
It may take some time to get used to the country’s vastness, as well as its extreme weather. Your rent and utility bills (for the cold winters!) are also likely to be high. However, thanks to healthy salaries, this is generally not a great problem. So wrap up warm and head to Canada if you have the skills the country needs!
This multicultural hub with a competitive economy, excellent education, healthcare and transport system is increasingly an expat favourite, in all areas! Things to consider:
As a very rapidly developing country, with a keen focus on trade and finance, Singapore’s economy is growing and becoming very attractive to foreign workers. Rated number 1 for wage growth, economic confidence, entrepreneurship, and job security by HSBC, it is no wonder that an estimated 40% of residents are foreign nationals. Be careful to learn the business culture in Singapore, however – it may be very different to what you are used to.
While Singapore may be the place to move to if you are set on progressing in your career, you will have to work very hard to be successful there. Long working hours mean that the work/life balance may be similar or worse to your home country. The high living cost must also be taken into account, though if you are working in the finance or marketing sectors, your wage is likely to offset it, and you will likely experience a better quality of life than back home. If you are ambitious and driven in your career, Singapore is the place to be!
And last but not least, Switzerland. This small country in the centre of Europe was voted as the best place to work and live abroad according to the HSBC expat explorer survey. Things to consider:
What makes Switzerland stand out among expats is its very high wages, as Switzerland’s foreign workers are generally there to provide skills which the local labour market cannot provide. The Swiss work ethic is very high though – you will have to work hard for your salary! The quality of life is reported to be excellent, with top healthcare, transport and education systems, though it comes at a price. Living expenses are high, so it is best to move here with a solid financial plan.
The main drawback is the difficulty to integrate with the locals; expats have claimed they tend to be reserved. This may be where learning a language would come in handy, and this is nothing to be afraid of. Start by learning some simple phrases in one of Switzerland’s four official languages, and give yourself time to integrate. For a multicultural experience with great financial opportunities and a great work/life balance, choose Switzerland!
TeamRH is a Recruitment Company located in Paris. It is a crucial player in the legal and financial sector. We provide services for our national and international clients, aligning ourselves with their pursuit of excellence.
As a company with international clients, we welcome applications from candidates from all over the world and with international experiences. So, when sending us your CV, do not hesitate to mention the soft skills and experiences that make you stand out.
Take a look at our current positions here. Apply today!