Expat career progression in an ever-changing world

Expat career progression in an ever-changing world

Expat career progression in an ever-changing world

With the present-day global economy in flux, are expat professionals changing their relocation choices?

High earnings and the opportunity to accelerate career progression are the driving forces of many expat professionals’ lives, but other factors are now influencing decisions in this fast-changing world.

Formerly, long-term positions with global multinationals provided the chance to climb the ladder of corporate success, but economic instability has reduced such opportunities, replacing them in many countries with shorter-term gigs and encouraging expats to change jobs more than in previous years. In a recent survey, Bahrain moved up the rankings to number five due to higher wages and the lure of more disposable income in a less controversial location than the remainder of the Gulf region’s states. Some 80 per cent of expats who took part in the survey reported they were able to save more and pay off debts. Hong Kong’s recent diversification into tourism, banking, heavy industries and retail didn’t result in its being rated higher than Bahrain’s small island.

For expats seeking a stable, long-term location in which to shine, both Canada and the USA are doing well as destinations, although the Trump presidency is a downside for many of those heading to new jobs in America. Canada expects to attract up to a million new arrivals over the next two years, stressing its openness and friendliness and somehow forgetting to mention its tortuous immigration requirements. One plus point for Canada is the ease of integrating into local communities, and a good number of expats who’re working there have decided to stay for ever.

Interestingly, local living is now becoming a focus for many would-be expats as well as business travellers, with cross-cultural awareness and ease of integration an important draw as it stimulates involvement with the community and contributes to the feeling of being ‘home’. The availability of suitable, preferably serviced, apartments is becoming more important as it leaves expats more free time to socialise and get to know the locals. Even the UK, stuck in its Brexit dilemma, seems to be attracting more career-minded expatriates nowadays, drawn by its combination of job opportunities, entertainment and culture.

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