Is Russia worth considering for your next career move?

Is Russia worth considering for your next career move?

Is Russia worth considering for your next career move?

Is Russia a good choice for adventurous expatriate professionals?

Russia’s reputation as a destination for career-hungry expats isn’t exactly appealing, but is living and working in this controversial country still worth a try? The worst condemnation of this vast country is that no self-respecting expatriate professional would dream of working for such low wages, but is this just a meaningless comparison with expat hubs such as Switzerland and the Middle East?

Westerners could be forgiven for turning their noses up at salaries of between $779 and $6,767 monthly, with the average expat salary at about $1,558. However, as with many secondary expat destinations, the cost of living is far lower, even in Moscow. For example, one US English teacher who’s been living in Krasnodar for some 10 years earns $941-1,254 via her contract, with extra coming in from private lessons. The amount in roubles is just a little more than the average salary in the city, but gives a satisfactory lifestyle from a stable job.

Another female expat, now a professor at Moscow’s Higher School of Economics, earns some $1558 monthly, with the amount allowing her to live as she wants and travel when there’s time. Everything, she says, is far cheaper than in the USA, including transport, general shopping, eating out and going to bars. Another Australian expat says she can easily get by on $470 a month, although she’s now working as a governess, earning $1,290 week. In Moscow, rent is the major expense and, set against the far lower cost of living, managing a budget is far more satisfactory than in her home country.

For the highly qualified and experienced, top management positions pay around $7,840) monthly and can be higher, an amount which places the lucky recipients at the high end of the salary scale. However, foreign professionals on reassignment have their expenses covered, but pay less as regards disposable salaries. For those tempted by a stint in Russia, it all depends on lifestyle as well as on expectations. Another way around lower salaries is to take another, probably part-time, job on the side, as do the majority of Russians!

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