The Facts Around Working Abroad

According to the United Nations an incredible 232 million people are now living in a country in which they weren’t born.

Expat life is truly a global phenomenon with ever more of us travelling around the world for better weather, increased career prospects or more competitive salaries.

According to HSBC, who surveyed 22,000 expats around the world recently, 58% of all the expats they spoke to moved abroad because of their career. Reasons cited include better job prospects, new challenges or employer requests.

But with such a global population of individuals seeking better work prospects, the next obvious question is which countries offer the best career prospects?

That’s exactly what the recent Expat Explorer survey sought to understand, asking thousands of expats about their experiences of working abroad.

The results paint a fascinating picture of the current global workforce willing to transition to employment in another country.

For example, in terms of the top countries for working abroad Switzerland takes the crown, closely followed by Sweden. Interestingly Sweden was also cited as the country offering the very best work/life balance, with generous initiatives for working parents allowing them to satisfactorily balance child-rearing with income-earning. Germany completes the top three destinations.

It is interesting to note that despite the popularity of the Middle East for exceptional expat packages it still seems that Western Europe offers the best of all worlds – from respectable salaries through to cultural highlights and a safe and secure economy.

Just as note-worthy is how most expats actually find their overseas positions. The survey suggests that the single most common source of expat work is through an existing employer, often offering the opportunity to relocate to offices overseas. Coming in a close second (with 26% of respondents) was “personal contacts”.

Lastly what does the survey tell us about the average expat package on offer? As it turns out, the average income of expats taking the survey is $103,544. Highest salaries were found to be offered by Qatar.

Of course expat packages are so-called because they typically consist of more than just a salary, but also a selection of additional benefits, including insurance for working abroad.

Here the most common benefit, enjoyed by 52% of the surveyed expats, are health and medical allowances. Interestingly while many expats also benefit from an annual airfare allowance and/or housing allowance, these are far less common with just a third of expats benefitting from such allowances.

The HSBC paints a rosy picture of expat life, offering an opportunity to enjoy new experiences and cultures and to further your career – all while enjoying a generous salary and benefits package. While expat life may not be for everyone it’s easy to see why expat life is such an appealing proposition for so many people.

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