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Top 5 Reasons Why People Relocate Abroad

The world is becoming smaller and more easily accessible through cheaper and more frequent travel options. This has increased the number of people willing to work outside of their national country for a number of reasons and has also provided an increasingly global pool of talent for multi-national organisations to recruit skilled and senior personnel from. 

At Executive Headhunters EMA Partners UK, we conducted a study into the main reasons senior personnel choose to relocate abroad. Our findings identified five main reasons why people are choosing roles outside of the UK.

1. Financial Incentive

Unsurprisingly, financial reasons were some of the main influencers for people to move abroad for their job. It’s no secret that many companies will offer high salaries to employees in senior roles who are willing to relocate abroad on a permanent basis. Due to the relative scarcity of top candidates who are willing to relocate, as well as the considerable effort and investment relocating abroad requires, many businesses offer considerably higher salaries than standard in order to attract the best candidates.

As well as higher salaries being offered, the relevant countries tax regime might be attractive resulting in a further financial advantage in terms of take-home pay. For example, some countries such as the United Arab Emirates, Qatar, and Saudi Arabia have considerably lower tax rates than the UK,  making them desirable locations to relocate.

Image of businessman at airport looking at airplane taking off

2. Career Development

Many professionals wish to relocate abroad in order to help them develop their own career. Moving abroad can be an extremely advantageous experience for senior professionals looking to add another feather to their cap. Not only does it allow people the chance to work in a multilingual environment, but it also provides experience working in a different culture with new, different business practices.

This helps prevent people from getting ‘stuck in their ways’ and also means that if they choose to return home, they can bring with them fresh insight and knowledge. The multilingual environment also gives employees a chance to learn new languages, which can be incredibly valuable when it comes to career development. There’s also evidence to show that people who work abroad develop better problem-solving skills, and are more likely to create new products and businesses. From this perspective, relocating abroad could be hugely beneficial for personal development.

In addition, in the increasingly multi-national environment of many organisation. Taking a role abroad might be a necessary step to future promotion enabling network building amongst potentially key influencers and senior executives. Shortages of top quality candidates in some markets may enable a quicker  rise through the ranks than would be achievable by staying in the UK.

3. Exciting Opportunities

Moving abroad for work brings a lot of exciting opportunities with it. More often than not, the main appeal is the role itself. In order to entice a prospective candidate to relocate abroad, many businesses will offer opportunities with interesting and exciting features. Moving abroad won’t necessarily mean doing the same job in a different country. It will usually mean being prepared to completely adapt the way you work and learn new skills. For many, especially those who are growing tired of their current roles, this is an ideal scenario.

This isn’t just limited to the immediate opportunity. Gaining experience working in international roles can significantly strengthen your CV and demonstrate proficiency in adapting to new cultures and work environments. This opens up the door for more exciting opportunities in the future. This is true now more than ever, with an increasing number of UK businesses having head offices or satellite offices around the world.
Image of a light blue world map

4. Lifestyle

Of course, not all reasons for moving abroad are work related. For some people, the main appeal of moving to a foreign country is the lifestyle changes it entails. For a number of employees, the country itself is the main appeal of working abroad. Employees are increasingly placing more value on lifestyle and work/life balance than they did historically. Many people are now more interested in experiencing new things and travelling the world, and as such the amount of people looking for opportunities abroad is increasing.

For this reason, some of the most popular countries that UK employees move to are popular holiday locations including Spain, Italy, and Switzerland.

5. Personal Development

In addition to developing their career, one of the main reasons people choose to work abroad is for personal development. Developing as an individual as well as professionally is highly important to many modern professionals.

When you move country and change lifestyles, you begin adapting to new cultures, customs, and ways of life. This can help people develop significantly on a personal level as well as a professional level.  Assimilating into a completely foreign workplace culture also helps people to change their mindsets and the way they look at things. In fact, many people describe moving abroad for work as a ‘life-changing’ experience, one that had a positive change on how they behaved and their outlook on both their business and personal lives.

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