Relocation And Country Information

The option to relocate for work is attractive and exciting, but it can easily upset working routines and lifestyles without planning and preparation. The decision to relocate is a challenging one. For all the excitement that comes with the possibility of working in a new country or experiencing a new culture, you have to weigh the prospects that a relocated opportunity provides against the disruption it could cause to work, family, and friends.

To Relocate or Not Relocate

From familial buy-in to cultural changes, from taxation to travel, and from how far your money goes to how far it takes to get to your office, everything is new, everything is under scrutiny, and you must do it while ingratiating yourself with a new work team, in a new working climate, and more than likely suffering from a bit of homesickness.

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It sounds stressful, and it is if there needs to be more planning.

Many companies have dedicated relocation teams, in-country and home-country liaisons, a whole suite of support networks, and financial incentives to make the move as seamless as possible. Of course, problems arise, but preparation is vital!

If you make the jump (and many hundreds of thousands a year, even post-pandemic, do), moving abroad for work can be a life-changing, fantastic, immersive, and wholly positive experience, offering you the unique challenge of living and working in a new culture and environment. 

It can push your career in new and exciting directions, and the fact that so many professionals do it with their children opens up their experiences, too.

However, what sort of problems should you be aware of? What are the main pain points of working and living abroad?

Here are five of the most important considerations when thinking about working and living aboard: what to avoid, what to be aware of and what to triple-check before flying!

Career Goals and Opportunities

Relocation is almost always viewed positively from a professional perspective, as you will be considered an internationally-minded candidate who is flexible and prepared to adapt and develop to a senior level in a new country.

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Moreover, it could lead to additional responsibilities, further accelerating career growth.

Large corporations usually prefer candidates with good international experience for senior roles. But even if a senior position is still in your sights, you can significantly enhance your capabilities for any career move by learning from different cultures.

Culture, Location, and Environment

Consider work permits, language requirements, cultural fit, and whether you can communicate at a social level.

Many people do scouting trips or short-term working visits before moving full-time to a new region, city, or country, and we encourage, where feasible, every professional to do this as much as possible. 

However, while this may be obvious to state, visiting a location as a tourist after living and working in a new country on a day-to-day basis is very different. 

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Ask yourself some key, probing questions, like: 

  • Will the work environment help or hinder your career? 
  • Will you enjoy your social life outside of work? 
  • Do I understand the nuances of community life enough to feel comfortable and integrated?
  • Do I have a firm grasp of inter-country travel, and can I comfortably commute to work even with minor barriers at a cultural or communicative level?

To excel in a new working environment, you need to make sure, both logistically, emotionally, and culturally, that you are prepared and ready to work.

Relocation Benefits Package

The offered salary and benefits package should be an important consideration in relocating.

While it shouldn’t be the most important consideration, it should undoubtedly rank highly. You want to ensure your money goes far enough to live, work, eat, and socialise comfortably.

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Most companies will consider the cost of living in the local market and your existing package before making an offer. 

Depending on where you move, you will likely be due a relocation package and discounted or subsidised costs to make moving more accessible; in some extreme cases, you may even get a “hardship allowance” to meet the rising cost of living in a new country.

Other factors, such as the local job market, the local tax regime, and others, will all determine how much of your salary you can save, spend, or be due. 

Currency fluctuations should also be considered; while this will fall on your employer to adjust accordingly, it’s wise to be savvy about how far your money goes in a new market.

When evaluating compensation, we say to do the following:

  • Determine your current net salary in the new location compared to the previous net salary (after factoring in taxation differences). 
  • Consider the additional compensation benefits such as bonuses, car allowances, pensions, and private medical insurance to make a direct comparison. 
  • Once you have compared the packages, you must evaluate the differences in cost of living, housing, and other expenses.
  • Then, weigh the package against other, more cultural and familial “costs,” such as being away from friends and loved ones, familiar communities, and the pressure of conforming to and learning new patterns of living and working. 

So, can you afford it? 

Relocation Expenses

Looking at the full spectrum of what relocation entails, expenses such as housing, consumables, travel, insurance, socialising and schooling are some of the critical costs to consider.

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These costs will, of course, vary greatly depending on the market and will significantly impact your standard of living and your yearly and monthly budget.

While these are somewhat localised expenses, you also need to evaluate costs such as housing foreclosure, moving, and logistics getting to and from new homes, opening a new bank account, organising a student visa (if applicable), organising a real estate agent, organising health insurance, getting and paying for a work permit (if required), and generally being on top of all the necessary paperwork.

As mentioned above, some companies will offer some form of relocation assistance for international candidates, but not all. 

Even though the company would often state this when making an offer, if the relocation package does not include moving costs, you should always make sure your needs are addressed.

The Effects of the Move on Your Family

Your family is, naturally, one of the most critical considerations in any work-related relocation decision.

Living away from family or relocating with your family needs careful, empathetic planning, especially if you have to learn a new language or face significant cultural changes compared to your home country.

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Issues to think about include: 

  • Finding a suitable job for your spouse,
  • Local schooling for children, including after-school systems, clubs and extracurricular education,
  • The quality of the local healthcare system and accessibility to it as a migrant. 

The Most Popular Locations for Job Relocation

According to GoAbroad, the ten best countries for moving abroad to work are:

South Korea, France, Japan, Canada, New Zealand, Germany, Cambodia, Singapore, the UK, and Ecuador.

The reasons vary, but in the main, they come down to an attractive mix of strong standards of living, healthy job markets, broad skills demand for various jobs, environmental diversity, health standards, and a fascinating, welcoming culture. 

But where are people going to work, and what is the appetite for moving abroad for workers in Europe?

Relocation in Europe

There are multiple resources to lean on, but in our view, the most important are the following when considering EU-wide movements of talent and living abroad:

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  • “40% of people relocated for career advancement or to make more money, while most of those willing to move were aged 25–44.”.
  • “The market size of the employee Relocation services industry is expected to increase by 1.2% in 2023.”.
  • “The top 10 destination countries account for 60 per cent of global immigration”.
  • Luxembourg is the country with the highest proportion of people from another European Union Member State: 41% of the population, followed by Cyprus (13.3%) and Ireland (9%).”.
  • “4.5 million Brits consider moving abroad for work.”.
  • “1.3 million Europeans live in one country and work in another.”.

The Future of Relocation

While the EU has benefited from decades of relative peace, prosperity, and freedom of movement that encourages relocation, the winds of change are upon us.

A positive movement has been that intra-continental activity is more accessible and attractive with systems like Portugal’s Golden Visa and Spain’s Digital Nomad Visa – moving abroad has become much easier within some sectors.

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Brexit, however, has been a spanner in the works for everything from failing investments to the end of ERASMUS. However, non-EU nationals are now making up a more significant proportion of immigration into the UK and, as such, are starting a small wave of relocating workers from under-utilised, newer markets. 

However, the flip side of this is the ongoing centralisation of relocating talent within EU borders.

There is a severe brain drain from rural areas in countries like Italy and Spain, and certain cities are getting so expensive that people need help to move there. Not to mention how the expansion of remote work, which hinders migration and impacts commuting, moving, relocation, investment in office space, and centralisation of work areas, defines generations. 

In response to some of this, some townships, especially in these more economically depressed areas of the EU, are going as far as to pay people to relocate to their locations or even sell properties for a single Euro

  • “At the end of last year, according to Time Out, Italy announced it would pay people €30,000 ($33,114) to relocate to some of its rural towns. “The country also has an ongoing €1 home scheme, most recently putting eight houses in Sant’Elia up for sale to stimulate the town’s economy.”

As these economic winds of fate continue to blow, the future of relocation services and the attractiveness of relocation, in general, will change; how it pans out for the next few generations remains to be seen.

The Relocation Bottom Line

Knowing you could, or can, relocate for work is an enormous privilege and something most if not all, professionals would consider an exciting career move. 

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However, no one should ever approach moving abroad without considering such a move’s professional, cultural, and familial costs. From local tax regimes to the emotional impact of an activity on a family and children, a spectrum of stresses and potential issues could arise. 

Preempting as many of these problems as possible makes any relocation package much sweeter and smoother and makes the whole process enjoyable, rather than a series of painful readjustments done on the fly.

If you’re looking for your next international challenge in finance or audit, then Send Us Your CV or Search Jobs to find out about the roles we currently have available. Our consultants can help put you in front of the right people for more relocation and country information.

Similar posts: Salary and Benefits AdviceFinding a Job That Suits YouComposing a Well-Written CVDeveloping Your Career

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