Curious about the countries that professional expats – and wannabe expats – find most desirable? Well, look no further! The Hydrogen Group has developed research that shows the U.S. as the most popular destination, with the U.K. and Australia following as 2 and 3, respectively. Here is a release about the Global Professionals research from Reuters via Yahoo:
Worries about Britain’s fragile economy, high household bills and squeezed wages were eclipsed by its growing reputation as a centre for fast-expanding technology companies, the poll said.
The United States held on to its status as the most popular location for professionals moving overseas, followed by Britain, Australia, Singapore, Canada and Switzerland.
“The United States is still the dominant force, but the UK is definitely on the march,” said Dan Fox of recruitment company Hydrogen, which commissioned the survey of 2,000 people in 90 countries.
You can read the full report here: Global Professionals on the Move – 2013.
ExpatExchange got some ink from the New York Times on Wednesday, in an article about Making a Move Abroad, and Working There, Too:
There’s a wide range of jobs that globe trotters may consider. Of course, there’s the possibility of accepting contract assignments from former employers. And there are often positions available to teach English, work as a translator, lead English-speaking tours, or work at hotels that cater to English-speaking travelers, according to Betsy Burlingame, founder of ExpatExchange.com, a leading Web site on international living.
This is a great article, as it covers a trend that is unlikely to change: people will need to work later into life. I think those that are able are likely to find a way to enjoy it, too – if you don’t have a choice, why let it ruin your life? Retiring abroad is adventurous and offers great opportunities – international experiences – that can’t be had at home. It won’t always be fun and games, but what is? So many people don’t have a choice, or they want to move overseas, and they are finding fun, rewarding lives abroad.
A recent article on expats and the importance of cross-cultural training has an almost nostalgic feel to it. Ten years ago, articles like this one from Chron.com (Houston Chronicle) were a dime a dozen. Not so much anymore. We need to be reminded that culture shock can be avoided! Here’s a brief excerpt from the Chron.com article:
Studies have shown that the faster an employee can adapt to the new country and culture, the more productive that employee is likely to be. By engaging the employee’s family in the same intercultural training, the easier it is for all to adjust to life in the foreign country, thus increasing the chances of a successful assignment.
Conversely, the failure of an employee and/or family to adjust to life in the host country often results in assignment failure, which translates into financial loss for the company.
So, if people who take the time to get cross-cultural training do adapt more readily to a new country and culture, it’s probably not a bad thing to have articles such as these to remind us every once in a while. I do understand how some people tire of them, but I disagree that they are unnecessary. Expats need to be reminded, and HR staff need to be reassured that they are funding worthwhile services.
Microsoft founder Bill Gates found himself in territory many expats are familiar with – the land of the cultural blunder, per ABC and Yahoo!, (and most every other news outlet around the world). While in South Korea recently, Gates greeted South Korea President Park Geun-hye with a one-handed hand shake while his other hand was in a pant pocket:
Gates, 57, might have not realized it Monday, but a one-hand shake in Korean culture – and also in Asia – is notably casual, done only when the other party is a good friend, of the same or younger age. Using one hand with the other tucked in the pants pocket is considered rude here, done when one is expressing superiority to the other.
Not going to lie… I wouldn’t know that this is an insult in any other country, let alone which one specifically. That being said, the hand in the pocket thing is a bit casual for greeting a head of state. Then again, anyone familiar with even part of Mr. Gates’ story will not be surprised at all. He has always marched to the beat of his own drummer, and I dare to guess that has only been reinforced by his success.
If you’re Irish and looking to Work Abroad, what country are you likely looking at? Well, if you believe the scuttlebutt at the Working Abroad Expo in Dublin, Canada is held in high regard for those seeking to hop the pond:
The recurring motif of this weekend’s Working Abroad Expo at Dublin’s RDS was the maple leaf, with many attendees saying they were looking for the chance of a new life in Canada…
Michelle Noone from Caltra in Galway, who was there with her husband Declan, said they were going because “we can’t see things getting any better here.” But there were also those who said they were going out of choice. Ruth O’Neill (25) from Dublin, an employed chemical engineer, said she was looking forward to the chance to live and work abroad.
Johanne Doucet, of building company LaFarge, said they had received over 100 applications for 10 assured jobs, adding that the company’s “big problem” was that it had too many applications.
Obviously the ongoing economic climate remains a significant challenge for many business environments. It’s interesting to see people discuss their motivations for moving abroad. For some people it’s a wise career move, while others feel that the writing on the wall isn’t encouraging enough at home to forgo an opportunity to move abroad.
Channing Tatum isn’t exactly an expat, but he will be working abroad, and his wife will have their baby overseas in London:
Channing Tatum has revealed his first child will be born overseas.
The actor and his wife, Jenna Dewan-Tatum, revealed on the Oscars 2013 red carpet in Hollywood on Sunday that due to work commitments, their baby will be born in London — something the “Magic Mike” star expanded on during his visit to “Jimmy Kimmel Live After The Oscars.”
The article notes that the couple’s child will not be able to be President of the United States. Is that reason enough to stay at home and have the baby on their native soil?
Many people that live, work or study abroad end up with a desire – even a need – to live abroad to continue their international experience. A recent article on the website of the Daily Pennsylvanian, a student run, independent newspaper for the University of Pennsylvania, covered international students that want to work abroad after they graduate:
For some Penn students, studying and interning abroad is just the tip of the iceberg.
According to the Career Plans Survey for the class of 2012, 9% of College graduates said they would be working internationally. This included 42 American students working abroad, as well as international students leaving the United States for employment. Kelly Cleary, a senior associate director at Career Services, said that starting a career abroad is becoming more common.
Cleary is currently writing a dissertation about working abroad and career development, and her “research findings show that it opens up career opportunities for people … [and] can give students a competitive edge in their long-run careers because it’s a global economy now.”
It’s a helpful article for anyone who is considering a career abroad, but it’s also interesting to read about how many college students have expectations and/or a desire to work abroad. It’s a “go where the opportunity is” attitude, and that makes a lot of sense in an environment where young people are finding it hard to find work.
Italy’s talent is once again moving abroad, according to a recent article on Yahoo!. These expats have turned to other nations to find a better environment for their respective industries:
For more than a century unskilled Italians have gone abroad to escape poverty, but these days the people running for the exits are among the country’s top brains.
A growing wave of technologists, researchers and entrepreneurs is flowing away from the motherland. Few think this weekend’s elections will do much to alleviate the gloom.
“I am Italian and I love Italy. But every time I come back to visit, I see the country is sliding a little further back,” said Andrea Ballarini, an economics graduate who left for the U.S. West Coast nearly three years ago…
“My business partner and I bought a ticket for San Francisco. We just wanted to check Silicon Valley out. We never came back,” said Ballarini, who was won over by the pro-business atmosphere of the West Coast and now runs a virtual business fair platform called HyperFair.
Wow! Did someone just call California pro-business? Hopefully he means the environment among fellow entrepreneurs, because he sure can’t mean the tax environment. Wonder how the taxes in Italy compare to the taxes in California? Are the taxes in Italy so repressive that they’re more business friendly than California?
An expat couple in Seoul, South Korea, teachers both, found their way into the world of entrepreneurship… and in more ways than one. This has to rank as one of my favorite expat stories. You start off as a teacher in a new country, and then…
Today, they’re running a clothing store in Seoul’s hippest neighborhood, a microbrewery in the neighborhood where all the expats hang out and they’re in the middle of hosting a 20-episode TV series on Arirang about the expat life that’s called “Semipermanent.”
As Mr. Moynihan explains it, “We had a lot of lines in the water … and they came together simultaneously” …
The clothing store is called Decade and is dedicated to introducing South Koreans to designers from North America who don’t just create fashions, but stay involved in their manufacturing…
The microbrewery is called Magpie and operates from a location down a hill from Itaewon that the couple says was designed to be a lab and taste center rather than a bar. Ms. Needham said she recently admitted to a customer that the place – which looks like an overgrown kitchen with a few stools tossed in – had indeed become a bar.
Style and fresh-brewed beer for expats… what could be better? There is an accompanying video that is one in a series that focuses on the lives of expats.
Cost of living city rankings are published by several companies every year, and they are widely regarded to be an invaluable tool for help expats and HR staff alike. However, a recent article on WSJ.com highlights research that claims that these widely-publicized cost of living metrics might not be relevant for many:
“The purpose is to help companies who are moving staff to work in other countries to know how much they should pay assignees so they’re not losing out – to make sure they’re no better or no worse off by going to another country to work,” said Steven Kilfedder, ECA International’s London-based cost-of-living manager.
“It might be useful research for American executives who are going to work overseas and are paid in dollars,” said Tann vom Hove, a senior fellow at the City Mayors Foundation, a London-based think tank on urban life and economics. For local residents, “the research is more or less meaningless.” He added, of the city rankers, “I’m sure their research is good and honorable, but it’s aimed at a very limited client base.”
While there might be little relevance to local residents, it’s interesting to think about how the rankings impact expatriates that are NOT at the executive level. Aren’t these the expats on assignments that are at a far greater risk of getting lost in the shuffle while adjusting to a new country and culture? And when these expats meet with challenges that result in assignment failure, isn’t that still a big financial hit to the company or organization? I think that the researchers are coming from a perspective that looks at the far end of the spectrums, and, for whatever reason, are forgetting about the people in the middle.