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Bag that dream overseas position: Top destinations for expat careers

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Ian Yim, Head of Wealth & International, HSBC Bank (Singapore), breaks down the opportunities available at popular destinations globally, on the basis of the Expat Explorer survey.

To be frank, there is no such thing as the ‘perfect job’, but that doesn’t mean you should stop looking for one that best fits you at this current point of your life. After all, you’re constantly growing and changing and your career path should progress with you.

If you’re looking for more opportunities or are feeling stagnant at your current job, then perhaps you can consider going beyond the borders of your home country to find the place where you can thrive at work. According to the HSBC Expat Explorer 2018 survey of more than 22,000 expatriates, career opportunities is the number one reason why people settle abroad.

If you’re keen to take the plunge, there are some in-demand skills you’ll need to bag that dream overseas jobs. Engineers, medical professionals and tech specialists, in particular, are wanted in many parts of the world.

As for where to go? The HSBC study tells us that Germany is the best place in the world for globetrotting workers, followed by Bahrain and the UK. Here’s a breakdown of the opportunities available at these popular destinations. 

Germany

Germany is at top of the list for ambitious globetrotters looking to further their careers in 2019. Its strong work/life balance and job security helped to secure its first place spot. As the largest economy in Europe and the fifth largest in the world, there are definitely opportunities for foreigners with specialist skills.

Despite having one of the lowest unemployment rates in the EU, Germany still faces shortages of skilled workers in certain professions. These include qualified engineers, IT specialists, social workers and manufacturing positions. Professionals with vocational qualifications are also in demand. And with an ageing population, workers in the healthcare, geriatric and nursing industries are also in short supply.

Bahrain

Bahrain is attracting the world’s best and brightest with enviable pay packages. According to the HSBC Expat Explorer 2018 report, 77% of foreign workers say their earning prospects are better in Bahrain than back home. A majority of them even received accommodation, airfare and medical allowances.

With its strategic location, good infrastructure, and highly skilled workforce, the Kingdom has a successful history of doing business and is the main banking hub for the Persian Gulf and a centre for Islamic finance.

Although known for its oil industry, its economy has expanded into banking, heavy industries, retail and tourism. Sectors that have higher employment opportunities for expats include business and financial services, tourism, healthcare, infrastructure, education and manufacturing.

United Kingdom

Internationally mobile citizens rave about what working in the UK has to offer for both professional and personal development. Britain’s foreign workforce is young, educated and ambitious, with more than two-fifths in possession of a post graduate degree. Global talent has long powered the international melting pot of London and that does not appear to be slowing down.

The British healthcare system is always looking for foreign professionals to complement their medical staff. There are also various engineering and tech-related positions in the UK that are constantly in-demand. Basically, if you are any type of engineer, in IT, a scientist, or a medical practitioner, then you will probably find it easier to get a job as these occupations are in short supply in the UK.

Whether you are taking a calculated risk to secure the job of your dreams or moving to accept a big promotion, working abroad can have serious consequences for your finances. Knowing where to keep your savings, how to transfer money and protect against currency fluctuations is vital. Once you have these in order, you can focus on seeking out new experiences, gaining new skills and learning more about your new environment.

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