Global healthcare company AXA PPP International has found that expats most commonly relocate for better career opportunities.
The company surveyed more than 500 expats, asking them why they moved abroad. Thirty per cent said they relocated for better career opportunities and 23 per cent cited increased pay and benefits as their reason for moving. Other reasons given for moving abroad were an improved work/life balance (15 per cent), a better environment to raise a family (14 per cent) and the desire to simply live in a foreign country (nine per cent).
The research also found that 68 per cent of those who moved for a better environment to raise a family said that the move had lived up to their expectations. For those who moved for better pay and benefits, 55 per cent agreed it had met expectations and, for those who moved for an improved work/life balance, 52 per cent said it had matched their expectations.
However, a small number of those who moved abroad to further their careers found relocating was not what they were expecting. For example, of those who moved for better career opportunities, just 38 per cent said it had lived up to their expectations.
“It’s true that moving abroad can present some fantastic opportunities for career development, many of which may not be as readily available at home. Moving abroad, expats might be given the chance to learn about new emerging markets or experience different customer segments as well as enjoy lifestyle benefits such as an improved work/life balance,” commented Tom Wilkinson, CEO of AXA’s global healthcare business. “From my own time as an expat, I would therefore highly recommend working abroad to anyone looking for new experiences or to build on their career.”
Wilkinson also said that it is important for expats to remain realistic and suitably prepare for what’s ahead so that expectations are more likely to be met. “In certain countries, such as New Zealand, for example, wages are typically higher than those in the UK. However, this tends to be indicative of other factors such as higher local living costs,” he highlighted.