Trade in the pound was mixed yesterday, but the currency ultimately closed the session higher thanks to mounting Brexit optimism.
A work visa is typically required for any long-term move abroad and obtaining a visa can be a tricky process at the best of times, so focusing on destinations where your skills are in-demand will greatly increase your chances of getting approved.
Computer says yes
As computers become ever more integral to our daily lives and digital solutions become ever more complex, the need for tech-savvy skills at all levels is on the increase.
Surveys suggest roles in technology are the single most in-demand job role globally, with opportunities open to highly-specialised software development engineers and more general web developers alike.
Sarah Stoddard, community expert at job search site Glassdoor explains: "from artificial intelligence, automation, virtual reality, cryptocurrency and more, demand for jobs in engineering, product, data science, marketing and sales will continue to rise in order to support the innovation happening across the country."
As businesses across international borders compete to attract new candidates so wages and bonuses become more attractive, often offering a more lucrative option than you might find in the UK.
Getting your hands dirty
Even with digital business booming a significant need for more traditional skilled labour still exists. The construction sector still sees a steady stream of international job postings, ranging from architects to bricklayers and carpenters.
International job search websites are a perfect place to look:
- Experteer is an international employment agency specializing in executive job opportunities.
- Tradesmen International lists construction and industrial roles and is often deferred to by other international employment agencies.
- Monster Jobs allows you to search by country, company or industry worldwide.
- Skills For Employment is a .org knowledge sharing platform which lists in-demand skills by country. Some countries with current skill shortages include Japan, India, Brazil, Turkey, Mexico, Greece, Australia and even Germany!
Leverage the lingo
If you’re considering a move to a country where English is not the primary language then your native tongue can be an asset.
English remains one of the main working languages in international business and diplomacy, with a permanent place in classrooms around the world.
Teaching English as a second language is a common route into working abroad, provided you have the appropriate TEFL certification (visit www.tefl.org for more information).
Even if you lack fluency in the local language this is rarely considered a major hurdle, with counties such as China expecting all lessons to be conducted purely in English.
Improve your income
At some point you’ll want to narrow down your options. Although it’s important to consider a range of factors when you’re deciding if a destination is right for you, money will always be an important consideration.
Some countries will pay a much higher premium for your specific set of skills than others, making it important to scout around. Even if the pay packet looks larger in a straight comparison this doesn’t always tell the full story.
On the other hand, some countries offset apparently low or UK comparable wages with lower tax rates. Iceland is one such destination and offers a host of other benefits beyond cost-of-living, including free education, free healthcare, a stable socially aware government and some of the most beautiful landscapes on Earth.
Turkey is a highly affordable destination and, despite recent concerns over safety, has been deemed safe for travel and emigration.
Not only does Turkey offer a reduced cost of living and lower tax rate but the country is currently in a skills-shortage trough, providing ample opportunities for skill matched roles.
Remember the down-time
When job searching on an international scale it’s worth considering the perks that a specific company and country can offer you.
The number of public holidays at your disposal will vary widely depending on where you choose to settle, with some locations offering more than the eight days we have in the UK.
However, not every country has the same legal obligation to pay workers on public holidays, which could see you lose out in the longer term if you choose to work in the US or Japan. On the other hand, workers in India are entitled to 15-20 paid public holidays!
Try before you buy
One of the best ways to figure out if a new country is for you is to take a working holiday. A holiday may be a good way to see the sights, but you may miss out on the day-to-day realities of a working life so this is a good way to ensure your chosen destination is a good fit.
Having the chance to pick up on local working culture will also stand you in good stead, removing some of the awkward adjustment period.
Of course, there are a range of factors to consider when looking for a new country to call your home. Finding a role that works best for you, makes the most of your skills and offers a comparable, if not better, cost of living and work/life balance is essential.
Ultimately home is where you lay your hat, but work is where you’ll spend at least half your time, so take care to choose both the right home and the right job.
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