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Living abroad: a must for career progression?

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"Traveling thousands of miles is better than reading thousands of books." (Old Chinese proverb)


More and more people are deciding to move abroad. In 2012, some 347,000 people left the UK in between January and September, up from 339,000 for the same period in 2011, with 58 per cent of Britons – or 201,000 – leaving the UK for work-related reasons.


In a world where almost every organisation has some sort of an international presence, having international experience on your CV will undoubtedly be seen as a big plus.


But moving overseas is a big step and it is not for everyone. So how do you decide if it is for you or not? Like most things in life the only way to really find out is to experience it but answering these 2 main questions will really help you in determining if it is for you.


  • Firstly, why you want to move, what it is that you expect to gain from it? There can be several reasons, career related reasons, better lifestyle, experiencing another culture, less taxes and/or higher salaries etc. But defining these goals up front will really help you in focussing your search
  • Secondly, what are the (perceived) risks and are you happy to accept these? Perhaps you have a family with children and the quality of schools available is therefore an important thing to consider. What are the potential financial implications on your mortgage, pension etc. How will it affect the relations with family and friends back home, what are my salary-expectations and is the feasible in today’s markets?


We have interviewed hundreds of candidates who have lived overseas and one thing have learned from them is that if you are well prepared, moving overseas can be a very rewarding experience. But without a proper preparation you might find yourself in the wrong job, living somewhere you don’t enjoy.



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