Think back to your lectures and seminars in college. Some would have been delivered to rooms with 200+ students crammed in, and each and every one has the chance of graduating with a similar skill set and similar qualifications to yours. Daunting, right?
What this adds up to in the long run is a huge amount of competition for graduate jobs. Some have even estimated that as many as 83 graduates apply for each entry level position offered in the US and UK job markets. Considering this fact, it’s easy to understand why candidates without an impeccable extra-curricular record or relevant on-the-job experience are unlikely to make it onto the shortlist.
So what are the alternatives? Well the world is a big place, and when you can expand your job search beyond your hometown, state, or even country, you open yourself up to thousands of new opportunities.
You might have noticed the term “brain-drain” being thrown around in the media. This refers to the theory that as more and more graduates take up jobs abroad, the countries in which they earned their education will suffer. The fact that this is becoming a commonly debated problem gives a good indication of how common it is becoming for young graduates to take on roles abroad.
With this in mind, here we take a look at five reasons that you too should make 2014 the year in which you look for employment overseas.
1 – You can use your language to your advantage
While English is commonly spoken all around the world, native English speakers are still highly valued in the workplace thanks to their ability to write English perfectly and speak it with native flair. Being able to use your mother-tongue as a “skill” on your CV not only feels gratifying, but will also put you ahead of other applicants who are more local to the job than you are.
This is particularly true for jobs in disciplines such as customer service, PR, marketing, content management and business development.
2 – You can make your savings work harder
The cost of living can vary massively depending on where about in the world you are. The $1000 your Grandma has been saving up for you over the years might not even get you a used car in your homeland, but overseas could represent a vast sum, enough to set yourself up with accommodation and all the furnishings of a life with money left to spare.
We spoke to the editor of financial publication QROPS Review, who specialise in providing those who are looking to move abroad with easy to understand information, had this to say:
“A great way to create a shortlist of countries you could afford to live in is by using the cost of living index rate. This list contains many of the world major countries and cities, comparing the price of groceries, rent and entertainment as a percentage of the average cost of these outgoings in New York. You will be surprised at how many of the world’s most beautiful and modern cities aren’t even close to being amongst the most expensive.”
3 – Experience abroad looks great to employers back home
The corporate culture of businesses can vary hugely from country to country. Some companies, tech start-ups in San Francisco for example, are known for informal and creative corporate cultures, while other parts of the world, like Japan, still conform to traditional business management practises.
Having experience of working overseas shows employers that you are adaptable and can easily integrate with not just new corporate cultures, but new cultures entirely. Many employers want people who are capable of working outside of their comfort zone, and there is no better demonstration of that than leaving your home town and setting off into the big wide world of international business.
4 – Less personal taxation
America and the UK are home to some of the world’s largest income tax rates, meaning that a large chunk of your earnings could be disappearing before the money has even hit your bank account. Fortunately, there are many places in the world who place a much smaller emphasis on income tax when scheming to grow the national coffers.
The Cayman Islands, Gibraltar, many countries in the Middle East and even the Bahamas enjoy a low or non-existent rate of income tax, making employment in these countries a great way to save for your future while gaining work experience.
5 – The chance to live and work wherever you desire
You can’t choose where you are born, you can’t choose where you grow up and, in many respects, you can’t even have a truly free choice as to where you go to college. By this logic, getting a graduate job could be the first time you have truly had free reign over your geographical future.
Will you decide to work somewhere where you can spend every weekend at the beach? Or would you rather move to a cultural capital, a world renowned hub of art and cultural experience? When you seize the opportunity to take on employment abroad, you literally open up a whole world of possibilities and are given the chance to build whatever lifestyle you might desire.
So, where will you be heading?