We’ve seen an increasing number of skilled professionals are relocating in order to secure their next career step. For many professionals, relocation helps to realise personal career ambitions that cannot be achieved locally.
During the downturn more people than ever were flexible in the locations where they would consider working. But even though the GFC is behind us, people are still willing to relocate in order to revitalise and advance their career in opportunities that simply aren’t available to them in their present location.
But it’s not just jobseekers that see the benefits of relocating for a work opportunity. As the candidate market tightens in the face of rising job numbers, it is inevitable that wide-spread skills shortages will re-emerge and candidate attraction will become a significant focus for employers in the war for talent.
With its diverse culture, Hong Kong has traditionally attracted candidates looking for a lifestyle change. But now, fast-tracked career opportunities and strong employment prospects have also attracted people keen on advancing their career and this unique city is widely known to be one of the most international cities in the world.
At the moment we’re seeing high demand for professionals within the banking and finance industry. Employers are considering candidates from abroad and are willing to offer competitive relocation deals.
If you are moving for work, please be aware that most failed relocations are the result of poor preparation. Research into the lifestyle, climate, accommodation and recreational activities is just as important as researching the employment market. Here are a few tips to help you:
1. Make sure jobs are available in your area of expertise: Talk to a recruiter and explore opportunities before packing your bags. I’ve heard many stories of people expecting to find work once they arrive but unless you can fund your stay while you look for work, this only adds extra stress. It will also make the experience much less enjoyable.
2. Be realistic in your salary expectations: Salaries differ by location, so make sure you are aware of typical market rates. Cost of living also varies and needs to be taken into consideration.
3. Consider lifestyle factors: Whether the relocation will offer a tree-change or a sea-change, the lifestyle available needs to be as agreeable as the career advancement on offer.
4. Investigate the daily commute: If you want to move from a regional centre to a large city, it is likely you will spend a considerable amount of time commuting to and from work. How will this impact you? What is the public transport like? Have you considered parking costs?
5. Accommodate your partner’s career needs: Relocations often fail if a partner’s career needs are not met.
6. Know what it’s really like to live there: A one to two week trip to your intended destination is an excellent way to get to know the place before you commit to relocating there.
The views expressed in this column are the author's own and do not necessarily reflect this publication's view, and this article is not edited by Asian Banking & Finance. The author was not remunerated for this article.
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Emma Charnock is the Regional Director in Hong Kong and China for Hays.