Think Global Recruitment – Improving Lives Annual Survey

“International Experience makes me a Citizen of the World”

Each year, Think Global Recruitment conducts primary research in the form of an overseas survey to analyse the experiences of each accountant that they assist in their overseas move.  This year, over 100 participants took part in the survey and the aim of this report is to present; what is motivating international moves, the best elements of international moves and further interesting comments that participants have shared.

The survey was completed anonymously but participants were asked to state where they moved from and where they moved to.  Countries included; Africa, Americas, Asia, Australia, Bermuda, Canada, Caribbean, Europe, Middle East, New Zealand, the UK and Channel Islands.

Why move overseas?

When asked, “what is the main factor that prompted your desire to work overseas”, the vast majority of participants claimed that work experience, followed closely by lifestyle was their biggest reason for the move.

Other reasons that were given included: moving to somewhere more family friendly, experience another culture, close proximity to other countries, learn a new language and improved weather.

Interestingly, only 12.93% were motivated to make the move because of money.

“Besides the work experience, visit beautiful places and increase culture”

The response to the question, “what was the best thing about the move?” indicated that lifestyle (36.54%) and work experience (25.96%) were the two most highly rated aspects of working and living overseas.  A significant drop to 14.42% brings money in as the third most populous answer. Other answers included; “a mix of lifestyle, money, culture and change” and “a better living level”.

Living and working overseas gives enhanced access to travel and the opportunity to visit countries that might normally be difficult or out of reach.  One participant said, in reference to the positive aspects of their time overseas, “ability to travel to several European countries’.  Using Europe as an example, flights are reasonably priced and most countries can be visited with a short journey.  For someone who has lived in the USA all of their life, they may not get the opportunity to explore Europe because cost and travel time can make it quite difficult.

“Quicker progression overseas means that when you return, it is a higher level than you would have achieved had you stayed in your original location”

An extraordinary 85.29% of participants agreed that working overseas helps with long-term career development.  Only 1.96% of participants claimed that working overseas may not help long-term career development.

An almost even amount of participants agreed on each of the three following statements:

  • International experience is increasingly sought after in management positions (32.43%)
  • International experience shows that I am adaptable to change (30.81%)
  • International experience makes you a more rounded person (31.89%)
When the participants were asked if they would consider taking another role in their (new) location 75.73% said yes, 4.85% said no, 13.59% said they were unsure and finally 5.83% said other answers such as, “I would love to work in a different location to gain more working experience and experience another culture” and “I am planning to make this my permanent home.”.
Following on from these statistics, the participants were asked if they believe that they made the right decision to move to their new location when they did.  A phenomenal result of 87.25% of participants claimed that they did make the right decision to move.  Only, 0.98% said that they did not, 6.86% said they were unsure and 4.9% gave other answers such as; “Could have moved here many years sooner”.
Overall, it is clear that the biggest motivating factors for moving overseas are work experience and lifestyle.  This strongly reflects Think Global Recruitment’s vision of Improving Lives.  Living and working overseas not only enhances world, cultural and personal experience but it is hugely recognised as a desirable feature when going through a recruitment process.  Working overseas gives massive exposure to different working environments and proves to employers that their candidates are independent and willing to go the extra mile.  It is fantastic to be able to report that so many people believe that they made the right decision in moving overseas.
Further Information:
The participants were asked if there was anything else they would like to add.  Here are just a few of the comments that were made:
“Just do it!”
“If you are given the opportunity to relocate, take it. It is rewarding and character building.”
“It’s always a plus to gain international experience”
“Move forward always”
“The decision to move was to gain the work experience, very happy that I did”
“Move to Australia has been very positive for the following reasons:
  • Financially much better off
  • Necessity to work overtime is an irregular occurrence more often than not
  • If you have a strong educational background, chances are your job prospects should be superior 
  • Quality of life is much better, great weather, cost of living much lower “
“It’s really great to live and work here in the UK because of the working lifestyle, hospitable people and healthy environment to live in. I must say I am delighted to have worked with Think Global Recruitment during the employment process.”
“Relocation definitely helped my career progression. The international experience gained is invaluable. In addition, I was able to identify best practice and applied it on my engagements subsequently. On a personal level, the work-life balance and the financial part was way above my expectations.”
“It has been a great learning experience for many aspects, well recommended.”
“The greatest part about working in a new place is seeing how others work, approach problems and develop solutions.”
“The world is so big that you find opportunities almost everywhere, if you are really keen to make it. The important this is that you must be ready to design your life and then you can start to look after the new location. So basically, the first question is ‘What do I want?’, then the second one is: ‘Where can I find it?’ That’s it.”
“Cultural diversity is really a gain / enrichment in personal development.”
“Think Global Recruitment are the best people in helping professionals relocate and start new careers internationally”
“It’s great to have exposure to other cultures and diversity is an awesome experience” 
“It is an incredible experience. The time zones and distance to travel home were one of the downsides. But travel opportunities were in abundance, it was awesome making friends from across the globe and I certainly expanded my work experience and skills.”