Top 5 countries for expat careers

Countries in Europe and the Middle East have usurped a number of long-term trendsetters in North America and Asia for inspiring superior expatriate careers, according to a new survey by HSBC.

The new top five

The top five countries for expat careers in 2018 were (from one to five) Germany, Bahrain, the UK, UAE and Switzerland. The US and Canada were eighth and ninth respectively. In Asia, Singapore fell from the top five to seventh place, while Hong Kong rose to 10th.

Career-oriented questions

The HSBC survey compiled responses from 22,318 expats working in 163 countries along a series of metrics, such as work / life balance, earnings prospects and career development. Survey participants were asked to rate the experience of their new work location according to eight career-focused questions.

Germany ticks all the boxes

Deemed a hub for career progression, with 65% describing it as productive, 70% of respondents from Germany also said their work / life balance had improved since relocating to Europe’s powerhouse economy. The country’s strong working culture (second only to Sweden’s) and its level of job security were also contributing factors to Germany’s top ranking.

Meanwhile, in the Middle East

Rising 10 places up the rankings this year, Bahrain won favour with expats thanks to its enviable relocation packages. A whopping 77% of expats reported better earnings since moving there. Besides the healthy remuneration factors, positive career development was also a major influence on its high ranking. Many respondents (59%) said they had felt they had become a better leader as a result of learning how to navigate the island nation’s distinctive work culture.

What Brexit blues?

External factors, such as the economic and political climate, were not directly taken into account for the survey. The report noted that ‘despite Brexit blues’, the UK had moved up six places from the previous year to claim third place among the most desirable countries for expats. Respondents ranked it as the best country in the world to learn new skills and the fourth best to climb the career ladder – just behind Hong Kong, the US and Singapore.

Photo: Manama, Bahrain

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