Would you be willing to drop everything and move to another country for a job?
The Boston Consulting Group and The Network surveyed 200,000 people in 189 countries to figure out the global willingness to work abroad. The conclusion? People will indeed set down professional roots in another country—although younger workers seem far more willing to expatriate than their older peers.
An internationally mobile labor market increases the pressure on cities such as New York and London to provide an ideal mix of housing, education, public health, and other factors that attract top talent.
Some 65 percent of those responding to the survey said they would consider working abroad in order to broaden their personal experience. Acquiring work experience, finding better career opportunities, pursuing an attractive job offer, and improved salary prospects also topped the list of reasons.
Where do the majority of global workers want to head? The United States, which 42 percent of respondents listed as their top potential work destination, followed by the U.K. (37 percent), Canada (35 percent), Germany (33 percent), Switzerland (29 percent), and France (29 percent).
London topped the list of most appealing cities (16 percent), followed by New York (12.2 percent), Paris (8.9 percent), Sydney (5.2 percent), and Madrid (5.0 percent).
But citizens in the United States seemed a bit more reluctant to return the favor—less than 50 percent said they either lived abroad or would consider doing so for work. That’s in sharp contrast to countries such as France, where a significant majority of citizens seemed willing to explore jobs in other nations.
“If workers have exactly the skills that are needed in their country of origin or in the country they want to move to, they may indeed be in great shape,” the report concluded. “But the better the opportunity, the more likely there are to be hundreds or thousands of highly skilled foreigners coming in to compete for the available positions, especially in economies and companies that have laid the right groundwork.”
As if globalization hadn’t made competition hard enough.
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Image: The Boston Consulting Group/The Network