When looking for a job abroad, it’s important to keep in mind what it is that’s enticing you away, and for how long. Are you hoping for a higher income, with a bigger house and the other benefits that this could bring? Or is the opportunity for more free time to enjoy your new lifestyle a bigger priority?
As revealed in HSBC’s Expat Explorer Survey of 2012, there is not always a correlation between the economic experience of expats abroad and their feelings on how their daily lives have improved. For this reason, it’s worth considering which of these criteria is more important to you.
The income of expats in Singapore, for example, is shown as being the third highest of the thirty-one countries studied, but in terms of their work/life balance, it features twenty-second on the list. Russia is fourth when it comes to the economic experience of expats living there, but 54% of those expats feel that their work/life balance has deteriorated.
Can you have the best of both in Canada?
If the prospect of not only a better lifestyle but also more time to enjoy it is what’s inspiring you to search abroad, then Canada may be worth a look. More than half (60%) of expats in Canada say that their work/life balance has improved since moving there. In addition, the country ranks second for ‘Experience’, which considers factors including working environment, commuting, and integrating into the community.
Economically speaking, Canada’s figures may not, at a first glance, compare to those of countries such as Saudi Arabia, as it has an income ranking of 28 out of 31. However, 69% of expats there still reported an increase in their salary. Furthermore, the Mercer Cost of Living Survey 2012 places Toronto, the most expensive of Canada’s cities, at 61. This is considerably lower down the list than many cities in Europe and Australia, suggesting that Canada could be a viable option for those hoping they can get more out of the expatriate lifestyle.
Citizenship and Immigration Canada published a list of occupations in 2011 that are officially in demand, including pharmacists, dentists, architects and plumbers, as well as skilled workers in the energy industry. The government also has an online listing of job opportunities. According to The Economist, the number of permanent visas granted in Canada for economic reasons as opposed to kinship rose from 18% to 67% between 1991 and 2011, and the government has announced further changes to its points-based system of selection, suggesting an emphasis on youth and skills. Eligibility details can be found on the government website, but an offer of arranged employment, or one year’s work experience in certain occupations is usually required, as is fluency in English and/or French.