In the past few people would emigrate without securing a job, or at least without lining up some interviews. But in these uncertain economic times it seems that would-be expats are becoming bolder, abandoning nations with high unemployment rates and few opportunities in favour of chancing their luck, looking for work only after arriving in countries with strong records for solid expat employment.
The ‘opportunistic expat’ (as such people have been branded) are most notably on the rise in Singapore.
According to headhunters, like recruiter Kelly Services, in recent months Singapore has seen a surge in expats looking for work after their arrival in the region.
Stella Tang, the director of the Singapore branch of Robert Half International Recruitment Services, recently stated: ‘Singapore’s financial sector is still healthy so may expatriates from the UK and elsewhere are looking for employment here. We are seeing more banking and finance professionals arriving as visitors and exploring job opportunities while they are here’.
Similarly, Vice President of Kelly Services Mark Hall was recently quoted as saying: ‘For now this trend is likely to continue because Singapore remains very attractive to many foreign professionals, particularly those from Europe where the unemployment rate has just reached a record high of 12 per cent. Singapore has also built a reputation amongst many people as a city that offers a good quality of life, a favourable tax regime as well as a range of interesting career opportunities.’
Hall did go on to issue a word of warning however, saying: ‘People want to be in Singapore. They recognise that in a competitive job market, being on the ground will demonstrate their commitment. At the same time, hiring managers are becoming increasingly reluctant to consider candidates who are based outside of Singapore when a diverse and qualified talent pool already exists here.’
So if you’re feeling brave and are considering joining the ranks of opportunistic expats, bear in mind – getting a job in Singapore might not be as easy as you think. Foreign labour rules are being tightened for a start, and companies are reducing typically generous employment packages.
And if you haven’t got a reasonable amount of savings to support yourself during your job search you may be better off becoming an expat in the more traditional way!
Keep watching our blog for a guide to making being an opportunistic expat work for you.
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