Planning to Escape Working in Singapore? You Might Want to Consider These 10 Places


Jeff Cuellar



Do you wish you could just escape Singapore and work abroad? Even if you enjoy your job, you probably have co-workers and friends that constantly complain about how much they hate working in Singapore.

Can you really blame them though? After all, it’s no secret that Singapore office environments are notorious for being as cutthroat and competitive as anything you might have seen in Game of Thrones (minus the eye-gouging and emasculation of course).

However, if you wanted to live and work elsewhere, what would be the best place to move to?

That’s what the Hydrogen “Professionals on the Move Report 2014” aims to answer. It’s an annual survey that tries to answer the question, “What are the best nations for expatriate professionals to work in and what motivates them to move there?”


Why Would Singaporeans Want to Work Overseas Anyway?

In 2011, the Singapore Business Review ran a story revealing how 73% of Singaporean professionals (especially finance and accounting professionals) were interested in taking up a job overseas.


Mainly for the opportunity to attain career advancement, a bigger salary, and get the “expat” package for a change such as housing allowance, moving allowance, and the other lovely perks that come with a nice secondment to another location.

In general however, what are the factors that attract foreign professionals to live and work abroad?

According to the survey, it comes down to these three attractions:

  1. The Lifestyle: The location might have been a previous holiday destination with a national lifestyle that you loved so much – you just had to work there.
  1. The Career Prospects: The location might be an international hub for your particular industry (ex. Oil & Gas, Banking, etc.), where you can gain valuable “international” experience.
  1. The Culture: The location might appeal to your personal love of a certain culture (ex. You enjoy K-POP so much you decide to take up a job teaching English in South Korea).


The 10 Best Nations and Cities for Professionals Want to Work Abroad

From the reasons above, it’s obvious that professionals prefer to move to places that offer personal and/or career fulfillment.

Of course, you could also have no real preference where you want to work and might move just to gain “international” experience so you can command greater salary back home when you return.

Well, regardless of your reason for wanting to move, here are the top 10 best nations and cities to work abroad:


Top 10 Best Nations to Work Abroad Top 10 Cities to Work Abroad
#1 – The United States #1 – London
#2 – The United Kingdom #2 – New York City
#3 – Australia #3 – Sydney
#4 – Switzerland #4 – San Francisco
#5 – Canada #5 – Singapore
#6 – Germany #6 – Zurich
#7 – Singapore #7 – Paris
#8 – United Arab Emirates #8 – Vancouver
#9 – France #9 – Hong Kong
#10 – Spain #10 – Melbourne


What’s interesting about the Hydrogen report is this realization – people don’t move to nations with huge talent gaps that would benefit the most from their expertise.

In fact, according to the survey, the nations that are really hurting from talent gaps in certain industries are Japan, Brazil, India, Turkey and Hong Kong.

However, Hong Kong is the only nation/city on the list, so that means it’s probably in a better position to fill its “talent gaps” with skilled foreign talents (FTs).

Of course, we all know how much of a hot topic the issue of FTs is in Singapore, especially when the pool of available PMET jobs probably isn’t as abundant as it is in many of the nations/cities on the list above.


Final Note: There’s a huge debate in Singapore over whether there really is a “talent gap” that so many foreigners coming to work here. Some might even say that the ultra-competitive atmosphere, brought on by the influx of foreign professionals, is a huge reason why Singaporeans want to move abroad.

However, the fact remains that Singapore is a popular destination for professionals of all skill levels. The irony is that many of these professionals come to Singapore for the exact same reasons that Singaporeans want to move abroad.


If you had the chance to work and live abroad, where would you go? Share your thoughts with us on Facebook! For even more useful information on everything personal finance, visit MoneySmart today! Also, don’t forget to sign up for our newsletter to get weekly updates!


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Jeff Cuellar

I'm known by many titles: copywriter, published author, literary connoisseur, ex- U.S. Army intelligence analyst, and Champion of Capua.