If you're looking to inject a little adventure into your career, you're in search of new opportunities or just desperately need a change, it might b
I mean literally, maybe you should get all your most important stuff and move it far from where it is right now. The expat life could be calling you; or are you just going to let the ease and inertia of allowing each day to melt into the next determine the course of your life?
If any of this is resonating with you at all, I’ve got a handful of destinations for you to consider. HSBC surveyed expats around the world and ranked 33 countries on categories that included living, how a place can help enable your aspirations and family-friendliness.
Average those three together and you get this very diverse overall top ten:
5. New Zealand
9. United Arab Emirates
Switzerland may come as no surprise to people – it’s one of those European countries that just seems to be very friendly to anything that involves ranking nations. Totally the prom king/queen of national ratings. A high quality of life, earning potential and great education help it earn top honors here.
Some other notable nations, in case you’re wondering: the United States comes in at 23, mainland China at 26, France at 17, the UK at 27 and Japan at 32. I was interested to see India at number 18, above Sweden at 20, which also tends to be a place that these sorts of rankings usually favor more.
Drill down a little more into the data that HSBC gathered with the help of YouGov, and there are some surprises. For example, how about the nation ranked first in terms of work/life balance?
You might imagine yourself surfing the shores of Australia after-hours, but the survey says the small middle-eastern nation of Bahrain is the place where it’s easiest to leave work at work. (Australia is number 5 and nearby New Zealand ranks second, so your beach and breakers daydreaming isn’t all that far off, after all.)
Let’s say you’re feeling a little stuck in your career, or that you’ll never move up until someone retires. Expats say a move to Hong Kong could help your career progression better than anywhere else on Earth. If you’re already in the United States though, you might want to stay put, because the US ranks number two.
But pulling up all your roots and starting over on the other side of an ocean is a daunting proposal. The HSBC also ranks countries based on “Ease of settling in” and the easiest country for setting up a new life comes as a shocker: fantastic but sometimes tumultuous Turkey.
The nation on the border of Europe and Asia also ranks at the top in terms of “cultural, open and welcoming communities.”
And, of course, there are over 150 more countries that HSBC’s survey doesn’t even include, so the possibilities are many.
In particular, the survey gives short shrift to Latin America, including only Mexico and Brazil in its rankings. A few years ago, I researched the best places to move for my family to have an adventure, learn some spanish and take advantage of the exchange rate. We ended up living in Ecuador for a short time and loving it.
For the more career and entrepreneurially-minded, Argentina and Chile also offer lots of great experiences and opportunities.
To start to get a sense of what part of the world might be the best setting for the next chapter of your life, there’s lots of data out there, and you can start with HSBC’s expat explorer right here.
The opinions expressed here by Inc.com columnists are their own, not those of Inc.com.
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