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The Go-Getter: Boosting Their Career

Go-Getters are highly educated expats who move abroad for job-related reasons. While they are happy with their career prospects, their personal life often suffers a bit.

With more than every fifth expat (21%) categorized as a Go-Getter, they make up the largest share of the world’s most common expat types. Go-Getters move abroad to boost their career: close to three in five (58%) cite finding a job abroad on their own as the most important reason for moving to another country, followed by 31 percent who were recruited by a local company and ten percent who planned to start their own business abroad.

Maybe it’s their strong career focus that motivated them to invest in their education: ten percent of Go-Getters hold a PhD, compared to seven percent globally — only Students have a higher share of expats with a PhD (11%). Another 45 percent graduated with a master’s degree, and 33 percent have a bachelor’s degree. When it comes to their career field, the Expat Insider 2018 survey shows that Go-Getters mainly work in education (16%), IT (12%), and manufacturing & engineering (9%). “Working life in Germany is very satisfying, especially for engineers like myself, as there is an abundance of jobs and opportunities available,” says an expat from Singapore, who moved abroad after finding a job on his own.

Spending 44.7 hours per week at work, Go-Getters are slightly busier than the global average (44 h). Despite that, 64 percent are satisfied with their working hours, a result just slightly above the worldwide average (62%). Additionally, 59 percent are happy with their career prospects, compared to 55 percent globally. “The job I have is very exciting in terms of the future, and the salary is very good,” reports a British Go-Getter living in Vietnam. In fact, close to three in five Go-Getters (59%) believe their salary abroad is higher than what they’d make in a similar job back home (vs. 53% worldwide).

Putting work first might have an impact on their personal life: close to one-quarter of Go-Getters (24%) are currently not living in the same country as their partner. This isn’t only the highest share among all expat types, but also twice the global average (12%). Therefore, it’s no surprise that close to one in ten (9%) are unhappy with their relationship, which is also the highest share among the various expat types. Maybe this is one of the reasons why, although 71 percent of Go-Getters report being happy with their life abroad, this is still five percentage points below the global average (76%).

It’s not only their relationship that sometimes seems to be tough, but making new friends abroad can also be hard. Close to three in ten Go-Getters (28%) find it hard to make new friends, compared to 25 percent globally, and making local friends seems to be even harder (41% negative responses vs. 36% globally). In fact, 42 percent of Go-Getters are mainly friends with other expats, eight percentage points more than the global average (34%). Moreover, 25 percent don’t feel at home abroad yet, and another 18 percent believe that they never will (vs. 22% and 18% globally).