Once upon a time, New York and London were the places to be if you were looking for a job in finance. While these two cities remain at the top of lists for many financiers, the rapidly changing landscape of the global economy has caused others to move away and take advantage of the immense opportunity elsewhere. New global financial hubs are gaining in relevance everyday all over the globe, posing even better options for finance jobs abroad.
Why Work Abroad in Finance
Finance has become far from a centralized professional field. In the current interconnected state of the global economy you can find important nodes of economic activity in pretty every major region of the globe. Many financiers find it more profitable to move abroad to emerging markets, where the payoff can be great if the game is played right. Cultural and linguistic differences may make the transition challenging, but every finance professional knows that without risk, there can be no reward.
Most of the world’s most important financial centers are located in North America, Europe, and East Asia. These are the wealthiest regions of the world, with the most advanced economies, so it makes sense that many finance professionals would flock to the major cities of these countries when looking for finance jobs abroad.
First, the United States; New York, Chicago, San Francisco, Boston, and Washington D.C. are the leading financial cities in the world’s most powerful country. In Europe, London, Zurich, Geneva, Luxembourg, and Frankfurt play a similarly prestigious role. These cities attract the best of the best in the West, so if you really know your stuff, there is opportunity for big payoffs in any of these places.
Next is Asia. Tokyo, Singapore, Hong Kong, Shanghai, and Seoul have all emerged as huge centers of economic activity over the course of the last century. Asia has the largest markets in the world, and many believe that China will soon take over as the world’s premier economic superpower. Either way, Asia is a fantastic place to find finance jobs abroad, as it is a land of great economic opportunity.
Many finance professionals have also taken their services to the developing world, in search of finance jobs in new emerging markets. Cities such as Mumbai, Kuala Lumpur, Sao Paulo, and Panama City are all financial hotspots that many peg as the next big economic center. In the end it is only up to you where you want to place your stakes!
Finance Jobs Abroad
There are a few ways to go about securing a finance job abroad. The first choice of many is to find a job at home, and then request a transfer to an international office. This may take time and patience to achieve, but if you put in the hard work required for an international company to consider your request, then it is very much a possibility.
Another method is to look for work directly in the country where you wish to find a job abroad, which is a bit more challenging to accomplish. Almost any country will require you to possess some sort of work permit and residential visa to legally work abroad, which can turn employers off immediately. However, if you have a solid global network and show that you are qualified for the job, again there is a good chance they will consider you for hire.
It all depends on your professional qualifications, experience, and the effort you put into landing the job. Many financial professionals aim high by targeting overseas hedge funds, private equity firms, and investment banks for finance job opportunities. If you are just starting out in the field, then you might want to start a little lower; begin by looking for finance internships abroad and work your way up from there.
Salary & Affordability
The salary you will receive mainly depends on the economic status and tax policies of the country you find a job in. Obviously there is a huge range within your potential compensation, but also bear in mind that in certain regions of the world (such as India or China) your salary will take you a lot further than others (such as Europe or Japan). Additional factors to consider are housing affordability, compensation for transportation, healthcare, and employee benefits.
Break Down Barriers. As the global marketplace continues to consolidate, economic and political borders simply do not mean what they used to. Finance and corporate activity transcend country lines, and obtaining a finance job abroad will put you on the innovative edge of cooperative economic action.
Diversify Your Qualifications. As global finance continues to develop as an essential part of economics, having international work experience will greatly expand your own knowledge and ability within financial affairs. It will also make you a more intriguing candidate for future finance jobs (maybe in yet another country).
Freedom to Speculate. By deciding to move abroad and begin an international career in finance, you are making the most important investment possible in a foreign econom, yourself. If you think you know the global marketplace, this is the time to put your money where your mouth is.