Why South Africans are ready to call it quits

 ·22 May 2024

South Africans are willing to pack their bags and move overseas, but many need a concrete job offer before they would actually make the move.

This is according to a new labour migration report by The Stepstone Group, Boston Consulting Group, and the Network titled “Dream Destinations and Mobility Trends.”

The survey polled 150,000 individuals from 188 countries, including 7,000 respondents from South Africa.

CareerJunction, which also helped with the survey, noted that 79.5% of South African respondents said they were willing to work abroad.

Source: CareerJunction

Overall, financial and economic aspects were the most important reasons to relocate, followed by career considerations.

“Financial and economic reasons, general career considerations, better life quality and a concrete job
offer appear to be very important drivers considering what the majority of respondents selected,” said CareerJunction.

Source: CareerJunction

Financial and economic reasons

“Money is essential for the functioning of society and the economy. Every region shows that financial and economic reasons are the main drivers to move and work abroad,” said CareerJunction.

In South Africa, however, a concrete job offer scored slightly higher than financial and economic reasons as a driver of moving abroad, even though 59% of South Africans said that they would move and work abroad for financial and economic reasons.

Source: CareerJunction

General career considerations

“Individuals from Europe, Central Asia and North America don’t necessarily consider moving and working abroad as a career move or potential career enhancement.”

“However, most other regions around the globe, and especially individuals from South Asia, seem to believe that moving and working abroad can benefit their career.”

“In South Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa, career enhancement is the number #1 reason to move and work abroad!”

In South Africa, it only ranks third, at 56%.

Source: CareerJunction

Better Life Quality

Notably, most respondents in North America, Sub-Saharan Africa, East Asia, and the Pacific don’t rate better life quality as an important reason to relocate.

South Africans only rank this at number 7, with employment, money and education seen as much bigger drivers to move abroad:

Source: CareerJunction

Concrete job offer

“A concrete job offer will persuade the majority of respondents in Latin America and the Caribbean, Europe, Central Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa to move and work abroad.”

“It is interesting to note that a concrete job offer is not of as much importance in highly mobile regions such as the Middle East, North Africa and South Asia.”

In South Africa, a concrete job offer is the main driver of moving abroad, with close to 60% of South Africans stating that a job offer could motivate their final decision.

Source: CareerJunction

Better education or training opportunities

“Sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia show the highest willingness to move and work abroad. These regions value the potential of better education or training opportunities abroad.”

For South Africans, better education is the fourth main reason for moving abroad, at 53%.

Source: CareerJunction

Read: More pension pain on the cards for South Africans: Coronation

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