Immigration to America: Why do professionals chase the American Dream?

Mike Leversidge, November 28, 2019

Money, Money, Money

Money, Money, Money… although it’s not everything in the world of work, it’s always nice to have a bit of extra beer money at the end of the week. And where do most people think of when considering relocating for new career opportunities or to boost their earning potential? The answer is of course...AMERICA!

We are all familiar with the ‘American Dream’ but with that said, the question is ‘how can you get the biggest bang for your buck?’ The USA is a country that is full of globally renowned corporations, major sports franchises and some of the best coffee… EVER (apparently), but there still seems to be quite the difference in salaries depending on which state you are living in.

Earning well means a higher standard of living...Right?

Although we love our jobs, ultimately, we work to live and not live to work. I read an interesting article that showed that 3 of the most expensive states to live in are Hawaii, California and New York. These amazing states are home to many big name and global tech firms and so can offer the chance for incredible job prospects. So that means that these states offer the highest salaries right? Not necessarily!

A study in 2018 claimed the highest paying states are in fact Utah, Virginia and Minnesota (although these states are also in the top half of the table for cost of living). On the flip side, it’s also worth noting that some of the most affordable states to live were Iowa, Ohio and Indiana – but whether suitable career options are available in these locations remains to be seen. When considering immigration to the United States, relocators need to ensure they do their research on costs and resulting standards of living to ensure they don’t lose out in the long run.

Why do people relocate for work?

It’s safe to say, money and lifestyle are key factors you will likely be thinking about when deciding to relocate for work. Other essential factors are job satisfaction and happiness. But I wanted to think more deeply about people’s motivations for immigration in association with their careers, so naturally I turned to Google...

‘The People Perspective on Relocation Report’ is a survey that was produced by IMPACT Group, who questioned over 3000 people on the key driving forces that caused them to consider migration to take up new job roles. Three motivators clearly won out over the numerous reasons provided by the individuals surveyed. These include:

The top 3 reasons to migrate

Third Place: 40% of survey responders said they were not happy with their workplace community and decided to relocate in search of a better cultural fit.

Second Place: As I had previously expected, 55% of survey responders said that were driven to relocate in order to seek out better prospects for themselves via career opportunities. Static roles without progression are likely to push employees to migrate.

First Place: The number one reason that survey responders gave for considering a relocation for work was to enjoy new life experiences in a new place! It turns out variety really is the spice of life, and when you vary your working location, you get to enjoy new experiences both at work and during leisure time – according to a massive 71% of responders.

The best things in life are free

Interestingly, you’ll notice the top 3 reasons for a professional relocation did not explicitly stipulate ‘money’ as a major driver (aside from the implication as a facet of boosted career opportunities). For me, the most enlightening fact to take away from this is that 31% of those surveyed, placed a higher value on the new life experiences to be gained from immigration, versus heightened career opportunities. It just goes to show that, when it comes to relocating for work, money isn’t everything.

Written by Mike Leversidge - Recruitment Consultant at Alchemy Recruitment Ltd.

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