More Millennials Are Moving Abroad For Work

The world is getting smaller by the second. This is not news – in fact, today’s globalized, interconnected culture and economies was predicted nearly 150 years ago, by the fathers of modern Communism Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels, writing in their world-changing tome Capital: A Critique Of Poltical Economy:

“The need of a constantly expanding market for its products chases the bourgeoisie over the whole surface of the globe. It must nestle everywhere, settle everywhere, establish connections everywhere . [W]e have intercourse in every direction, universal interdependence of nations.”

Although globalization has been shaping the world’s cultures since The Crusades, things are reaching a critical mass, as a new generation are taking their place in the world’s marketplace.

The generation born between 1980 – 2000, dubbed “millennials” or “Gen Y” by the media, are having a major impact on the way we think about, and go about, the way we work. And yet, mainstream culture (read: public education and mass media) are slow on the uptake, not keeping up with the ways that we work, learn, and love in the 21st Century.

“You can’t do that for a living,” is likely a familiar refrain for anyone who’s gone through the learning mills of public education in the last few decades.

A Partial List Of Jobs You Can’t Do Might Include:

  • President Of The United States
  • Author
  • Professional Athlete
  • Journalist
  • Critic
  • CEO
  • Entrepreneur
  • Musician
  • Stay-At Home Parent
  • Race Car Driver
  • Extreme Sports Enthusiast
  • Brand Ambassador

Odds are good that you might currently do one, or more, of these occupations for a paycheck. Odds are also good that part of the reason you were told you couldn’t do these jobs for a living is they didn’t exist a couple of decades ago.

Yes, things are changing, quickly, for millennials and everybody else, thanks to rapidly increasing information technology, a globalized culture, increased access to high-quality information, tools, and resources. These ingredients have come together to create a perfect storm of footloose young employees, following their passions and creating their dream careers.

More Millennials Are Moving Abroad For Work (And Here’s Why)

A recently published study titled “Global Moving Trends Reporting”, features extensive and insightful granular data into this global trend, and what it says about millennials in the workforce. Finding new employment makes up the largest demographic, at 34.8% of the 180,000 data points analyzed, but it’s not the only reason. 29.7% responded with “seeking new adventures”, while 20.9% reported “joining family” as their primary incentive.

Millennials are not content with merely earning a paycheck. Millennials place a high value on life/work balance, as reported by the company, in their scoping, expansive study “Millennials At Work: Reshaping The Workplace”. Career development and forward mobility are also high priority, with 52% of those surveyed citing upward mobility as one of the main attractions towards an employer, even more so than competitive salary. Millennials also need their jobs to matter, as a monumental 88% reported that a company with ethics in line with their own was the most important factor in choosing a place to work.

Many of these factors have coalesced into millennials being viewed as a generation of “special little snowflakes”, that need praise and support for every little thing, like a trophy for showing up to work on time. The thing people aren’t seeing is that millennials have been born into strife, struggle, and turmoil, as the world has struggled to keep up with increasingly accelerating changes, both culturally and economically.

Millennials have a reputation for being fickle employees. In 2008, according to again, 75% of employees surveyed expected to have between 2 and 5 employers in their lifetime. This number fell to 54%, by the time this study was issued, with 25% expecting to have 6 or more employers in their lifetime. Considering that millennials have been shown little loyalty from employers, why should this be any other way?

Millennial Americans Are More Likely To Move Abroad For Work

In 2014, published an article “59% Of Millennials In The US Would Move Abroad To find Work.” The article, pulling from statistics from a study conducted by The Boston Consulting Group, surveyed 189,000 applicants, finding that only 35% of Americans would consider working abroad. That number increased dramatically, when focusing on young professionals, in large part due to The Great Recession. Considering the dearth of work and career opportunities in the U.S., millennials have had to get creative, frequently creating their own career, and finding their own opportunities.

Also according to, the Top 10 Countries Americans are most likely to move for work include.

Top 10 Countries For American Millennials Working Abroad

  1. United Kingdom
  2. Germany
  3. Canada
  4. Italy
  5. France
  6. Switzerland
  7. Australia
  8. Ireland
  9. Spain
  10. Sweden

Follow Your Dreams!

Considering that millennials are one of the most indebted generations in history, thanks to skyrocketing college tuition and student loan debt, an uncertain job market, a lack of employment stability and employer recognition, and a general reluctance to get stuck in dead end careers, millennials have absolutely no reason not to consider every opportunity available to them. Add the fact of rapidly rising rents and housing shortages, meaning many millennials are being forced to move back in with their families, why NOT take this opportunity to find your dream career?