An increasing number of skilled professionals are relocating to secure their next career step, says recruiting expert Hays.

For many professionals, relocation helps to realise personal career ambitions that cannot be achieved locally. During the downturn, more people than ever were flexible about the locations where they would consider working.

But even though the great financial crisis has passed, people are still willing to relocate to revitalise and advance their career in opportunities that simply aren’t available to them in their present location.

But it is not just jobseekers who see the benefits of relocating for a work opportunity. As the candidate market tightens in the face of rising job numbers, it is inevitable that widespread skills shortages will re-emerge and candidate attraction will become a significant focus for employers in the war for talent.

Already, job advertisements are increasingly stating that relocation assistance is available for the right person.

 Traditionally, Singapore has attracted candidates looking for a lifestyle change.

But now, fast-tracked career opportunities and strong employment prospects have also attracted people who are keen on advancing their career.

At the moment, Hays is seeing high demand for professionals within the banking and finance industry.  Employers are considering candidates from abroad and are willing to offer competitive relocation deals. Strong prospects are also available within the pharmaceutical, construction and engineering industries.

According to Hays, most failed relocation experiences are the result of poor preparation.

Candidates should do their research into the lifestyle, climate, accommodation and recreational activities of the country in which they want to work. It is just as important as researching the employment market.

If you are thinking of relocating for your career, consider the following:

1. Make sure jobs are available in your area of expertise. Talk to a recruiter and explore opportunities before packing your bags.

2. Be realistic in your salary expectations. Salaries differ from location to location, so make sure you are aware of typical market rates. Cost of living also varies and needs to be taken into consideration.

3. Consider lifestyle factors. Whether the relocation will offer a tree change or a sea change, the lifestyle available needs to be as agreeable as the career advancement on offer.

4. Investigate the daily commute. If you want to move from a regional centre to a large city, it is likely you will spend a considerable amount of time commuting to and from work. How will this impact you? What is the public transport like? Have you considered parking costs?

5. Accommodate your partner’s career needs. Relocations often fail if a partner’s career needs are not met, warns Hays.

6. Know what it is really like to live there. A one- to two-week trip to your intended destination is an excellent way to get to know the place before you commit to relocating there.