The end of the Second World War led us into the beginning of a huge growth in manufacturing and what is now known as “The Golden Age of Capitalism”. Heavy manufacturing and FMCG’s lead this consumer boom, which meant that the USA saw new housing developments and factories erected in the central states.
For the first time, we saw Americans moving from state to state to solely improve their careers. Over time, with the invention of the Schengen Agreement and the increase of globalisation, we saw people move worldwide.
Traditionally, we saw more experienced, senior executives being relocated by their employers. Over the last five years, we have seen a huge increase in the number of 25-40-year old men and women uprooting and moving to new cities, countries, and continents.
This is an interesting change in dynamic. We now see more and more young professionals moving than ever. Why?
It almost seems incredibly obvious to point out that technology has played a big part. In fact, the biggest part. All of the points here can somehow be related back to a technological influence.
In the 90’s, video conferencing was something we saw on TV. Usually in the White House situation room or an evil genius’s lair, but now it is an everyday tool. In the palm of your hand.
Communicating face-to-face / screen-to-screen with your family and friends thousands of miles away is the norm and this certainly helps the younger generation check-in at home and not lose touch with the ones you love. Your home comforts seem closer.
As well as this, the incredible and unstoppable rise of social media means that we are always in touch with one another. The expat lifestyle is becoming more and more attractive when you consider the amazing cities you can visit and people you can meet. This is reinforced by a quick Instagram search!
The technological revolution has taught us that we are all smarter than we thought. The current trend sees many of us spending our time watching intellectual content online. This includes seminars, lectures, and of course the odd “Top 10” presentation of the best places to live, work, and celebrity plastic surgery failures.
Once you’ve been bitten by the curiosity bug, it can take you interesting places online, but also around the world. Many people I have spoken with want to experience living in a new country or within a new culture to see what it is really like and broaden their own cultural knowledge.
Money is tight for many people, particularly in the early part of your career and getting value for money is very important. Today, it's easy to research and interact with people in different locations.
This means you can correlate the cost of living and the average wage in a location without ever visiting, allowing you to choose the best location for your professional improvement as well as the quality of life, thus eliminating a lot of the risks of moving somewhere new and being shocked by the price of a seaweed smoothie!
Although many of us would like to think we are immune to the luring influence of adverts. We’re not, and advertising is getting more sophisticated. Not on your TV, in the newspaper, or on the radio, but in the form of opinions and endorsements. Online content relating to “Top 5 Cheapest Cities”, “Keep Calm and Move to Dubai memes” etc. These subconsciously get us interested in the location, and more open to the possibility of moving there.
Recruiters know this too. They are realising that in some cases the location is more attractive than the job they are offering, and we see an increase in recruitment adverts which highlight the benefits of moving to the new location (with a nice picture of a beach or some good looking people enjoying themselves), without even mentioning what the job is in the first instance.
Not all expatriates move for work. We’ve seen a rise in people moving to increase their education and their vocational value. Especially within the STEM fields, we see more emphasis on qualifications from good universities, and if you do not have a top educational system in your own country, this can cause you to be overlooked. More and more people are uprooting to go and study abroad and further their careers.
What Does This Mean For Mobility?
It means that the number of people relocating for work will continue to go up. According to the Governance Studies at Brookings report “How Millennials Could Upend Wall Street and Corporate America,” Millennials will comprise more than one of three adult Americans by 2020 and 75% of the workforce by 2025.
Of course, that is specific to the USA, but the amount of workers that are tech-literate, flexible, and open-minded is going to increase and Destination Service Providers will need to tailor their service to meet the needs of the individual, even more than they already do.