In case you wanted to use the New Year to broaden your horizons and see where your career opportunities could take you, we’ve had a look at the best places to live, find work, do business, and enjoy an optimal work-life balance in affordable surroundings.

New year, new opportunities’, or so the saying goes. But what happens when you do wake up in January, push all the clichéd resolutions aside and decide that the time has come to carpe diem, so to speak, and pursue that career you believe is within your capabilities?

Well, a lot depends on your age, your education and experience, but also on external factors such as where you live, the economic cycle you find yourself in and the field in which you seek to pursue career opportunities.

Most important of all are your own drive and perseverance – how much you want this – but even that may not amount to much if you find yourself in the midst of a depressed region. You may therefore have to move, retrain, learn new languages and be altogether flexible to become that ‘new you’ with the upwardly mobile career.

Best places to find work

So where to look? Traditionally, you would move within your country or continent, breaking out of these geographical confines only if ready to make an almost lifelong and certainly life-changing commitment to emigrate for good.

Moving to places such as Australia, New Zealand, Canada, the US and Brazil required a rather painful severance of ties with families and friends back home, but today the playing field has changed considerably.

An increasingly global world makes it not only easier to communicate on a daily basis with loved ones across the planet, follow your local football team and even mail order those things that used to make immigrants dreadfully homesick, but it’s accelerating pace and cycles also mean you needn’t move for good.

Where being posted to different cities around the world for a few years at a time was once the preserve of those who worked for multinationals, it now is something clever career planners could decide for themselves.

My advice to young people would be to add languages such as Mandarin, Russian and Arabic alongside classic European ones, and many are doing just that. Preparing yourself in this way opens up a range of opportunities for work in many of the world’s most vibrant economic – and career – hotspots.

However, it might be a tough task for those who are already working and have most of their formal training behind them; it would be highly beneficial to take night classes in Chinese, but assuming you’re not ready to postpone your career drive until you reach spoken and written fluency, there has to be another way…

Words Michel Cruz

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