Becoming a Corporate Expat: Is it Worth it?

by | Feb 15, 2022 | Global | 1 comment

Work can take you anywhere, depending on where the opportunities are based. However, some locations can be very far from where you live, and becoming a corporate expat does not always guarantee success.

When you get an offer to relocate for work, the decision isn’t always an easy one to make. This is typically so if you are moving with a family.

Here are some questions to ask before deciding on becoming a corporate expat and see if it is worth it:

Who Will Shoulder the Relocation Costs, You or the Company?

The world awaits Mantashest Haven
The world awaits Mantashest Haven

Relocation is expensive, especially if you pay the costs.

Some companies offer relocation packages to help you with your move.

Others may only cover some parts of the relocation.

Research how much money the move set you back for the relocation and negotiate relocation costs to be covered by the employer.

Will My Company Remain Strong for Years to Come?

Not all companies will sustain their growth in the coming years considering the trends of the market. Even if they look strong now, it is possible they won’t be in the next coming months.

If you will be relocating, you need to see if the company will stay financially stable to support you in your new job. To find out if your company is sustainable in the future, see how well they are doing in their sales or the stock market.

Will They Increase My Salary, and Will It Be Enough for Me to Live on as a Corporate Expat?

One of the incentives given to those who move to another place for work is a salary increase. While it may sound good at first, the place you are moving to may be more expensive than your present location. This is especially true if you are relocating to another country.

If the salary will increase and you can take your money further thanks to a lower cost of living, go for it! If the salary will go up, but the cost of living is higher, you need to reconsider the offer.

This was one of the primary motivations for me to move from Singapore to Shanghai and then from Shanghai to Kuala Lumpur, since the cost of living for both countries is lower than in Singapore.

Will the New Job Advance My Career and It Is One I Can Learn From?

Relocating for work doesn’t work if you don’t see yourself relocating and taking on a new task. It also won’t be a good move if it doesn’t contribute to your goal of moving up the career ladder.

See what kind of work is waiting for you when you relocate and what opportunities may open up later. If it ties into your future goals and helps your career, go for the relocation!

If there are no future opportunities available and no way to improve your skills, carefully reconsider the offer.

How About My Spouse? Will He or She Be Able to Get a Job?

Should you or shouldn't you? jdelchico
Should you or shouldn’t you? By jdelchico

If you will relocate with your spouse, it is important that they, too, have the means to continue with their careers.

Some companies may assist you in finding a job for your spouse when you relocate as part of the deal.

However, if they do not offer such help, you will need to see if there is a job opening for your spouse to apply for.

This might fuel a huge argument if your spouse is frustrated because there are little or no opportunities to grow his or her career in your corporate expat country.



Will My Children Be Comfortable in Their New Environment?

If you will move with your family, try to determine how your children will be able to adapt to their new environment.

See if your new home will be close to good schools, public transportation, and entertainment areas. You should also find out how friendly your new community will be to reassure your kids that they will be safe in their new home.

Will My Corporate Expat Working and Living Conditions Be Better Than My Current Job?

Your current situation should also be considered when thinking about relocating for work. If it does not offer you opportunities to grow and have your family thrive, that’s a big checkmark.

Of course, you will need to see if your new location will offer you the opportunities you need to grow. If not, you can consider staying in your present situation until a better offer comes along.

Do I Need a Backup Plan?

There is no guarantee that your new job in a new place will work out. You may need to find another job in your new area in case the other one doesn’t work out. Check out the job openings in the area and see if you will be able to apply for them.


Becoming a corporate Expat has potential pros and cons when it comes to your career and family life. If you believe that your new job will help you grow, and the location you move into will be good for you and your family, go for it. If the opportunities are not favorable, wait it’s better to look for another opportunity.

Are you considering relocating for a new job? What questions are you asking yourself?

by: Kally Tay