GET YOUR MOVE ON

Working Abroad Tips Resized_1
Looking to move overseas to work?

There are positives and negatives in all countries, so just what might seal the deal for you and where should you go?

According to a recent survey by HSBC (http://www.expatexplorer.hsbc.com/#/countries) Thailand, Indonesia and Vietnam will give you the biggest bang for your buck, as the cost of living is the lowest in these three countries.

Germany tops the position in the Raising Children Abroad when looking at factors such as education costs, quality of childcare, health and experience. Singapore ranks second in this area, and comes in first as the safest place to live.

Beware on the tax front if you are moving to Italy, the Netherlands, Belgium, Germany, Ireland, France or the UK as these countries may have you ending up worse off – with combination of lower earning potential coupled with higher expenses and likelihood to pay more personal tax rate than at home.

And the number 1 overall may surprise you!

stats

So where would you choose to live?

LIFE IS TOO SERIOUS

tumblr_mniandVQ7p1sn7lxto1_1280What does white whine, Suri Cruise, Goldman Sachs and babies crying all have in common?

They are all blogs, and today I am going to be wild and crazy and encourage you to read other people’s posts!

After all, I don’t want you to overdose on WTF so I thought I would share some of my favourite ones out there. But be warned some are for the not so faint hearted.

GS Elevator http://gselevator.wordpress.com
A very witty and sarcastic blog based on the world of finance. There are actually some smart tips in some of articles and I love the Twitter posts even more. It has received huge attention from the press and articles have been re-published all around the world. But be warned – it may offend.

Suri’s Burn Book http://surisburnbook.tumblr.com
Written by Allie Hagan who masquerades as Suri Cruise (by day she works in consulting in Washington DC). An amusing account of famous kids through the eyes of Miss Cruise – I am a big fan.

White Whine http://whitewhine.com
A site detailing the World’s “real” issues. People complaining about all manner of things, which of course are not life threatening or important. An amusing read that exposes the World’s biggest whingers.

And if you simply want a good old fashioned laugh try this one –
Reasons My Son is Crying http://www.reasonsmysoniscrying.com
A site where parents can post photos of their children crying and the funny reasons why

Enjoy!

What are your favourite blogs? (apart from WTF of course)

IS SEA CHEAPER THAN LAND?

HT_marquette_tk_120708_16x9_992Firstly, apologies for the radio silence on WTF… it seems the “work” part has been outweighing the travel and the fashion piece lately. With that, I will blatantly promote the launch of my new business www.geekteam.asia and now get on with this week’s post!

It seems you can’t go to a dinner party at the moment without the conversation turning to the topic of buying a home. No matter where in the world you live, prices seem to be higher than ever and people are now having to look for alternatives to the white picket fence dream.

And where is one place they are looking? On the sea.

The World (www.aboardtheworld.com) was launched on 2002 is a private ship owned by its residents. The 165 apartments are owned by people from over 19 different countries with some living on board full time and others part time. With a grocery store and deli, a boutique, golf simulator, putting green, full-sized tennis court, jogging track, gym, movie theatre, 6 restaurants, bars, nightclub, 12,000-bottle wine cellar and a myriad of classes on offer – plus visiting ports around the world from 2 to 5 days. Life could be worse. Cost $1million to $14million for an apartment.

The Marquette (www.rivercitiescondos.com/cruising) will be the largest inland passenger vessel in the world with 180 residences, and accommodation is a bit more reasonably priced at between $310,000 to $1.8 million for full ownership. Facilities though are not as extensive – a gym, golf chipping course, pool, library, theatre and 2 restaurants. And the cruising is not worldly – it is within the US on the rivers.

Utopia Residences (www.utopiaresidences.com) are tipped to be the most extravagant residences (200 of them) on the water. Prices start at $3.9 million through to $160 million. There is a residence only section for owners, and communal amenities will include a casino, a world-class spa, a fitness centre, waterslide, restaurants, multiple bars and lounges, a nightclub, a theater, swimming pools, a floating marina, art gallery, shopping facilities and a helipad. Launching in 2014 so get your cheque book ready!

And if you had your heart set on living on the QE2 sadly she will be retired soon to the docks and her only full-time resident (89-year-old Beatrice Muller) will be looking for a new ship to call home.

So is sea cheaper than land? As always it depends on your taste!

CAFFEINE CRAZY

coffee-addictionI will be the first person to admit I love coffee – the taste, the smell and the ritual of drinking it with friends or while working. Whether it is good or bad for you, everyone has their vices and I figure mine could be worse.

Thank heavens I am not the only one who has an obsession with this black liquid . A recent survey (by Career Builder) showed that 46% of full-time workers are less productive without coffee, and I will chime in and say I am a nicer person once I have had one in the morning!

So who are all these people at work drinking coffee? Topping the list of coffee consuming professions are –

Scientists/Lab Technicianslet’s hope all that caffeine doesn’t impact their lab results, instead it inspires them to solve the world’s problems
Marketing/PR Professionalit is in the job description!
Education Administratorit has to be to relieve the boredom of the job
Editor/Writer think Newsroom and working 20 hours a day
Healthcare Administratoragain…. boring reports
Physiciansee it can’t be that bad if Doctors are drinking it

So where are all these caffeine addicts. You may be surprised to know they aren’t in the US or Australia, but are in Northern Europe.

The top 5 coffee drinking nations (per capita) are – Finland, Norway, Iceland, Denmark and the Netherlands.

So while you are sipping on your coffee reading this, know that you are drinking one of the 500 billion cups of coffee consumed each year!

OUTSOURCE ME!

Child-cleaningI am the first person to admit I am a HUGE advocate of outsourcing whatever I can.

I have been known to be somewhat of a control freak (I can hear my family screaming yes at this point!) but over the years I have managed to let go of the need to make sure everything is 100% perfect and give way to someone else having a go at it.

The fact is, we have been outsourcing personal tasks forever, it just didn’t have a label.

When I was growing up it was called working for your pocket money. And if you have ever had the opportunity to have a personal assistant I would put money on the fact that they have carried out some “non-business related” outsourcing task for you at some point, whether it be booking personal travel or paying a phone bill.

Generally the most popular tasks to outsource are – housecleaning, laundry and ironing, grocery shopping, dog walking (not sure what the point is having a dog if you don’t have time to take it outside), car washing and good old lawn mowing. But more and more people are slowly trusting others to pay their bills, or to buy a gift for their loved one.

So how do you get on-board the express train to “easy life”?

The 4 Hour Workweek is really the original how-to guide for ideas on better managing your personal tasks

But if you want to jump straight in you can try some of the following sites (sadly these are not available in all countries).

My favourite one – www.fiverr.com
Basically a list of offerings from people who will do “X” for $5. There are real some gems on offer!

www.taskrabbit.com
One of the better known (and tested) sites

www.elance.com
A great resource for small business with everything from logo design to building your website

www.fancyhands.com
For $25 a month your personal admin issues are solved

Now all this free time now means more time to relax. I am off to order a bottle of wine online that will be delivered chilled to my door in under an hour… now that is service!

I BUY IT FOR THE ARTICLES

magA few recent flights, and the luxury of having some more downtime, has meant I have actually been able to read a magazine cover to cover within the published month for the first time all year. I am a bit of a magazine “snob” and will only ever spend my hard-earned cash on an issue of Vanity Fair or US Vogue (but I openly admit to happily reading complimentary copies when on a plane – usually Time, a myriad of travel magazines and the odd health one). But Vanity Fair hands down for me is the best magazine published – and yes I buy it for the articles!

So do other people share my preferences? I decided to do some research and see what most people read around the world, and chances are you have never heard of the top 5!

Coming in at number one is “The Watchtower” with a circulation of almost 45million copies. It sounds like a magazine that might focus on online gaming, but that couldn’t be further from the subject matter. The Watchtower is an illustrated religious magazine, published monthly in 209 languages by the Jehovah’s Witnesses.

The Watchtower is closely followed by “Awake” which has a circulation of over 43million and is also published by Jehovah’s Witnesses. Awake is distributed by the door-to-door ministry and published in 99 languages.

The next two most read magazines are by the same publisher – “AARP The Magazine” and “AARP Bulletin”, both with a whopping circulation of over 22million each. Unless you live in the US and are over 50, you may not have seen these. AARP is the American Association of Retired Persons and the publications focus on products and services for a mature audience.

Number five spot is held by a German Magazine – “ADAC Motorwelt” which is published by Germany and Europe’s largest automobile club (ADAC), reaching 13million people.

So where do the magazines rank that you buy from your local newsstand?

In the UK Glamour reaches 500k people and OK! 470k.

The US sees Game Informer hit 7.8 million and Better Homes and Gardens 7.6 million

Russians like to read Cosmopolitan with a circulation of 980k.

And 470k Australian’s stick to the traditional Australian Women’s Weekly.

And how about my favourite Vanity Fair? 1.2 million people a month share my love of the articles!

PROFESSOR OR TAILOR?

fishCareer change time and wondering if your resume has too many or too few jobs listed on it?

Well if you happen to have held eleven jobs and are over 46 years old, don’t panic, as you are an average worker according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (USA). If you have a tertiary degree chances are that you have had more jobs than someone without one, and men also have moved roles more than women.

And where to work? The countries where you have the best chance of earning the highest average wage – Australia , Luxemborg, Japan, United States, Switzerland, Monaco, New Zealand, Belgium and the Netherlands. The worst… Sierra Leone.

So should you start thinking about a career change? If you answer yes to one of these, chances are you should.
1. You keep promising yourself you’ll quit but never do
2. You have no interest in getting your boss’s job
3. The politics are too tricky, there aren’t enough resources, or you don’t have any excitement on the bigger picture front

But be warned, switching jobs can also be detrimental to your health.

Nearly half of America workers have put on weight at their current job – 28% have gained more than 4kgs, and 13% have gained more than 9kgs. You don’t want that to happen every time you opt for a career move.

In Japan 10,000 workers per year drop dead at their desks as a result of 60- to 70-hour work weeks. The phenomenon is known as “karoshi” (death from overwork)

So in your next role you may want to consider being a university professor as apparently that is viewed as the least stressful job, just ahead of being a tailor/seamstress!