Should I stay or should I go now?

Author: Ben Dixon

Should I stay or should I go now

You might think that as a battle-scarred, veteran of international recruitment, I’d give you the “big-sell” on why you should go and work overseas.

So, I will. It would be amazing. The projects are remarkable. The salaries are higher. The tax is generally lower. Your housing is provided or compensated for. The lifestyle is amazing for families. It’s warmer though, alright, we do get our glorious 4-day summer in April.

Shall I go on?


So, you take a job in Singapore and three years down the line you’re offered a role in Sydney. Then a role in Tokyo. KL beckons. The world is literally your oyster.

A bit more?

The kids will get a first-rate education. You’ll probably have your own pool.  In Dubai, a litre of fuel costs 50p. 50 bloody pence! For a sanity check on that, we’ve paid more than 50p per litre in the UK since 1990 and it’s currently around £1.25 per litre.

Enough? No?  Have some more then.

Japan, Thailand, Hong Kong, Philippines, Trinidad & Tobago & Sri Lanka all have more than double the number of UK public holidays. Twice as many, FREE, bank holidays.

Oh, shut up Ben.

No. No, I won’t.

Think you’ll miss friends and family? You might do but most employers will provide flights for vacations. These can be used to come “home” or simply to go on holiday. If you’re travelling single-status, you’ll likely get a couple of flights or if with family you’ll all get a flight.

I, on the other hand, struggle to get my expenses back for brew milk for the office or the odd crafty Starbucks.

*Don’t read this bit, boss*.

Did you know, if you earn £100,000 a year in the UK, you’ll pay £27,496.40 in income tax and £5,694.16 in National Insurance. That’s £33,460.56 in deductions. That leaves you with £66,539.44 a year. That’s £5,544.95 net salary a month. Pretty good, yeah?

Take the same salary in Dubai. £100,000. Know how much tax you pay?


NONE. That’s £100,000 a year in your “Sky-Rocket” to do as you please.

But, and it’s a big BUT, there is a flip side and here is where I balance things out. It doesn’t work for everyone. Not everyone is wired up like that.

Take me as an example:

Happily married. Homeowner. 3 school age kids. Wife gets never-ending nosebleeds and severe nausea if she leaves Cheshire. It just won’t work. I’d want to experience it all as a family but, bless her, my good lady wife just doesn’t want to. So, I get it. It doesn’t work for everyone.

There’s a multitude of reasons. It might be elderly parents. Kids at critical points in their lives. GCSE. A-Level. You might just have that dream role back here in Blighty.

If, however, you’ve harboured that dream to work overseas and the stars align with your current circumstances (and your wife wants to go too) then do it. Go and experience the world and all its beauty.

There. Hard sell over. If you’re a QS, Contract Administrator, Contract Manager, Claims Specialist, Commercial Manager – get in touch. I’m always happy to help someone realise my dream……….. I mean their dream.

I blame my wife.

Ben is our commercial specialist, recruiting across roles including QS and commercial and contract managers worldwide.