The number one drawcard to becoming an expat is the salary PACKAGE.
It’s not the only reason but it is the main reason followed closely by ”the adventure of it all!”
There are many types of expats starting from the teaboy from Nepal to the CEO of a global company and fortunately for me my husband sits in the tall branches of corporate life so we enjoy some perks. The teaboy from Nepal is also very happy that he earns enough to support his family back home..it’s all relative but it is not all fair. A westerner usually receives better perks than say, an Asian colleague and there is kudos in having a ”white man” in your business.
Perks are part of the package that companies post to attract the best person for the position. (try that for a tongue twister)
Here are some top perks:
1. The salary- higher than at home, sometimes ridiculously high, sometimes tax free
2. Accommodation – anything from a bedspace in a dormitory to a fully furnished five bedroom villa with private swimming pool.. and/or shipment of your household effects or given a healthy lump sum to fit out your place with new stuff which in turn, is packed up and sent home when your posting is completed.
3. Car allowance – starting from an egg beater to a luxury saloon with driver. (Many expats choose to buy their vehicle then hopefully sell for a profit..rarely..with a profit that is!)
4. Education allowance – from one to infinity number of children (sometimes employers will reduce your salary component to give you this)
5. Annual flights home in economy or business class for you, your partner and children (the teaboy gets to fly home every two years)
6. Annual leave – 10 days to two months
7. At the high end you have a maid, nanny, driver, gardener, security guard or a combo of these.
8. The bonus – it may be annual for a job well done and/or 20% of your salary for each year worked and paid after five years of service.
9. Miscellaneous – these include fees for country clubs, golf courses, gyms and spas.
10. Danger money- an added salary component for those holding a US passport and working in the Middle East.
The basic expat salary package is a higher- than-at- home salary plus your return airfares and a top of the range salary package includes all the above. You can therefore rightly deduce that Americans get the best perks in these parts!
It is up to you to negotiate the package you are offered. Do your research, search expat forums and try to squeeze information from other expats in your field. What are your qualifications and how many years of experience do you have?
Are you an American petroleum engineer or a teaboy from Nepal? Be realistic.
Currently our sole purpose for being in Riyadh (and why else would you want to stay?) is to fast track our mortgage payments and put money aside for future contributions to our children’s weddings.
All the perks in the world do not make up for time away from loved ones and the cosiness of home. xxx