Onshore vs Offshore, where is the best place for career advancement?

Onshore vs Offshore, where is the best place for career advancement?

Career Advice / Relocation / June 6th, 2016

This article was originally written for EGR Magazine by Managing Director, Julian Perigo, as a comment on the international eGaming jobs market.

I’ve lived and worked in London and Malta. Over the years I’ve focused on placing candidates in jurisdictions as diverse as Frankfurt, Gibraltar and Sydney. As such, I have developed a good understanding of how career paths change as they cross borders. Today, that experience is particularly useful in the online gaming industry. The gaming talent market is extremely mobile across Europe, particularly for high-demand roles such as development and VIP management. It is, therefore, no surprise that one of the most frequently asked questions I get is this: “Should I be in a big city onshore, or in one of the offshore hubs?”

It’s a fair question and, as with all such things, there are pros and cons to both. Certainly, the big technology and innovation hubs like London and Berlin are a great place to drive forward a career. There are lots of start-ups in these locations, relying as they do on easy access to investors, and they can be great companies to work for if you don’t mind the risk and the long hours. Particularly for younger workers, the big cities also have the benefit of offering the most to see and do. So what are the downsides? High costs of living coupled with high taxes means your salary won’t stretch very far, whilst busy commutes and air pollution are also factors.

Almost all of the major, established gaming companies have significant presences in the Isle of Man, Gibraltar or Malta. These hubs constantly have many vacancies due to the more restricted local talent pool, so relocations are common. Not only are there jobs, the remuneration is often better when you factor in the substantially lower taxes. Lifestyle-wise, they offer a slightly slower pace, with easier commutes, easy access to the great outdoors and, in the case of Gibraltar and Malta, a lot more sunshine!

So both offer great opportunities, with different pros and cons. Astute readers will notice, however, that those don’t directly answer the question of, “which is better for my career?” The answer to that will vary massively by individual, but there are two rules of thumb. For the young, mobile worker, a mixture will appeal most to future employers; evidence that you have worked in a variety of jurisdictions helps to paint a picture of you as an experienced, self-motivated individual. For older, more senior staff, what you probably want is access to key decision makers, so look at where companies in your specialist field hold their key talent. For example, if you have experience of the Asian market, consider the Isle of Man, while those with European language skills should probably look at Malta, and sportsbook specialists would do well in Gibraltar.

Ultimately, if you aren’t sure then you should speak to an international recruitment consultant about your options – don’t settle for a local firm with small horizons. We also offer further career insights and advice on this very blog, including relocation guides for those who are serious about moving!