Is Every Job Good Enough for Moving Abroad? Motivations and Desires of German Highly-Skilled in the British Labour Market.

Tuesday, 17 July 2018: 08:30
Oral Presentation
Elena SAMARSKY, University of Oxford, United Kingdom
It is not surprising that reasons behind labour mobility may vary across individuals (e.g., for some, higher salary or unemployment in the country of origin would stimulate relocation, while, for others, a desire for occupational mobility). This paper explores the meaning of work for the highly-skilled Germans employed in Britain focusing more explicitly on attributes contributing to job satisfaction/dissatisfaction, the role of work in person life as well as workers` expectation at the workplace. Using in-depth interviews with these migrants provides a unique case, not only because the majority of the participants had a job-on-job transition, but also because many were contemplating several employment proposals. Analysis indicates that the prospects of a satisfying and exciting job which allows self-realisation was the primary attribute of a desired job. These findings provide support for the relevance of the postmaterialistic values for explaining labour mobility of the highly-skilled. The analysis highlights the interplay between several attributes in the desired workplace abroad, such as direct economic benefits, general atmosphere at the workplace, relations with co-workers and geographic location. Exploring labour migration through the lenses of the sociology of work, contributes to the classical labour migration framework, as it allows taking into account various aspects of job quality beyond pure direct financial rewards which play role in evaluation of jobs abroad.