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Thinking of returning to South Africa from the UK?

Historically, many South African banking and financial services professionals dreamed of living overseas, particularly London, attracted by the prospect of earning English pounds and saving more money.

However, immigration companies say the appeal of countries such as the UK has dropped significantly because of the economic crisis in Europe, and the fact that the emerging markets across South Africa and sub-Saharan Africa are enticing thousands of expatriates back home.

Robert Walters has also seen an increase in the number of South African banking and financial services professionals looking to return home from the UK. So what's the benefit of coming home and is it worth it?

Getting a job does not happen overnight and prospective employers often want to meet the candidate more than once in person to gauge their technical skills and cultural fit.

Lance Maree, Associate Director at Robert Walters says, "There's been a migration of professionals leaving the UK over the last two years to come back to South Africa. The recession has triggered this off, and many people who have returned home have good things to say and are enjoying themselves back here. Good career progression is widely available in emerging markets and that’s creating increased interest.”

If you are thinking about returning home, here's some advice from our banking & financial services division to help you secure a job:

  • You are more likely to succeed in securing a role if you are in South Africa when applying for opportunities. Getting a job does not happen overnight and prospective employers often want to meet the candidate more than once in person to gauge their technical skills and cultural fit. If you are already in the country it also shows your commitment to stay and start your new career locally
  • If you do not have a job before you have arrived, make sure your CV is up-to-date and that you have copies of all relevant documentation. This includes up-to-date references.
  • Prepare yourself to start living in South Africa and earning Rand and be realistic about the value of the Rand vs other global currencies. For more detailed information on local banking & financial services salaries, access Robert Walters Global Salary Survey.
  • Be mindful that whilst there are opportunities in all the cities around the country, Johannesburg has the highest volume of banking and financial services opportunities.
  • Be realistic about your job expectations. Overall, the banking market is smaller than what you have experienced in London so you'll need to work out how you / your career is going to fit into the local market that exists. Some roles will give you autonomy while others will give you the opportunity to restructure your own career path.


Looking for your next banking and financial services role? View the latest opportunities from Robert Walters.

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