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Best Cities in the World to Find New Job Opportunities

Best Cities in the World to Find New Job Opportunities

Looking for world job opportunities? Perhaps this article can get you started in your search! It is based on the 2012 Cities of Opportunity report put together by PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) in 2012, and includes job outlook projections to 2025.

In this study, the cities were chosen based on the following factors:

1. Intellectual capital and innovation

2. Technology readiness

3. Transportation and infrastructure

4. Health, safety and security

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5. Sustainability and the natural environment

6. Economic clout

7. Ease of doing business

8. Cost

9. Demographics and livability, and

10. City Gateway

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For a full description of these factors, you can download the report here.

1. New York

Most jobs in New York are in Financial and Business Services and Healthcare

Originally named New Amsterdam, after its humble beginnings as a Dutch trading post, New York, while not actually topping of any of the economic indicator lists, did well enough in ten of them – including intellectual capital and innovation, global connections, city gateway, and technology readiness – that it earned the #1 place in the 2012 Cities of Opportunity Report. According to the same report, between now and 2025, New York will add plenty of jobs in a global economy that favors good education and connection. However, if technology takes a hit or protectionism puts the kibosh on trade, New York will eliminate as many jobs as it created.

If you’re in the healthcare field or love doing business, and appreciate smart, tech-savvy people – and you don’t mind the long commutes or high cost of living – New York might be your dream career destination.

2. London

Most jobs in London are in Financial and Business Services

London has the most overseas banks of any country in the world, and, as home to major music corporations such as EMI and Warner Music Group, is one of the major classical and popular music capitals. It is the winner of the “city gateway” prize, being a major hub for European travel. Also, in prosperous times, London leads the pack in job growth, whether the economy is growing as a result of technology, travel connections, or knowledge. However, if the global economy turns sour, London will also be forced to downsize its workforce.

If you have an entrepreneurial spirit and love having easy access to education, music, and good reads, and you don’t mind the cloudy skies, bad food, and the fact that it’s not the most sustainable city on Earth, London could be your Holy Grail.

3. Toronto

Most jobs in Toronto are in Financial and Business Services, and Healthcare

People from Canada are actually less common in Toronto than people from England and, surprisingly, China. But if you consider that Toronto did well in the “economic clout” category, which means, among other things, that a healthy number of Global 500 companies have headquarters in Toronto, perhaps this isn’t so surprising. Also, this Canadian city is good at getting funding from other countries for projects that create new jobs. If the global economy took a downturn between now and 2025, Toronto wouldn’t lay off quite as many workers as New York or London, although it would definitely feel the effects.

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If you don’t mind travel being a little more challenging, Toronto would be a great place to start and run your new business.

4. Paris

Most jobs in Paris are in Financial and Business Services, and Hospitality and Tourism

Not surprisingly, given its cultural wealth and amazing cuisine, Paris did very well in the “demographics and livability” and “city gateway” economic indicators, and was beaten only by Milan in the percentage of employment opportunities to be found in the financial and business services. Not surprisingly, this cultural hub is wildly popular with tourists, and ease of travel into and out of Paris makes it a great place for the hospitality and tourism industries. Long-term, Paris wouldn’t lay off quite as many workers as London or New York if the global economy flounders, but employment would definitely be affected.

Foodies, travelers, and lovers of culture of all kind will find Paris a city of dreams. Just watch out for the price tag, stay healthy, and keep an eye on your wallet!

5. Stockholm

Most jobs in Stockholm are in Financial and Business Services, and Healthcare

With very little heavy industry and a dearth of fossil fuel power plants, Stockholm is one of the world’s cleanest big cities. In the 90’s, it was also a trendsetter in fibre optic telecommunication. Easy access to libraries and universities helped Stockholm take the prize in the “intellectual capital” economic category, and the Swedish city also did well in “health, safety and security”. This Scandinavian city’s job market is projected to be relatively steady-Eddie long term, regardless of worldwide growth or shrinkage.

While it’s not the easiest city to get in and out of travel-wise, if you like good reads and being able to walk around at night without worrying about thugs swiping your stuff, Stockholm’s your place.

6. San Francisco

Most jobs in San Francisco are in Financial and Business Services, and Hospitality and Tourism

“The coldest winter I ever spent was a summer in San Francisco”, contrary to popular belief, was actually not said by Mark Twain, but this hilly California city, famous for its cool, if not downright chilly summers, did pretty well in eight of the ten categories of economic development; its two strongest being “intellectual capital and innovation” and “sustainability and the natural environment”. No matter what happens to the worldwide economy between now and 2025, San Francisco will most likely avoid any major upsets in business-as-usual.

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If you appreciate great city planning, sustainability, and counterculture, leave your heart in San Francisco. But be prepared to open your wallet wide to pay the rent, and if you want to work for a Fortune 500 company, you’re better off looking elsewhere.

7. Singapore

Most jobs in Singapore are in Manufacturing and Construction

One out of six households in Singapore has a million dollars or more in disposable income, and this city did well in the “transportation and infrastructure” and “ease of doing business” categories of economic development.  Like London and New York, this Southeast Asian city promises to thrive between now and 2025 if the global economy grows, but may not fare so well if protectionism spreads or the tech industries hit a slump.

If you love easy access to public libraries or universities, Singapore might not hold much appeal for you, and all of those millionaires have sent real estate prices through the roof. But if you love being able to zip around a city easily without the bother of a car – and you adore Asian cuisine – look no further.

8. Hong Kong

Most jobs in Hong Kong are in Hospitality and Tourism

Low taxes and free trade make Hong Kong one of the easiest cities in the world in which to do business. Hong Kong is also a major Asian travel hub, making it an awesome “city gateway”. This Southeast Asian city will add a fair number of jobs between now and 2025 if trade rises due to education and connection, but will definitely feel the pinch in the event of a global economy that suffers from a scale back in industry or information technology.

If you are an entrepreneur who wants to open a restaurant or a hotel, you aren’t too concerned about the environment and sustainability, and you don’t mind rubbing elbows with lots and lots of other people, Hong Kong may be in your future. 

Featured photo credit: Henry at 206 amazing landmarks of the world/Leong Him Woh via flickr.com

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Published on September 28, 2020

9 Essential Tips for Starting Your Own Business

9 Essential Tips for Starting Your Own Business

Starting your own business is the dream of every would-be entrepreneur. While it is a huge undertaking, the rewards of owning a business have proven to be worth it for millions of people all over the world. In this article, we will talk specifically about how to start your own business and how to make it successful.

We have all heard the statistics about the high failure rate of new businesses:[1]

  • Roughly 20% of small businesses fail within the first year.
  • Roughly 33% of small businesses fail within two years.
  • Roughly 50%of small businesses fail within five years.
  • Roughly 66% of small businesses fail within 10 years.

As these numbers suggest, starting a business and having a successful business are two vastly different things. Knowing how to start your own business the right way can mean the difference between long term success and failure.

There is an old saying that people don’t plan to fail, they fail to plan. There is a lot of truth to this. Starting a business is more than just coming up with a good idea and jumping in. You need to have a plan for success, and that means you have to know how to set and achieve goals.

From the time you get that (Eureka!) moment up until you open the doors, every decision you make will impact the business. So, it is important that you carefully evaluate every aspect of your business.

1. Evaluate Yourself

The cold hard truth is that good business ideas are a dime a dozen. Realistically, the chances of your idea being so unique as to be revolutionary are slim to none.

This does not mean that you should abandon it. It just means that you will need to do more than just bring it to the market. The phrase “If you build it, they will come” works better in movies than real life.

Be Honest – Doing honest self-evaluations are notoriously difficult. Humans just are not particularly good at accurately evaluating themselves.

Here is a quick little experiment you can do with any group of 10 or more people. Ask them to hold up a hand if they know how to drive a car, virtually 100% of hands go up. Then, ask them to keep their hand up if they are better than average drivers. 90-95% of hands stay up.

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So, what does this tell us?

Because it is statistically impossible that everyone is “above average”, it illustrates the phenomenon called the “Dunning-Kruger Effect,” which is a cognitive bias in which people wrongly overestimate their knowledge or ability in a specific area. This tends to occur because a lack of self-awareness prevents them from accurately assessing their own skills”.[2]

Because of this Dunning-Kruger Effect, it can be helpful to consult others about what they see as our strengths and weaknesses. Just assure the person that you are interested in their actual opinion and you won’t be hurt or offended if they give it to you.

Some of the things you will want to include in your self-evaluation:

  • Are you a self-starter? Unlike being an employee, there will be no one standing over your shoulder telling you what to do or when to go to work. If you are someone who requires a lot of structure, starting your own business may not be the best option.
  • How organized are you? Planning and organizational skills are important, especially in the early stages of launching a business. Entrepreneurs that “fly by the seat of their pants” rarely succeed.
  • How do you handle risk and failure? The fact of the matter is, going into business is a risky proposition. Success is never guaranteed. Smart business people take calculated risks, but they are still risks. If you are someone for whom the thought of failure or losing money would be devastating, entrepreneurship is probably not for you.
  • How well do you get along with people? How are your communication skills? Most of us consider ourselves “people persons”, but business owners take communication to an entirely new level. When starting out, the business owner is a jack of all trades. You need to be able to interact with clients, business partners, industry partners, suppliers, staff, accountants, lawyers, regulators, and a host of others both accurately and decisively.
  • How disciplined are you? Resilience and perseverance are two of the biggest factors that will determine your success. As we stated earlier, mistakes will be made and some of them will be costly. You need to have enough resilience and perseverance to continue getting up after being knocked down. The only sure way to fail is to give up.

If you are satisfied that you have what it takes to become an entrepreneur, it’s time to move on to the next step.

2. Evaluate Your Business Idea

Again, being able to honestly evaluate your own business idea is key. However, this step is generally not as hard as the self-evaluation because the criteria used in the evaluation process is more objective than subjective.

Identify your target market – Who are the people that will be buying your product or service? For this step, it’s important to alter your mindset. Instead of thinking like a seller, start thinking like a customer.

Can you articulate answers to the following questions?

  • What is the problem addressed by your product or service?
  • How does your product or service solve that problem?
  • Why is your solution better than the competitions’?
  • Are people willing to spend money on a solution to the problem?

You will also want to gather as much information about the people in your target market as possible. At the bare minimum, you will want to know the following about your potential clientele:

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  • Age
  • Location
  • Income
  • Gender
  • Occupation
  • Education
  • Marital Status
  • Ethnicity
  • Number of Children

All of this information will help tweak your product or service to better suit their needs. It is also helpful in developing a marketing strategy.

3. Evaluate the Competition

Generally, you can divide your competitors into three categories:

  • Direct competition – These are companies that offer the same products or services to the same target market as your business. You can think of Burger King and McDonald’s as direct competitors.
  • Indirect competition – These businesses will offer products and services that are similar to the ones you provide without being the same. Another type of indirect competitor can be one that markets the same product or service, just to a different clientele or market segment. Subway and McDonald’s would be indirect competitors.
  • Substitute competition – These are businesses that offer different products or services to the same clientele in the same market segment as you. An example of substitute competition for McDonald’s would be the local mom and pop diner.

Once you have identified exactly who your competitors are, you will want to gather the following information:

  • What is the range of products and services they offer?
  • Are they expanding or scaling down their business?
  • How long have they been in business?
  • What do customers see as their positive/negative attributes?
  • Can you identify any competitive advantage they have?
  • What is their pricing strategy?
  • What is their advertising/marketing strategy?

The purpose of the analysis is to identify your competition’s strengths and weaknesses to better compete.

For example, if your competitors sell largely to companies with more than 100 employees. You may decide to target smaller companies with less than 100 employees. This means that your pricing and marketing strategies will need to be more in line with what the smaller companies expect and can afford.

4. Evaluate the Financial Feasibility of the Business

In developing a financial feasibility analysis, you need to have answers to the following questions:

  • What will it cost to get your business off the ground and become profitable?
  • What initial expenses will you have?
  • What ongoing expenses will you have?
  • What is the source of your start-up capital?
  • What is the earning potential of the business, and how long will it take to achieve?
  • How will you keep the business open and pay your bills until it becomes profitable?

Once you have this information in hand, you will need to build in an extra “cushion” for all of the extra “surprise” expenses that pop up. Additionally, most people are overly optimistic when it comes to estimating the profitability of the business and the time frame needed to achieve it.

How much of a cushion do you need? No one can say for sure. Some people will tell you to double or even triple your estimates. At a bare minimum, you should add 50% to the estimates you made.

It can be disheartening to learn that your business idea really is not financially feasible, but it’s much better to make that discovery now rather than after the money is spent.

5. Have a Professional Business Plan

If you haven’t done so already, get yourself a professional business plan. When I say “professional,” I don’t mean that you need to go out and hire someone to do it. I mean that you need to know what a professional business plan looks like and take it seriously.

Too often, new entrepreneurs neglect to create a business plan in favor of flying by the seat of their pants. This is not a good strategy. Without a plan, you won’t know where you are headed.

“It can seem a daunting task when you’ve never been faced with writing a business plan before, but it’s a crucial task which will enable your venture to start and continue on a solid foundation. A business plan is also necessary when you’re looking to secure funding or investment. Essentially, a business plan is your vision for how the business will run, what you expect to achieve, and how you will achieve those things.”

-Mike Gingerich[3]

6. Use Common Sense Money Principles

Successful start-ups keep a tight rein on expenses. As an owner, you should know exactly where every penny is spent. In all businesses, expenses tend to go up over time. But in the initial stages, you can count on having more expenses than income.

In the earliest stage of being a startup owner, you will deal with an array of challenges. You have to familiarize yourself with the selected business landscape and look for options to expand the business venture while saving the operating costs.

During this time-frame, trimming the operating costs is not optional; defacto is a matter of life and death for your startup. You can’t keep moving in a specific direction. It is mandatory to drift your business towards one goal with smart planning.

7. Start With a Narrow Focus

All too often, I see new business owners get into trouble by overreaching their goals. What happens is that people take on work outside their expertise.

For example, a website designer will take on a client who wants SEO optimization in addition to the design

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Assuming that the web designer is not an expert in SEO, there are several potential problems with this scenario:

  • Pricing – Without knowing or understanding the scope of SEO that’s involved, the chances of underestimating and losing money on the project go way up.
  • Quality – They may be the greatest web designer on earth, but that’s still only half of the job. Clients rightly expect the entire project to be done right.
  • Reputation – There is no second chance for a first impression. These first projects need to be done well if you want any chance of referral business. They will also determine if your first few clients become repeat customers or not.

Remember, Amazon started out just selling books. They slowly expanded their business until you can now get virtually anything on their site.

Be like Amazon. Start with a narrow focus and expand from there.

8. Search Out and Use Specific Resources

There are a lot of free resources out there that every new business owner should take advantage of. They are a great source of information, help, and most importantly, networking opportunities. Some of these resources are general, while others are targeted to specific types of entrepreneurs. Both are worth checking out.

Here’s a partial list of resources:

  • The Chamber of Commerce – Their slogan is, “Designed for business owners, CO—is a site that connects like minds and delivers actionable insights for next-level growth.”
  • U.S. Small Business Association – They offer free business consulting services, SBA guaranteed business loans, certification for federal government contracting, and more.
  • Women’s Business Club – It is specifically for women to network and exchange ideas, but it also useful if you are marketing specifically to women.
  • BLACK ENTERPRISE – Similar to the Women’s Business Club, Black Enterprise is designed specifically for African American entrepreneurs. They bill themselves as, “The premier business, investing, and wealth-building resource for African Americans. Since 1970.”
  • Hispanic Small Business Resource GuideThis guide is filled with resources and networking opportunities for the Hispanic entrepreneur.

9. Just Do It!

Okay, I borrowed the phrase from Nike, but it’s good advice. It not only means taking concrete steps to start your business but also to get out of your own way.

A lot of entrepreneurs (and regular people) are afflicted by a condition called analysis paralysis. It is when someone overthinks about a decision too much that a choice never gets made, resulting in inaction.

If you are a perfectionist, you need to be especially careful of analysis paralysis. Perfectionists tend to wait until everything is perfect before launching their business, and many never get off the runway.

Final Thoughts

Accept that you will make mistakes, that you won’t make the right call all of the time, and that unforeseen obstacles will always pop up.

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If you are truly committed to the entrepreneurial lifestyle and your business, then take the plunge. The goal isn’t to be perfect, but to build a business that changes lives.

More Tips on How to Start Your Own Business

Featured photo credit: DISRUPTIVO via unsplash.com

Reference

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