The paradise paradox, an idea that sunshine and glistening waters are enough for your day to day survival and sanity is a little flawed. If you are making a life change, financial stability and ultimately your intended career path are deal breakers.
Often companies will actually pay more for you than you realize but how do you rationalize this type of life change? Forget what you think you know – workforce, currency change, economies of scale, cost of living, level of tax and even stock market volatility now need to be considered. Research is key – gauge equivalent roles online even utilizing other offshore jurisdictions such as Hong Kong or Cayman to understand salary benchmarks.
We’ve pulled together a few snapshots of industry sectors to give you a guide to working life in the BVI. For the latest island roles, checkout the BVI beacon classified section.
From population surges in the form of cruise shippers, to the hibernating celebrity, private flyer and sailing pro we really do have quite a range of people exploring our islands. This keeps us balanced, as the islands unlock different forms of paradise for each traveller. Resort roles, boating crew, chefs, landscapers and instructors all play a key role in our tourist infrastructure – figure out if you need a temporary or full time work permit before venturing. Our high season tends to run from October to June, with more roles likely to be available just before high season.
The legal industry in the BVI will give you exposure to “mega” cases. Magic circle and mid level law firms operate on island. The islands provide a platform for lawyers to accelerate exposure to industry leading cases both a thrilling and at times daunting prospect. Firms tend to prefer at least 5 years qualified so if you are a recent trainee, you may want to build on your experience before making a change.
The high performance accountancy/business consultancy firms are evident on island, focusing particularly on audits but also tax services. Similar to law at least 5/6 years experience is preferred.
Given the scale of companies with an offshore presence, no surprise that there are a range of businesses providing financial solutions including corporate restructuring, wealth management and cross border investment.
For the corporate sector pay is akin to big city roles with the added element of “relocation packages”, these packages can vary quite a bit so worth negotiating carefully. Pretty much all corporate roles are based on our larger island, Tortola. For hospitality, salaries tend to show greater fluctuation due to volume of applicants with accommodation playing a larger part, roles vary from Tortola to islands such as Scrub, Peter and Cooper.
Underpinning any move to our islands is the work permit system, understand how this functions and the time it will take, plus the acceptance criteria before you start to tumble into day dreaming and the paradise paradox.
Note: it gets dark around 5pm so you might need to think twice about those after work beach BBQs but let’s just say we do have quite a few bank holidays…