Of those with a high school certificate, 40 percent had already moved for a job at least once, the study conducted by Infas polling firm for the Bertelsmann social research foundation suggested. Half of those who have moved for their work have done so several times.
Five percent of those asked said they had moved abroad for their work – which would mean more than three million Germans had gone overseas for their career.
Most of those who moved to follow a job did so for an employed position – 60 percent were ready to move to start an open-ended contract, while less than 25 percent said they would go somewhere for a limited contract. If that contract was set to run for less than a year, just 10 percent of those would go.
The big hurdle was to leave the country, with half of those asked saying they had never considered it due to strong links to home and the burdens such a move would place on family or children.
Those who do leave for other countries are mostly academics and those earning a lot of money, the study said.
They expect to encounter improved opportunities for personal development such as learning a new language, with 75 percent citing this as a factor in their decision. Of those asked, 83 percent said they were keen to experience a new country, while 57 percent named improved career chances as an important factor.
The main problems facing those who move abroad concerned language and the lack of the social security benefits accrued in Germany.