Recruitment Is a Great Industry for Working Abroad.
Working with people is one of the most transferable skills that there is – right?
Putting language and cultural challenges aside at least, recruiting for a Finance Director in London throws up many of the same challenges of recruiting in New York, a banking recruiter in Singapore has a similar role to that in London... The markets may have a slightly different dynamic, the hiring companies might have differing processes and legalities may vary, but as and when those candidates walk into the room, the interviewer is still asking themselves the same questions - irrespective of the skyline outside the window!
It is, of course, a little simplistic to say that if you can recruit in London, you can recruit anywhere - but the huge numbers of people who have “gone there” and “done that” is a testament to the fact that it is more than possible. If you have the personality, the right blend of experience, life situation, drive, desire for a change, ability to fit culturally - then a dream career does not have to remain confined to your daydreams on a packed train commute into London!
At McCall, we have made many introductions abroad – the demand is high and growing hence why we have offices in Singapore (where our manager is Scottish!) and Sydney, and will continue to grow. Demand is especially high for second/third jobbers or management who want to experience a different country and lifestyle. The reasons vary from weather, sport, cost of living - in any case it is fair to say that there are more than a few commonalities regarding what makes a successful placement. Getting on the flight is one thing – staying out there, settling and thriving is something else entirely.
Firstly, you have to have an incredibly strong sense of “why.” There are various potential reasons and they have to be both meaningful and deeply felt enough to view the move out there as a medium-term move at least, long-term at best, rather than a short-term holiday. Getting in a long-term mind set and being realistic about exactly what you are giving up (in particular family visits and close friend networks tend to be the hardest) is one of the most important factors. You’ll miss all sorts of silly things about the UK (potentially the number of changes of weather in a day!) Ultimately if that is balanced out by a potentially amazing future in a country where you are more likely to lead the lifestyle you desire with ease (and less stress levels helps!) then you will leave with a beaming smile on your face…and have plenty of visitors!
Secondly, it helps to enjoy being highly social - you have built your UK network up over a number of years, but in many cases, you could be starting from scratch in your new country. You might be moving to a warm desk, but people don’t work with your desk, they work with you. The nuances will be different and it will take time to adjust – so get used to lots of storytelling, lots of listening and hopefully lots of laughs. If you slink back to your lonely flat at the end of the day, having eaten alone, you may not last there for long. You have to suck the marrow out of the experience; typically there are plenty of people who will be more than happy to help you do that, providing you are prepared to really immerse yourself.
Written by Julie O'Neill