We recently caught up with Betty, who earlier in the year, moved from Sydney to Hong Kong with the help of Think Global Recruitment.
So why did you initially decide to move abroad?
‘I was working in Shanghai with KPMG and really enjoyed the overseas experience and really enjoyed a role with such good global exposure. My time in Shanghai was so exciting! I met so many new people and really enjoyed the culture so decided to pick up the role in Hong Kong. I made the move in September this year and have settled in really quickly here!’
Did you have any concerns about moving?
‘I was slightly worried about finding an apartment because I didn’t have to find one myself in Shanghai as the company provided me with accommodation. Housing expenses in Hong Kong are quite high and the houses are not very big, however, the company provided me with a relocation specialist to assist with my move and I was lucky to find an apartment. I was very surprised at how efficient the whole process was!’
How long did it take for you to settle in?
‘It didn’t take me that long due to my Asian background. I speak Cantonese and found a really nice apartment in a really good location. I was sent for a couple of weeks to work in so only spent a few weeks in Hong Kong before I got sent away. I didn’t, however, have any problems settling in because there are so many expats. There is such a large variety of foods including local and Western so you are spoilt for choice. I also have friends from Australia who were relocated a few months before I was so they were able to introduce me to people and give me advice. I also had some friends from Hong Kong before I moved too so local knowledge was extremely helpful.’
Did the move meet your expectations?
‘Yes definitely! In some cases, it exceeded my expectations! The things I thought would be really complicated and time-consuming, like opening bank accounts and getting an ID, were straight forward and fast. Transport is very efficient here, much better than in Sydney.’
What would you say was the biggest benefit of moving?
‘Definitely experiencing the different culture and meeting so many new people. All of the people in my team at work are multinationals. You are always meeting people from different backgrounds so there is always a lot to talk about and a lot of stories and experiences to be shared.’
Would you say your standard of living improved?
‘I wouldn’t say it was better, I would just say it is different. There are definitely pros and cons but I am loving it here so far! I am living on my own, which is expensive but definitely more convenient. The transport is definitely a plus and I am really impressed with the speed and efficiency of public services here.’
What are your main highlights so far in Hong Kong?
‘Hong Kong is such a big city, I love how fast paced life is here and I love the diversity of the city. I have never had any trouble finding authentic food either, I am really enjoying the culture and having the opportunity to meet so many different people.’
Does anything in Hong Kong stand out culturally?
‘The area I am living in is near the west of Hong Kong Island. It is an area with a lot of expats but there is a good mix of local and international people. People are so welcoming and friendly and there are so many fantastic authentic noodle places!’
What are the main things you have realised?
‘I have become more open to cultural differences and ways of doing business. I just have to stay open when working with people from different backgrounds. I am always learning, always exchanging knowledge and stories. I get flown out to different countries on a regular basis as part of my global internal audit role. I have been really enjoying the role and the lifestyle, however, the jet lag does creep up on you.’
What would you say to other accountants looking to make the move abroad?
‘Do it, have a go! Get out of your comfort zone and experience life. You’ll be able to apply the knowledge you learn to so many different situations. It makes you more open as a person and allows you to experience different cultures, ways of life and foods.’
How did Think Global Recruitment assist you with your move?
‘You guys did a great job! I really appreciated the follow ups and someone to check in with.’
What were the advantages of applying for the role through Think Global Recruitment?
‘I didn’t have to deal with the complicated logistics such as salary negotiation and could, therefore, focus on interviews. I also found the briefings and interview training extremely helpful.’
We wish Betty all the best in her new role and hope that her story will help other accountants find their dream job abroad!
Please get in touch with us here if you would like to discuss moving overseas with one of our advisors.