The opportunity for international exposure and expanding her career horizons are two of the main reasons Geraldine took a leap of faith to make her move abroad. We’ve had the pleasure of assisting Geraldine a few years ago to secure a fantastic role and recently we caught up with her to find out how life is going living and her newly appointed role in Ireland.
In her own words, we’re happy to share Geraldine’s story, her experiences, highlights, and the bold advice she has for others.
‘I started in management reporting’
‘One of the highlights for me is being based in Ireland at the corporate head office of the company. You get exposure to a lot of very senior people from early on in your career, and that’s been a really good growth aspect for me.’
‘I love people and talking to people and getting to know people, so the roles that I’ve been in, both in management reporting and now as the country financial compliance controller for the UK and Ireland, I get to deal with different people on different sites on a daily basis, which is really interesting.’
‘When you sign up here, you sign up to be globally mobile.’
‘The company that I’m working for has offices throughout the world and I really like that you can travel with the role. When you sign up here, you sign up to be globally mobile. The Company relocates people to offices throughout the world and that really appealed to me. I’ve now taken on the role of UK and Ireland country controller position, so I’m across to the UK fairly regularly. A lot of my colleagues have been able to move, we’ve had people recently take the opportunity to move to Mexico, Malaysia, North America; so there’s a lot of opportunity there.’
‘I’ve been with the company for 2 and a half years, and a Financial Controller since April.’
‘At first it wasn’t really a culture shock as Ireland and South Africa are very similar in a lot of ways. But the weather takes some getting used to (laughs)! There’s a nice group of expats and people from all over Ireland here, so you form a bit of a bond with the people working here because a lot of them aren’t from here as well which makes it easier to settle in. I’ve never been a big city girl anyway, so I like when you you walk down the street and bump into one or two people you know and the community aspect of living in here is nice.’
‘On a personal level, you learn a lot about yourself when you’re away from your support network.’
‘I moved over here not knowing anyone really, so you do learn a lot about yourself and who you are as a person and that you can cope on your own and no matter where you are you can settle in and make friends. I think it’s a good learning and growth experience and putting yourself outside of your comfort zone and taking a leap to figure out who you are and what you want in life.’
‘You’ve got the opportunity to bring your ideas to the table.’
‘On a professional level, because I’m in the head office of the global company, you get really good career progression and promotions here happen quite regularly so there’s a lot of that exposure. We recently just had a careers week, which I attended on Friday, and they took the time to go through different aspects of thinking about your career with you. They also brought in people from outside the business to do different talks so the Company is very serious about taking the time to help you with your personal development.’
‘And you’ve got the opportunity to bring your ideas to the table as well. Especially in the environment now because I’m exposed to a lot of changes in standards in the UK and new regulation, it gives me the opportunity to say that ‘ok well I’ve heard about this, how do we put it into place now.’ So, the company is very open to new ideas and better ways of working.’
‘There are so many highlights!’
‘I think personally one of the best things that happened is the promotion into a different role. I think for me that was a spark. Once you’re in a role for a long time, you get used to doing what you’re doing, and you get comfortable. And now I think for me it’s about stepping up to a much bigger role within the company and having that challenge has been one of the biggest highlights to again putting myself out of my comfort zone. The plan is to stay in this role for a few more years and really build on it and make it my own and learn new things. ’
‘Do your home-work about the place and don’t let it scare you’
‘If you’re from a big city and you’re looking to go to a small town, don’t let that stop you because you might just find something about you that you didn’t know about before. I think its taking the fear away from what you’re doing, and it is a big move, but it’s taking that fear away and jumping in to make the most of the situation.’
‘Just kind of jumping in and involve yourself!’
‘It really makes that transition period a lot easier when you’re doing stuff and putting yourself outside of areas that you might not normally do. So, it’s a really good attitude to have.’
‘The two people that helped with my move were amazing!’
‘They were so good with me and really helped me prepare for my interviews, which was really good. And they really took an interest in what was going on with the interview process, and they stepped in to make it as smooth as possible. They would check in with me every few months to see how I was settling in.’
We would like to thank Geraldine for sharing her story with us and wish her all the best in this exciting new role and for the future.
If you’re interested in taking your career global, we’re here to help. Please get in touch with us here to talk about your move abroad with our trusted consultants.