Making an International Move – What our Team Think

Are you considering an overseas move but a little uncertain? Do you
want to make a move but you’re not sure where to go?

To celebrate the return of our Accountancy Worldwide Forum
in South Africa,
October 2014, I have started digging through our files and tracing down
candidates that we have assisted in their international move to find out their
thoughts on the process, the locations and what they are up to now.
While I’m doing this, I thought it would be interesting to
look at the people that sit next to me every day – what are their thoughts on
moving overseas? Where have they lived? What makes them interesting? And finally, what
advice would they give to someone who is considering an international move?
From Austria
to India, New
York to Bermuda, Thailand to Australia,
Germany to South Africa,
our team have all lived overseas and that’s what makes us experts! Before I begin, I will give you a brief overview of the team members that I have spoken to, where they went and how long for.
Abigail Stevens, Managing Director, Sydney
While backpacking through Australia, Abigail fell in love with Sydney so she got sponsorship and decided to live and work there for three years.
Alistair Mills, Recruitment Manager, Melbourne
Alistair was made redundant during the recession and wanted to try something new. He had a friend who traveled to Australia and loved it so it seemed like a good place to go. Alistair worked in Melbourne for 1 year.
Calum Smith, Recruitment Consultant, New York
Calum had always wanted to work in New York and got the opportunity straight after university, he had no plans at the time and thought that there was no better time than then to experience the city! Calum lived in New York for 4 months.
Daniel Scott, Recruitment Consultant, Austria & Spain
Daniel lived in Austria and Spain for 7 months each. Though it was compulsory for his university course, he fell in love with both and stayed a little bit longer. He really didn’t want to return home after his time was up!
Kevin Dillon, Recruitment Consultant, Thailand & South Carolina
Kevin lived in South Carolina for 6 months due to his university course, he had always wanted to experience life in the USA and enjoyed living and working on the beach while he was there! After finishing university he said that he always wanted to travel and so he moved to Thailand to teach English and stayed there for 1 year before returning to the UK to begin his career with Think Global Recruitment.
Lara Caswell, Administrator and PA to Directors, Mozambique & South Africa
Lara decided that she was fed up of living in the UK, she wanted to encounter something new and begin an adventure. So, she moved to southern Africa where she ended up living and working in various locations for seven years!
Michael Black, Recruitment Consultant, Colorado
Michael lived in Colorado for 6 months during the skiing season, his cousin lived in Denver and so he had a connection there. He had always wanted to work and live abroad so this was his opportunity.
Roger Edwardson, Recruitment Consultant, Belgium & Austria
Roger lived in both Belgium and Austria for six months each as part of his university course. Because he was studying languages, he was really keen to get involved with this aspect of his degree, it was a chance to live in his target area and immerse himself in a different culture.
Emma Maloy, Marketing Assistant, Germany
I lived in Germany for nearly five years in two different locations. The reason I moved was due to family commitments. I feel very lucky that I had the opportunity to experience a similar, yet very different, way of life and given the chance to go back – I would take it in a heartbeat!
The general consensus when I asked why everyone moved over seas came down to:
I wanted to try something new
And why shouldn’t you? One of our newest recruiters, Kevin
Dillon, commented on his time in Thailand stating,
I wanted to travel
before starting my career and especially somewhere that I didn’t speak the
language, I wanted to challenge myself
Referring back to my last blog, I stated the importance of
stepping out of your comfort zone and this is exactly what he did. I guess this
is what we all did…
Of course if you’re moving away from home, no matter how
long your stay, you will always have concerns niggling at the back of your
mind. I know that my biggest concern when I moved to Germany was the fact that I was leaving all of my friends behind, not
knowing if I would get the chance to see them again and knowing that I would
have to make new friends and adapt to a new, very strange environment. It was
truly terrifying but incredibly exciting. Here’s what some of our team members
had to say about their concerns:
Alistair Mills, Melbourne –‘I went on my own so I
was nervous about meeting new people and settling in. I arrived in Melbourne with just a back
pack so it was a little overwhelming however I had a new place to live and a
group of friends in no time. It forces you out of your comfort zone and really
gets the best out of you. It’s a big decision and of course it’s a little
daunting but ultimately really rewarding.’
Abigail Stevens, Sydney –‘Before going I knew
nothing about Australia
at all, except for what I learnt from Home and Away! I didn’t realise there
would be big modern cities and it would be a great place to take my career
forward. I therefore only had Australia
on my itinerary for a three month stop over – I ended up staying three years!’
Michael Black, Colorado –‘I was worried about the altitude (9,000 feet) and being
away from the folks, but I fell in with a great group of guys and settled in
very quickly.’
Calum Smith,
New York –‘No concerns
whatsoever – just a lot of excitement at the thought of it!’
We all have our concerns when making such a dramatic, life
changing decision, we are only human after all (except maybe Calum – who didn’t
seem to be nervous at all). At Think Global Recruitment we go out of our way to
help anyone who is worried or concerned about their move, we want them to feel
safe in the fact that they are making one of the best decisions they will ever
Moving on to my next question for the group, did their move
meet their expectations? Every single person said no. It exceeded them. It’s
hard to envision what it will be like when you are literally stepping into the
unknown, you know it’s going to be scary, you know it’s going to be exciting
and you know that if it all goes wrong – you can come home but when it comes
down to the nitty gritty, you have no idea.
When I asked the team what disappointed them about their
move, Kevin mentioned that the size of beer cans in America
are considerably smaller than the UK and Alistair noted that
Australian TV is rubbish. Both huge deciding factors when moving overseas! On a
serious note, nothing was really disappointing. It’s such a fantastic
experience that the highs most definitely exceed the lows.
So what advice would our experts offer to those considering
a move…
Alistair Mills, Melbourne –‘Go for it! It’s
an amazing experience and something that you will look back on with great
memories for years to come! From a practical sense, make sure you research the
location and find a role that you will be able to do comfortably! Use a
recruiter to make sure you have some help with each stage of the way and to
secure you the best deal!’
Abigail Stevens, Sydney –‘Do it! It will give you amazing life
experiences and friends for life. You will become a more rounded individual
with increased knowledge and confidence.’

prolonged her visit) –

Calum Smith,
New York – ‘Embrace it – go with a completely open mind
and just take every experience in, good or bad! I would also recommend
immersing yourself in the local culture wherever you go!
Daniel Scott, Austria & Spain – ‘My
one piece of advice is if you get the opportunity to travel and experience a
new culture or new environment, DO IT!’
Kevin Dillon, Thailand & South Carolina – ‘Buy the ticket and take the ride! Go head first into each and every
situation and do things out with your comfort zone on a regular basis. Try and
integrate into the local community and culture as much as you can, you’re not
going to like everything but at least you can say that you tried. If there’s
anything that you couldn’t or wouldn’t do at home that you’ve wanted to do then
this is your opportunity!’
Lara Caswell, Mozambique & South Africa – ‘Throw yourself into
it wholeheartedly, to this date it is the most exciting, rewarding thing I
have ever done!’
Michael Black, Colorado – ‘Do it! It’s a great thing to do, build your
confidence and experience; I wish I had made the move sooner as I did so much
growing up when I was there.’
Roger Edwardson, Austria & Belgium – ‘Make sure you do research on the location and try and visit
there beforehand to get a taste of the culture. Also make sure you talk to
locals and don’t be afraid to ask for help.’
Everyone was so enthusiastic about living overseas that when
I asked if they could open a Think Global Recruitment office in another
country, would they? Everyone said yes.
Obviously our moves have given us the experience needed to
be able to advise others on living overseas but how else has it enhanced our
careers? I believe that it gives you edge, makes you stand out from the crowd,
people are instantly interested in you because you have done something
Daniel Scott,
& Spain – ‘You learn a lot about yourself and also a lot about how to handle
situations and interact with people on a different level to what you would at
Roger Edwardson, Belgium & Austria – ‘My time overseas
improved my language skills and gave me a great sense of independence’.
Abigail Stevens, Sydney – ‘I know
about living and working overseas first hand and now help others to Improve
their Lives by doing the same. I believe I gained the confidence to run my own
business through the overseas move. I am used to being out with my comfort zone
and meeting new people and this really helped.’
I must admit, when I initially typed the questions into an
email, I expected that everyone would have vastly different answers, how could
they be the same when we all traveled to opposite ends of the globe? We all
returned home, not one of us wanted to come back and every single person has
had the best time that they could have imagined. I would personally advise
every single person to take the plunge and live in another country, experience
the culture, the beauty and the excitement. Whether it’s for three months or
three years, you will not regret it.
So, there’s a little bit more about our team, if you have
been placed by us (or would like to be) and would love to share your story, get
in touch!


By Emma Maloy, Marketing Assistant