Two conversations this weekend reminded me about an earlier rant on this blog on the subject of career conservatism by people in our industry in Europe and the US and the fact that so few seem to want to go to work in developing markets. The first was with the boss, Richard Edelman, who is in Hong Kong and Shanghai and went sort of like this: “My god this place is just exploding . . . . we have so many great opportunities here and we are really only constrained by getting good people in . . . . jeez if I was in my late 20’s or early 30’s I’d be here in a shot”. OK, this is a bit of a job ad too (CV’s please to firstname.lastname@example.org), but I still maintain that if you want to get on in this business in the future, having global skills and experience will give you a big premium and that is going to mean having actually lived and worked outside of your own market for an extended period of time. The second conversation was with my old friend Tim Sutton who transferred from running Weber Shandwick’s European business to Hong Kong to run their Asia business just last month. His slightly more wistful message as he looked out at the South China Sea from his new home reminded me of how much I enjoyed being in a part of the world (I was in Asia for seven years . . so hence my bias perhaps) where your senses and emotional intelligence are challenged every day with new business and cultural experiences. It’s like being hot-housed as educationalists might have it. Someone once said ‘we don’t know what we don’t know’ and that sometimes makes us blind . . . . working and living abroad is the best way to open your eyes to be a truly global operator.
[tags] Working Abroad, Tim Sutton, Richard Edelman [/tags]