Optimistic executives move with the times
MOVING overseas to further a career is becoming an increasingly viable option for Australian senior executives, research reveals.
The Bluesteps executive and mobility survey found 70 per cent of senior executives in Australia are prepared to relocate abroad and generally are more open to making career moves.
The survey, released by the Association of Executive Search Consultants, says the high optimism of people about making the move is a possible reflection of the reasonably robust Australian economy.
AESC Asia-Pacific chairman Harry O’Neill says that with the increasing strength of the economy, 46 per cent of executives in the region believe they have more career opportunities now than five years ago.
‘‘However, as a result of the financial crisis, many senior-level executives have put a hold on plans for retirement, which is making it difficult for the next generation of workers to move up the ladder quickly,’’ he says.
The optimism about moving overseas is, however, tapered with 67 per cent of executives indicating they are not expecting a promotion, saying they plan to stay at the same level for the next three to five years – even if they relocate abroad.
AESC vice-chairman Jason Johnson says it is not surprising Australian senior executives are more open to job change than many o f their overseas counterparts.
‘‘The impact of the global recession was greater in the northern hemisphere than in Australia,’’ he says.
‘‘As a result, senior executives here are less risk-averse and ready to take on new opportunities, including roles overseas. Australians have a unique, adventurous spirit and actively seek opportunities to work in different countries and cultures.
‘‘This attribute is highly regarded by companies as they seek to establish a highly mobile, culturally adaptable workforce.’’
SA Tourism Commission marketing and communications director David O’Loughlin, who has just returned to Adelaide after spending time overseas and interstate, says the time he spent away has been beneficial for his career.
He says employees who decide to move overseas need to change their way of thinking to adapt to the market, even if it is the same as the one they are already working in.
‘‘All of those (foreign) markets have different perspectives on how business is run,’’ he says.
‘‘The demands of the people, the demands of the culture and the demands of the specific category or business you are in are very, very different.
‘‘The biggest thing I learnt was to listen first, sit back and consider the environment that I am in first before I make a decision.’’
He says people must think carefully, before they leave, about where they will go and what experience they will gain which will lead to long-term benefits.
New marketing director for the South Australian Tourism Commission David O’Loughlin spent 15 years working overseas.