Date posted: 13/04/2018

Opportunities abroad: Accounting could be your new passport

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"If you are interested in working overseas, go as early in your career as you can," says Manan Kumar, Atlassian's Head of Finance, Server Business

Back in 2012, Manan and his wife moved to Singapore where he worked at LinkedIn as the Finance Director for the Financial Planning and Accounting APAC and Japan team.

"I thought Singapore would be a really good opportunity because it was the gateway to Asia. It was a good place to transition into; with a large expat community. We were able to see other parts of Asia as well," Manan says.

The opportunity came to his attention when someone at LinkedIn, impressed by his profile, told him about the development of their APAC headquarters and asked if he would be interested in working there.

"At that time, technology was a disruptive force across many industries, and Asia was going to be the growth engine for many companies." he said.

Manan spent five years in Singapore, helping to build up the new branch of the company.

"Across my five years at LinkedIn I had the chance to shape both the strategy and culture of the business in Asia," Manan says.

GSK's Business Monitoring Strategy Director, Chloe Warren, moved to London with some of her colleagues from Deloitte almost eight years ago, and hasn't looked back.

"Within six weeks of landing in London I had a job working for a FTSE 100 company," Chloe recalls.

Chloe created a life in London with her husband and her incredible new career, thriving in a city that she loves.

"As a base to see the world; I don't think you can compare it to anywhere else. There's a saying: 'When you get bored of London, you get bored of life'. For me, that's very true," Chloe says.

"There's so much to do here: so many different things going on, places to go out to eat, things to see, museums, galleries, sight-seeing. You can just do so much all the time."

Manan says he was able to experience the cultural diversity within a new city firsthand and learn about different types of people.

"I think just the cultural mix of Asia became a lot more apparent to me when I was working in Singapore, especially at a company like LinkedIn," he says.

As an internationally recognised qualification*, having a CA designation can help you to demonstrate your ability to commit to overseas employers.

"[Employers] realise that it's a lot of commitment and effort to get through the CA Program, particularly while you're working at the same time. I think it just helps show that you've got the tenacity to get through something quite challenging, while continuing on with your work," Chloe says.

Taking the chance to move overseas can help you develop certain skills by taking you out of your comfort zone. Chloe says moving overseas taught her the importance of relationship building.

"If you can build up a good rapport with your colleagues, you're more likely to be successful. You do need to have a level of emotional intelligence when you're dealing with staff in your workplace, so that you can respond accordingly," she said.

Even though moving overseas can be a big step, Chloe says all you need is the courage to do it.

"Professionally and personally, it's been the best decision I've made to come across to London, build my career and see the world."

*International opportunities may require additional training in some countries and be subject to country specific visa requirements and other restrictions.