Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Executive Career Booster: "Adventurousness"

Whitewater rafting in the Amazon has its career equivalent … choosing to work in Dubai.

My guess is the same type of person would do both.

Earlier this week, I received an email from a colleague I hadn’t heard from in a while and for whom I had done much work during his stint heading the Learning & Development function at a prominent bank in New York.

Four years ago, he took a position with another leading bank and relocated to London to head up their LD and OD functions throughout Europe and Asia. We stayed in contact and I did some work for him abroad but, as often is the case with continental separations, our communication grew less and less frequent as the months went by.

So I smiled when I saw his name on my email in-box and even more so when I read his note.

An out-of-the-box job offer

Turns out, he wanted my advice on relocating to Dubai. He had been offered a start-up position as the head of Learning and Leadership Development for a bank’s emerging markets business in Russia, Africa, the Gulf States and Southeast Asia. He was evaluating the pros and cons of making such a big change in his and his family’s lifestyle.

Since he’s in his late thirties, he’s looking forward to a 20-25 year career in the new global marketplace. After we had a number of transatlantic coaching sessions, it became clear that his decision hinged on his personal commitment to grow within the OD function and excel in the financial services industry. Taking on this challenging assignment could ensure his future employability in the banking arena almost anywhere in the world.

His choice: he accepted the offer and will be in Dubai by the end of this year.

Careers on flat earth

The whole episode got me to thinking that in spite of all the negative job-related news we see in the headlines, the truth is that career options have, in fact, exploded. In an era that NY Times columnist and author Thomas L. Friedman has christened the “flat earth,” new career possibilities keep popping up around the globe.

As jobs in domestic financial services and other sectors of the U.S. economy appear to be drying up, an adventurous approach to the new worldwide marketplace doesn’t only expand and enhance future career options, but transforms working into an interesting and exciting journey.

BTW, before he begins this Dubai assignment, he'll be going whitewater rafting in the Amazon.

1 comment:

jeninct said...

I saw a show recently that talked about the huge infrastructure growth in dubai and the billions being spent. A college student in dubai was interviewed and said in perfect english that he would earn $160K the first year out of school. It looks like a lot of opportunity there.

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