Growing up as a citizen of the world
Moving around has always been a part of my life as an expat baby. I’ve lived in nine countries since I was born and have been educated in five different schools. Everyone I grew up with were expats and had a wealth of culture and lived experiences. Originally from just outside Norwich, the UK has never really been home for me. However, I returned to Scotland for university to obtain an International Business Management degree. The one place I wanted to live was Dubai – it was always the end plan, so I did and have been living in the Middle East since 2000.
“Everyone I grew up with were expats and had a wealth of culture and lived experiences.”
Coming fresh out of university isn’t always easy when landing a job. I was lucky to have found a graduate program with a multinational recruitment agency in HR recruitment. When I was ready to move on, I spoke to a rec-to-rec who was working with the Frazer Jones Dubai office. They put me in touch with Simon and Shane. During the interview process, I felt that the company gave off a different energy than I had been used to. So, I joined Frazer Jones two and a half months before Covid. However, the market was volatile. I was lucky to get support from the company that kept me during Covid. Then there was an opening to offer to support at Carter Murray. Their market was flourishing during the summer period, and I thought, why not? In December 2020, I moved to Carter Murray.
The transition from HR recruitment to marketing, sales and communications
Switching from HR recruitment to sales, communications and marketing is similar to moving countries. You must learn about the culture, market and people. For the first two months, I asked many questions and did a lot of scoping out. Googling terminology, speaking to candidates and working with my exceptional team facilitated the transition. Collaborating with a team of driven individuals makes it hard not to be driven yourself. They are such a breath of fresh air and we’re all really good friends. In Dubai and the Middle East, we do more than marketing and sales due to what our clients are asking for – and we’ve made an amazing name for ourselves. Having a team of experts that excel in what they do fills in any gaps. Here, if you want to become a subject matter expert, you are given the tools and motivation to do so. It’s also nice to be treated like an adult without the pressure of coming in bang on time.
“Here, if you want to become a subject matter expert, you are given the tools and motivation to do so.”
The diversity of people I encounter day-to-day
I enjoy the candidates I work with – you learn a lot just by having conversations. I can work on anything from entry up to a Chief across many industries. Coming from a multicultural background also has its advantages. I lived in Saudia Arabia 24 years ago, yet when I deal with clients and candidates from the Middle East, I can identify what they are looking for. It’s about having that willingness to learn more about cultures and that one size doesn’t necessarily fit all.
“It’s about having that willingness to learn more about cultures – one size doesn’t necessarily fit all.”
Advice for those starting out in the industry
Ask questions no matter how small or big. No one is going to judge you. A question usually leads to a back story. Don’t only ask your team questions but the clients and candidates you deal with. It was from asking questions that I was able to learn more about my industry. Everything leads to something – even if it’s confirmation that what you know is correct. Plus, there is so much jargon in marketing specifically – trust me Google is your friend. And we have it at the tip of our fingers. Finally, don’t be afraid of A/B testing if your method doesn’t work – feel comfortable trying a new tactic.
“Don’t be afraid of asking questions – they usually lead to a back story.”