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Q&A on working across cultures with Holly Hatton: "You need to adapt, listen and learn"
Holly Hatton, manager at Michael Page Singapore's financial services team talks about the challenges she faced moving from the UK to Asia and how she overcame them.
What made you decide to move from your home country to Singapore?
When I graduated in the UK, many of my friends found work at accounting practices or banks. I interviewed at these places too, but when a friend introduced the idea of working in recruitment, it sounded really interesting. Six years later, it was the best decision I could have ever made. I moved to Singapore because I wanted to explore working in a different country. Luckily Michael Page is international enough for me to make an internal move.
How has the experience been like so far?
Absolutely excellent. Great people, interesting and diverse work and the opportunity to manage a bigger team.
The people are the best thing about working in a different culture.
What were some of the challenges you faced when you first started in a new country?
Despite working for the same company, the systems, processes and markets were completely different in the UK and Singapore. It was like working for a totally different company with the same branding. At first, it can be frustrating because the way I might have dealt with a situation, client or candidate in the UK just didn’t work in Singapore. You need to be able to adapt, listen and learn from the team around you in order to change to a more effective working style.
What do you enjoy most about working in a different culture?
The people are the best thing about working in a different culture. Finding yourself in situations that you wouldn’t normally be in with new people is a great thing to experience.
Any advice to those thinking of making the same move?
If you have the opportunity to work abroad, I 100 percent recommend it. At times it will be tough, as changing countries always means you start from scratch, but it is entirely worth it.
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