“The World is your Oyster”– My Grandfather used to tell me this, but what does it mean ?
After being in Genve the last two days, I have reflected on a key decision I made early on in my career, which has impacted my obsession and appreciation for global business and the “world”.
At the age of 24 I left the comfort of London where I had grown up and lived all of my life, I jumped on a flight to live in Mumbai, leaving my fiancé, my family and my friends back inLondon.
Working for Trafigura it was common practise to move graduates around the world to their different offices.
I was fortunate enough to live and work in Mumbai for two years and then Geneve for a further two years.
In my view a years’ experience living and working abroad is easily worth two or three years’ experience versus a year at a “home” office.
But why ?
1. Learning: different cultures, people and markets. You cannot do this from a text book, you cannot do this by commuting, you can’t do it over a Skype call, to really learn it you need to live it.
2. Exposure: I was exposed to senior board members and had face time with key decision makers that I otherwise would never have even met. Dinners, lunches, weekend events, I learnt how to handle myself, but also in the office I found myself presenting strategy to senior members of the management board and the advisory board… at 25 years old!
3. Relationships: ultimately, I formed relationships with people that, have supported and invested in me and EdgePetrol.They have given me the confidence to turn a dream and concept into a reality.
This is not a one off, other friends and colleagues that have lived and worked abroad are impressive.
My advice is to take yourself outside your comfort zone and live and work abroad, experience new people, new cultures, you will appreciate global markets and really The World will become your Oyster!