Flying high : Top Tips for an international career in events

Premila Braganza, head of human resources for dmg events Middle East and Asia, shares advice on how to expand your trade show career with a move to the UAE:

A move abroad doesn’t mean that you are leaving your home job market behind. Working abroad enhances work experience. All employers these days are looking for candidates with international experience as this conveys a broader knowledge and skill set making them more attractive for future opportunities either back in their home countries or elsewhere. The trend is more towards a global workforce. We currently tend to recruit more locally based candidates; ratio would be 95:5 in favor of local candidates. However, our guiding principle when recruiting is finding the best candidate for the role on hand regardless of where the candidate may be based. LinkedIn, direct advertising and employee referrals are our first port of call when looking to recruit. We also have a preferred suppliers list in place for recruitment agencies should the need arise.

Our focus is firmly on recruiting the right ‘people’. The very essence of exhibitions and events is that they are face-to-face mediums. Our staff need to not only be skilled in their own sector, be it sales, marketing or operations, they also need to be equipped with exceptional people skills and the ability to expertly adapt in order to manage the unforeseen and to seize opportunities.

On a practical note overseas candidates should make certain that their highest educational qualification, their marriage certificate and their child’s birth certificates are all attested in their home country prior to arrival in the UAE. This will ensure a smooth transition.

Looking at the bigger picture though, here are what I believe to be the key points you should consider, action and evaluate when thinking of working and living in the UAE:

  1. Research, research and research some more – Research the city/ country you are looking to relocate to. What is the cost of living? What are the prevalent customs/ traditions you should familiarise yourself with? Which neighborhoods would you be interested to live in? etc. Read expat blogs or websites to better understand what the new location has to offer you and your loved ones. A website I recommend as a comprehensive source of information is
  1. Leverage your network – Relocating is a big decision so you need to be well informed. Friends and family already living in the city you intend to move to are always the best sources of candid and accurate information.
  1. Learn about the career opportunities available in the country you wish to relocate to, i.e. who are the bell weathers in your industry of choice. Employers like to meet candidates who have done their homework on their business and the role in particular.
  1. Finally, once you’ve made the decision to move, embrace the adventure with an open mind and be patient. Give yourself at least six months to settle into your new life before you decide whether the relocation is a success or not. Remember all new things take time to adjust to.
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