How working abroad can benefit your career
Eric Mary made the move from Paris to Bangkok as a senior consultant in 2013. After progressing quickly in Thailand and launching the supply chain division there, he made the move to Manila as country manager. Two years later, he has moved again to head-up our rapidly expanding Indonesia business. He talks about his progression with the Robert Walters Group, his experience working in four different countries and what a career in our Indonesia business could offer you.
How has your career progressed at Robert Walters?
“I started in our Paris office in 2011 as a junior consultant specialising in finance and was promoted to senior consultant less than two years later. In 2013, I made the move to Bangkok and joined the commerce finance team. In my time there I was promoted to manager and associate director and successfully launched the supply chain division. I then had the opportunity to move to the Philippines to head our new office there and now I’m country head of Indonesia. It has been a journey full of challenges, opportunities and satisfaction, and I’m glad to have been able to grow with the business in South East Asia.
How did your initial move to South East Asia come about?
I knew I wanted to move internationally but didn’t have a specific location in mind. My only criteria was to be in a booming market, to work in a smaller office where there would be opportunities to have a big impact on the business, and to work with a good team. I spoke to Gerrit Bouckaert, country manager for Thailand, and was really sold on his proposition and the team in Bangkok.
Working at Robert Walters
The best thing about working at Robert Walters is having the framework to express your potential. They’re not afraid to give you opportunities and you’re well supported – I don’t think many companies invest in their people in the same way. If you’re motivated and committed, anything is possible. For example, I hadn’t planned to move abroad again, but I was open to interesting opportunities, so when the chance came to move to Indonesia, I jumped at it.
Culture in our Jakarta office
It’s a very dynamic and fun environment. The team here is very diverse and globalised – most of our consultants have had international experience, either through working for multinational companies here in Indonesia or from living and working overseas. This contributes to a vibrant, collaborative culture where everyone is always exchanging ideas and working together to grow the business.
I believe what sets us apart is that we’re highly specialist and consultative. For us, it’s not just about getting candidates that pay rise, it’s also about advising them and ensuring they’re making the right move for their career. That takes time but our job is to invest in people.
The decision to go abroad is a big one – it takes courage. I was one of the top billers in Paris so people were wondering why I wanted to leave. But I’ve learnt so much since moving to South East Asia – it’s a completely new challenge and a fantastic learning experience. To have a third chance to move internationally again, after already working in Thailand and Philippines, is a wonderful opportunity. So, my advice would be to go for it if you get the chance.
Opportunities in Indonesia
Indonesia is the largest country in the region, with a population of more than 260 million people. The economy is growing rapidly, and we see both multinationals and local businesses looking to expand further, so there’s huge potential for our business to grow.
Given the shortage of skilled talent within the country, particularly in the burgeoning tech sector, I believe our Pulang Kampung campaign gives us the edge on our competitors. Through this campaign, we have built a pool of Indonesian candidates working overseas, with niche skill sets and international experience, which is difficult to find within the country.
Currently, we have teams across seven disciplines – accounting and finance, banking and financial services, human resources, legal, sales and marketing, supply chain and procurement and tech – and we are looking to grow further. For people who are entrepreneurial and looking to make an impact in their career, Indonesia is the place to be.”
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