Career clinic: Clem Murdoch CA and Graeme Reid CA
In a new feature addressing your questions, Emma Woods talks to two CAs based in Australia about the pros and cons of an overseas posting.
This month’s question: I’ve been offered the chance of a posting overseas for at least a year. How can I decide whether it’s the right thing for me, or whether I should focus on developing my skills and experience where I am now?
Clem Murdoch CA (PQE, eight years) is a Group Finance Manager with CPB Contractors, a construction company carrying out some of Australia’s largest infrastructure projects. He said: “This has been a great opportunity, which I am really enjoying.”
Clem previously worked as an auditor in two overseas locations: Bermuda (with PwC) and Australia (with Deloitte). One of the biggest challenges with a move overseas, he says, is maintaining momentum in your career progression.
It can be intimidating at first, but [I found] plenty of opportunities to build connections and make friends with people from all over the world.
He explains: “Relocating to another country can mean taking a step back to prove yourself, or missing out on promotion opportunities in your current role. The life experience gained from such a move far outweighs any promotion, though.”
He added: “Moving overseas is without a doubt one of the best things I have ever done. Taking the leap to go abroad forces you to step outside your comfort zone, and challenges you to build new friendships and relationships.
"It can be intimidating at first, but [I found] plenty of opportunities to build connections and make friends with people from all over the world. Holding an internationally respected qualification like the CA makes it easy to find opportunities around the world.”
We can all over-analyse situations like this and our gut instinct can often be a good indicator of what is the best decision.
Sydney-based Graeme Reid CA runs his own business, GMR Executive Coaching. He has 30 years’ experience in the professional services sector as an International Corporate Tax Partner with two of the Big Four accounting firms. He is also an ICAS career mentor programme ambassador.
Graeme said: “This dilemma has faced many young CAs over the years. It is important to ask yourself what your priorities are at present. Where do you see your career heading? What are the benefits and drawbacks from each course of action?
"And the big question – what decision feels right? We can all over-analyse situations like this and our gut instinct can often be a good indicator of what is the best decision.”
He added: “Working through these questions with a coach or mentor can be especially helpful as they can challenge your thinking to help you identify what is most important to you. The big thing to remember is that if things do not work out as anticipated you can always make a different decision in a year’s time.”
Emma Woods is Programme Manager for ICAS Professional Development.