Championing global mobility in an ever-changing world

20 Oct 20:00 by Stephanie Greaves, Associate Director


In the time of a global pandemic professionals may have opposing feelings about seeking new roles internationally.  After several months cooped up within the same four walls, some may revel at the prospect of new surroundings and with an increased awareness of the fragility of our status quo, adopt a Carpe Diem approach of embracing new opportunities with gusto, ready to pack and jump on the next plane. 

On the other end of the spectrum, others may feel more secure riding out the looming economic downturn in a more comfortable role, hoping for further reassurance of better times to come before making a leap of faith and embracing the lesser known.

Both positions are totally understandable of course, but the past few months have taught us that we are a lot more agile than we thought.  In the face of adversity, and when we have had no choice but to adapt, we have been juggling conference calls with home schooling, holding down our jobs whilst worrying about loved ones, and fighting our sense of isolation through Zoom quizzes. Ultimately, this time has enlightened us to conclude that we are capable of things we could never have foreseen. As a result, the unknown embodied in a challenging new role, in a new country may feel less daunting, and the boost of having risen to the occasion during lock-down can provide that extra nudge to consider an opportunity abroad. 

From a more pragmatic stance, with the ongoing effects of Covid 19, a favourable ground is to take a more opportunistic approach and seeks opportunities in locations where the economy has not been affected as much.  General Counsel with wide geographical scopes are able to consider roles in different locations,  senior compliance profiles and lawyers/legal counsel due to a now tried-and-tested approach to remote working may have a wider choice of where they can choose to relocate to than ever before.  As a search firm, we are often hearing of key strategic roles that can be based in a flexible location.

As Associate Director, I, Stephanie Greaves, am a UK national living in Paris, bravely tackling the administration required to stay in a post-Brexit world. Most of our diverse team at Laurence Simons Search have experienced being an expat, for example:  

-UK based Victoria Jackson, Director, who has experience in our UK, Ireland, USA, Middle East and Africa regions, was born in Ireland, lived in Dubai for several years and speaks fluent Spanish having studied law at the Universidad de Granada.

-France based Laurent Pompanon, Principle Consultant, heads our private practice activity for France and Africa and resided in London for 14 years, and can speak fluent French and English. 

-Germany based Nicolai von Steinaecker, Director, studied in Strasbourg and speaks excellent French, plus was based in Miami, USA for part of his career.

-Angela Floydd, Managing Director for Europe, has settled as UK expat in Switzerland after previous experiences in Singapore and Hong Kong, and is fluent in English and Hindu, with conversational French.

-Director of Research, Samantha Knowles, who is British, is an established expatriate based in France, and is fluent in English and French. 

-Managing Researcher, Anu Malhotra, has been an expat in Dubai for the past 10 years, previously studying at Delhi University, India. Anu is fluent in English, Hindi, and Punjabi.   

-UK based Clare Beresford, CEO, completed her legal studies in Brussels and lived there for almost 10 years speaks fluent French and English. 

-And there are languages spoken across our fantastic support team, whilst all are fluent in English there is also Greek, German, Chinese, Welsh, Spanish and… Australian!

In the last few months, we have filled roles across many countries from Tokyo to New Jersey, Stockholm to Singapore, and have seen an increase of candidates moving countries to work or working across different countries whilst working remotely.

In short, we are fully equipped to put ourselves in the shoes of anyone who may consider the expatriate experience, and all can advocate for the richness that such a move can bring.  For our clients this also brings the benefit of access to a talent pool that is global, yet local and familiar to the specialists in our team.   

If you are considering moving country to a new role or are would like some advice on where best to base your new roles, please don’t hesitate to get in touch as we are literally able to talk about the pros and cons of living “abroad” and/or working remotely.

We are running a poll on LInkedIn to find out how you feel about moving for your dream role.  To take part please click here.