A new job abroad can be an exciting, but daunting opportunity. Keith Wyness, CEO of Insite Consulting Ltd, offers his advice on how to settle into that dream job. Wyness is presently working with several international groups in football, cricket and media.
Tip 1: Target an area
Establish an area of expertise before looking overseas.
"Don't think global, but instead target a certain area for your sport or skills," Wyness says. "This will help you align your thoughts on why you want to go overseas. Look at the developing areas and events happening in that region in the years ahead."
Tip 2: Visit the market
Deepen your understanding by getting a first-hand account of a country.
"If you can possibly do it you must go and see the country and get a feel for it," Wyness says. "Try and time it with local trade shows, if there are any in your sport. Use the time to review key sports facilities and to try and make local contacts. Do all you can to make local contacts. Make an effort to bring some small symbolic gifts for people so they remember you in the right tone."
Tip 3: Seize a chance
Be prepared to be proactive in your job search.
"If you are keeping on top of events in the media you will see opportunities arise," Wyness says. "People leave jobs and things happen for all sorts of reasons. Make sure you are ready to apply for things immediately and try to get your name in front of the decision makers. Once I saw a CEO sacked after just two weeks in the position and I got the job because I responded immediately from the other side of the world. It can happen."
Tip 4: Be flexible
You never know what opportunity may be around the corner. Be sure you are ready to accept it when it comes.
"Try and be ready to move at very short notice," Wyness says. "If you have family, research the schools, tax situation and housing.
Make sure you can handle the move quickly and be available. Make sure the family are fully on-board and you have plans to either rent or sell your own home quickly. This is obviously easier if you are single with few ties, but it shouldn't stop anyone from being mobile in today's global sports business."
Tip 5: Stay the course
You may be presented with some initial hurdles, but remember the risk is worth the reward.
"If you are lucky and you land the job, stay with it," Wyness says. "The perception is often not the reality. You may feel homesick the first year. However, you must make your mark and last the course and start to build a solid international CV, which is so valuable these days."
Top Tip: Know your area
Wyness adds: "Once you target an area, get to know it. Get to know it in every way, culturally, and read the local newspapers and other media every day to understand what is going on there. There are huge politics in sport and you have to understand the context in every country that you are hoping to work in."