Understanding the challenges
I began my career with Allianz Trade in 2013, as a marketing director in my home country of Italy. Five years later, I moved to Dubai to take on the role of commercial director for Allianz Trade in the Middle East. And another five years later, a CEO position opened up in Singapore. So, I took the leap.
Every move came with its own unique challenges and sacrifices. You have to build your social life from scratch – and when you’re already outside your comfort zone, that’s not easy! I move solo, which in some ways is a blessing. I’m a sociable person, so it forces me to push myself to make those connections. It requires strong motivation, but it drives me to challenge myself every day and ultimately to become a better version of myself.
Turning obstacles into opportunities
On the flip side, going abroad offers you the chance to start a whole new life for a second (or third, or fourth) time. It’s a thrill to discover a brand new culture, people and work experience. Every day, I learn a little bit more — and it’s truly never boring.
When I first arrive in a new place, I try to delve deep into the culture. I make a point to listen more than I speak, observing the local people and asking them questions to learn what makes them tick. Most of the personal connections I make abroad are with locals; experiencing their language, food and customs makes the experience very rich.
Become a worldly problem-solver
On the professional side, one of the huge advantages I’ve experienced is learning how people from different cultures think and approach situations. I’ve learnt how to adapt my communication and my mindset to different business environments, and I like to say that it has given me the ability to find equilibrium in new reality.
Furthermore, by moving from one country to the next, you gain access to a greater pool of resources that can help you make your mark. For example, you can replicate success stories. By this I mean, see how something is done well and take that elsewhere – embracing a new worldview enables you to solve problems in entirely new ways.
My best advice: don’t wait
Geographic mobility has been an irreplaceable opportunity for me to grow in ways I never thought possible. If you’re thinking about taking the leap, don’t wait for opportunities to come to you. Search high and low for the right opening and find a way to make it happen.
Allianz Trade’s mobility program supports people every step of the way and helps make the transition as smooth as possible. And it’s a comfort to know that our company’s core values, both internal and external, are consistent across all business units and locations. My only regret is that I didn’t start sooner!
Got questions? Connect with Domenico
CEO at Allianz Trade ASEAN