Career Mobility in the Global Market Place

Posted by in Career Advice, Mike Squires

Sports rights holders are increasingly viewing their markets beyond their traditional geographic territories. Major rights holders such as the NFL, WTA and NBA have global ambitions and are building both an infrastructure and talent pool to achieve their international objectives. These trends led to the development of our four regional hub offices in London, Lausanne, Singapore and Sydney and, in 2013, our presence in Melbourne and planned development in Beijing in 2014.

With this international development trend we have seen an increase in the demand and desire to transfer technical skills and management experience between different sports and between different geographic markets. These relocation opportunities, whilst from a career challenge and development point of view are very exciting; they often fail at the end of the recruitment process for three important domestic issues:

Spouse Parallel Careers

What may appear to be a great career development opportunity for one side of the relationship can have a major disruption on the other spouse’s parallel career. Two career families are increasingly the norm and the opportunity for career development and a move abroad for one partner has to be viewed in the context of the impact on the other.

Children’s Education

With the development of hub cities such as Singapore, Hong Kong, Dubai and Shanghai, the demand for high quality primary and secondary education outpaces the supply. Coupled with this is the ever increasing emphasis placed on getting children into the best universities in the world. Faced with this dilemma what could be a great career opportunity has to be weighed against the potential sacrifice and compromise on children’s education. The very high cost of education especially in cities such as Singapore, can play a factor in the relocation decision, and in some recent cases, the decision not to do so.

Care of the Elderly

We all know that life expectancy is on the increase. However as we live longer the responsibility for the care of aging parents also increases. Recently a planned relocation eventually failed for the practical and emotional concerns of being on the other side of the world.

In the assignments we carry out, where we are appointed to carry out a global search for talent, it is rare that we do not face at least one of the above factors. We have now learnt from some disappointing experiences that very early in the recruitment process, these three topics have to be addressed through an honest and robust personal assessment by the candidate. Failure to do so leads to a great deal of wasted time and cost. The challenge we sometimes face is that the job opportunity is so exciting that these domestic issues can sometimes get overlooked in the initial enthusiasm. Internally, we of course are delighted to be presenting highly qualified and dynamic candidates but we too have to temper that enthusiasm with the practical realities of an international relocation.

That said and once these practical hurdles have been cleared, there have never been so many exciting opportunities in the dynamic sports market. Well qualified and motivated candidates who have already established a sound career platform in commercial or events functions are in great demand and quite literally ‘the world is their oyster’.

About the Author: Mike Squires – Chairman

Mike works closely with the Leadership Team to identify opportunities for growth such as penetration into new markets, formation of strategic partnerships and relationship management/development with key clients. He is also active in managing consultancy services, including advising Executive Boards on senior team structure and strategy, as well as consulting on the design of executive assessment processes.