How an international move kick-started my recruitment career

Julia Zhu

Senior manager, David McGee, began his career in wealth management before taking the bold move of switching countries and careers. David explains how his international move led to a successful career in recruitment. 

“I started my career in wealth management for one of Canada’s top banks. I’ve always loved travelling so, after five years, I took a year out to backpack around Asia. It was an incredible experience and triggered the start of a new phase. In 2013, six months after returning home, I handed in my resignation and relocated to Vietnam.   

I was excited to exchange the safety of Canada’s banking sector for the dynamic, fast-paced and emerging Vietnamese market. However, finding the right role wasn’t easy.  

After a few weeks of job searching, I ramped up my proactivity. Armed with copies of my CV, I headed to the smartest-looking building in Ho Chi Minh City. When I reached the 13th floor, I was invited to meet a consultant in the finance and banking team at Robert Walters Vietnam.  

After initially becoming a candidate, I was asked if I’d considered a recruitment career. Keen to develop my skills, I pursued the opportunity and was delighted to accept a consultant role in the healthcare team.

The following year, I was promoted to senior consultant and qualified for the annual incentive weekend for top achievers, a little over a year later I moved into my first management role. I’m proud to have helped grow the healthcare team to be the biggest in Vietnam and Robert Walters’ South East Asia business.

My move to Japan  

After that success, I was ready for a new challenge. The fast-paced and competitive nature of the Japanese market greatly appealed to me as it would present new opportunities to progress my career.

In 2018, I joined the Tokyo office as manager of the chemical division. I was excited to broaden my recruitment skills in a new industry. In my first year, I grew the team from three to seven people. The success we’ve achieved has been fantastic - I feel privileged to work with such talented and supportive colleagues.

"It’s been incredible to grow my experience across countries and industries – the opportunity to keep learning is what motivates me to keep pushing myself to improve, to achieve the very best I can.” 

I’ve recently been promoted to senior manager and I’m thoroughly enjoying the new challenges that this has brought. It’s been incredible to grow my experience across countries and industries – the opportunity to keep learning is what motivates me to keep pushing myself to improve, to achieve the very best I can.”

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