Moving from United Arab Emirates to Asia
Dear Alumni’s and colleagues, greetings from Bangkok,
I am back in Bangkok since February this year to look at the Asian operations for Best Western International. Why this move after 4 years in the United Arab Emirates? What’s the reason for leaving a vibrant destination such as Abu Dhabi and Dubai? I will share with you the answer in the second half of my first post.
But let me first introduce myself briefly, after been graduated from Glion in 1994, I have joined the Accor group to really start my career with a long term vision. First position with ibis, the budget brand for a couple of years, after what I have been proposed to move abroad and to join Sofitel in Saudi Arabia, follows by Algeria for another two years contract. Both destinations have been extremely challenging in terms of how to manage a large multi-cultural diversity, but such a great learning for the future.
I took over my first EAM position in China based in Shanghai to discover another life style, and of course a complete different way of thinking and dealing with local colleagues, subordinates, suppliers and customers. This first Asian experience was followed by a promotion as General Manager for an opening in Bangkok, it turns out that I have opened two actually, in the row.
After 12 years of service with Accor, I have decided to join Rotana to be part of Centro , a mid-tier brand positioned to offer a stylish accommodation with a “think out of the box” approach on services and facilities. During these four years, we have opened 5 properties in the Emirates, and successfully positioned the hotels within the market supported by the hospitality and travel partners. Most of my friends have asked the same question? Why do you leave the Emirates? Are you serious? The answer could be the tagline of this post: if you want to well manage your career, it’s mainly related to timing.
Without being condescending to the students who will read this one, let me share this one with you: You will be proposed soon job opportunities, maybe the first one in the hospitality industry. The question you shall ask yourself is very simple, do I have a plan? If not, it’s time to think about it since your resume shall reflect over the years the established plan in order to reach your target.
Recruiters and head hunter are asking frequently the same question, why have you chosen this hotel, this position, in this area? What is your strategy? Are you loyal to a brand or multi-product oriented? Are you a Rooms Division person or an F&B operation? Are you planning to switch soon to enlarge your skills and knowledge? I believe there is no right or wrong answer, what’s matter is your capability to demonstrate that you have a target and what has been accomplished is part of your plan; the upcoming position shall be another step to achieve the targeted objective.
There are several components who might affect a career, some cannot be controlled, but others can be influenced like location and time; is it the right time to make a move? Is it the right time to move to this region? Is it the right time to take this job since I am single, or shall I ban a destination since we are moving as a family? I have seen many managers growing very fast because there were part of a new project, at the right place, at the right time. When I was in Glion, our finance professor was always insisting about the fundamentals to never forget: location, location, location!!
Maybe it’s the time for you to take the right decision and the right time.
Take the time to think about it.
Did I say time?