A Yorkie based in Tokyo long-term, meandering through a complex foreign culture

About me

Ian L.
Language and Linguistic Science
English Language and Linguistics
BA
James
2013

About this profile

Executive Consultant
The Specialized Group
Japan
Education
Small business (0-49 employees)

About the job

What I do

I'm an executive headhunter for the luxury fashion and hospitality industries in Japan.

Skills I use and how I developed them

Communications skills are key as I'm essentially a professional "Expectations Manager". Surprisingly, the degree came in useful in identifying how people to communicate with a range of different people speaking English as a second language.

What I like most

No two days are the same!

What I like least

Some days are frustrating and tedious.

Finding and applying for the job

How I looked for work

Blindly. I was lost and applied to everything that would take me - which weren't many choices as my grades weren't great.

How I found out about the job

Careers website (University of York)

My career

My career goals when I graduated

I wanted to get on to a graduate scheme, get on something with a career path, and work my way up while paying the bills.

My career history

I ended up starting out as a Restaurant Manager in Leeds before moving to Japan. I spent several years teaching English before landing my current gig.

Where I hope to be in 5 years

I hope to be a junior Director in a recruitment firm or in a management role within Talent Acquisition of a large MNC.

My advice to students

My advice to students considering work

Life doesn't always work out how we imagine. Be flexible and adaptable, and remain open-minded when considering each opportunity. There is always more than one way to get to where you want to be, even if it isn't the straightest path.

My advice about working in my industry

Be tenacious. Grit is a wildly underrated trait these days. Senior Executives respect the battle scars one earns, and there is no substitute for experience.

Other advice

Timing is everything, everything in its time.

Contacting me

I wish I had a mentor to answer my many questions when I was finding my way. This is me giving back. Feel free to reach out if you have any questions at all, and I will do my best in answering them.

Please note I'm based in Asia and the time difference will result in a delayed response.


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