September 2017

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38 Mobility | September 2017 PATHWAYS: HOW I FELL INTO MOBILITY It's safe to say that a career in corporate relocation, or global mobility, was not at the forefront of my mind when I graduated from the University of Wales, Cardiff, in 2000. Yet 17 years later, here I am, and I wouldn't have it any other way. Immediately after graduating, I worked for Highbury House Communications, a leading consumer magazine publisher and event organizer, before moving into the IT service management and managed-hosting sectors, working for NTT Group, a Fortune Global 500 company with headquarters in Japan. Working for a Japanese- owned company provided me with a brilliant early example of cultural differences in the workplace. Whilst my career at that stage was still a long way from global mobility, my job description was, unwit - tingly, the perfect preparation for a sales and account management role in relocation. I was responsible for managing client accounts, improving service levels, delivering RFP and tender responses, as well as attending conferences across the globe. Critically, work was about dealing with and helping people— lots of them—from very different backgrounds and with very different objectives. I can't emphasize enough how lucky I am to have had this background in laying the foundation for a career as a global mobility service provider. Unlike some who enter the relocation world, I did have some understanding of the industry by virtue of knowing two people who had relocated through their jobs in 2005–2006. I was amazed at the whole process—from the number of suppliers involved, through to the support that employees were pro - vided, right through to the quite complex tax calcula- tions. They were complex to me, anyway! That was in 2006. And just three years later, in 2009, following an introduction by a family friend, I found myself—two interviews later—being offered a job for DT Moving, one of the world's longest-established international moving and relocation companies. I asked myself, "How did that happen?" But I knew why. It was the opportunity to support clients and to make a genuine difference to the service levels they experienced, with a company that seemed to really care. My first six months at DT Moving were spent train - ing and learning about the company and the industry from the ground up. I was a move coordinator during these six months, managing employee moves all over the world. I had a challenging start, to say the least. ... Less than three weeks into my role, I was coordinat - ing a move for a client whose shipping container had been "dipped" into the sea at port! Not an ideal start, you might say. When I first received the news, I was mortified. How had this happened? Was this a regular occurrence? Had I done anything wrong? When I asked one of the senior move managers how often this had happened to them, and they replied, "Not once in 25 years," I knew I had been more than a little unfortunate. Not as unfortunate as the poor assignee, of course, to whom we had to break the news that a suspected 20 percent of the shipment was water-damaged as a Mind at Shipping Container! By Tim Daniells, GMS

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