After I took the decision to leave the UK something changed in me: I started looking at the various business relationships I have in a very different light. Because my focus is now shifting to the Pacific Rim I’ve been less interested in companies that are ONLY based in the UK or ONLY serving the UK market. This has particularly affected the various agencies I’ve used on-and-off to find contracts and bits of work.
My view of these companies is they serve a short-term need to fill coffers rather than the longer term strategic review I’d been taking before. This longer term view had, I discovered, been holding me back and diverting my attention from the proverbial bigger picture. For example, I’d spent considerable time and effort building relationships with a couple of agencies who operate in my target sectors but had not yet produced a single piece of work.
It was as I reflected on the third occasion when an agency recruiter didn’t show for a planned meeting that the revelation hit me. I realised I needed to stop wasting effort building relationships because eighteen months from now they will no longer have value. October 2018 these relationships will become redundant because I will not be in the UK and their services will be of no value to my business.
This revelation has been like a weight lifting from my shoulders. Instead of spending time and effort creating relationships I’m going to play the agencies at their own game. It won’t be quality that counts when I next look for a contract, but quantity. I’ll apply for everything and anything that might fit, regardless of which agency it is, and be ready to deal with disappointment and rejection along the way. No more “we ought to meet for a chat about things” or spending time on the phone with recruiters talking about markets, projects and capabilities.
Meanwhile the energy I had invested in the UK will be diverted and instead of being spent here will be focused on building up those first few Asian clients and relationships, ready for the move to Japan.
Who knows, with some hard work maybe I’ll be able to go to my new home sooner.
I'm a freelance designer and writer. My clients have included Fintech startups, publishers and digital agencies. You can read more about my work here.