November 14, 2019

To Fly or Not To Fly: Embracing New Opportunities with Open Arms

by admin in Staff Blogs

By Shailo Rasanayakam, Integrated Account Manager, Red Havas London

Our London based Integrated Account Manager, Shailo, shares her career journey and the benefits of moving across the world to tackle the UK PR scene.


Growing up as the child of expatriate parents, I’d always contemplated a career move overseas.

But I never knew when the right time would be to take the plunge and just go for it. It wasn’t until an inter-office opportunity presented itself, that I truly considered if I was up for the challenge.

I had questions for my CEO, mentors and senior colleagues like “will this be the right career move for me”, or “should I wait a few years until I’m older and more established” … but ultimately what helped me make the decision was the notion that if I didn’t jump at the chance, another person would potentially be filling my role of a lifetime.

So, after five years in the Australian PR industry, I moved to the UK. Now 9 months in, this is what I can tell you about the experience so far:

Global Networking

Moving to a market that’s seen as a global hub, such as London, opens the door to many international corporations that are headquartered out of the region. It provides you with the opportunity to work alongside large multinational brands and play a part in contributing to cross-border campaigns.

You’ll establish a network and black book of valuable contacts (to last a lifetime), with your clients and colleagues based in a multitude of countries across numerous time zones.

But most importantly, you’ll develop a truly global understanding of the cultural and media landscape.

Multi-Channel Operations

In time, your international experience will give you a valuable competitive advantage, as you will have an advanced understanding of processes, ways of working and structures in the international job market.

By nature, working in a foreign environment will help you grow your adaptability and flexibility, particularly as you look to develop new and creative ways to conduct business.

You’ll also develop new cross-cultural communication skills and no doubt be performing as an integrated operator, working with specialists in complementary disciplines; something we do a lot at Havas, working in a Village environment with some of the best brains in the business.

Life Experience

You’ll increase your cultural awareness, inside and outside of the workplace, with the chance to connect with a diverse set of people, working to accept and understand different viewpoints that will inevitably help boost your reasoning and fairness.

Ultimately, the most valuable part of the entire overseas experience is what you’ll learn about yourself – not just professionally but personally too. It’s a chance to step outside of your comfort zone, make new friends and see new places.

It’s not always easy, especially being away from home and what you know, but the difficulties you encounter will help equip you with skills to make you a better individual as well as a better professional. 

To connect with Shailo, you can reach her at: