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Q&A on working across cultures with Fiona Couper: "Be prepared to compromise"

Working across cultures Q&A with Fiona Couper: "Be prepared to compromise"

For Fiona Couper, managing consultant at Michael Page Hong Kong, a highlight of moving from Australia to Hong Kong was meeting different types of people.

What made you decide to move from your home country to Hong Kong?

We moved to Hong Kong (HK) from Australia almost five years ago for my husband’s work and I joined Michael Page shortly after. HK is now our second home (Australia will always be home for us) and we love it. I worked in marketing back in Australia, but it was very difficult for me to pursue that track in Hong Kong as I didn’t know Cantonese. So I decided to give recruitment a go and never looked back. HK is a great city with plenty of things to do and has been very good to us both personally and professionally.

How has the experience been like so far?

When we first moved here, there were a number of things that shocked and surprised us and still do. For example, the pace of life here is so much faster than Australia and it has definitely taken some getting used to. But my approach has been to accept the things you can’t change, that that mindset has helped tremendously.  

What do you enjoy most about working in a different culture?

I enjoy meeting the different types of people that I come across everyday. Most people in HK are caring and make you feel very safe. I think it has made me a softer person in how I communicate and deal with certain situations.

I have also been able to experience other Asian cultures through travelling around the region and there are still many places that I would like to visit.

Any advice to those who are thinking about making the same move?

Do your research on the location and be prepared to compromise.