Working overseas in much bigger countries and markets for many expats advances their career, however as Jan Lynch discovered when she came home to Melbourne, sometimes this overseas experience can advance yourself out of a career. This was what happened to Jan when she brought her e-commerce career from Hong Kong and China home in 2017. According to Jack Ma, e-commerce in China is the ‘main meal’, in the US it is the ‘desert’. When Jan came home, she realised in Australia, e-commerce was still considered a ‘side-dish’.
Not content to work in a ‘side-dish’ industry, Jan decided to start to abandon her e-commerce career altogether and start a new one. And it turns out studying something new and creative like interior design was just the tonic for this repat struggling with reverse culture shock. Jan says coming home was the perfect time to re-skill, follow a passion and start a business, which she did two months shy of the start of the pandemic.
Two years on, Jan says her only regret about her career pivot was that she didn’t do it sooner. But underpinning her bravery in starting her business was the resilience and adaptability she built as an expat so perhaps her Hong Kong experience delivered more than just a reason to change careers.