When it comes to achieving your goal of getting a new job in Bermuda, the Cayman Islands or one of the other leading offshore jurisdictions in the world, you’ll need to ensure that you position yourself properly so that you offer what your future employer is looking for.
It doesn’t matter how great your references, your academic background or your desire to move offshore, if you’re not a good fit you won’t get the job.
Indiana Jones is always searching for priceless antiquities. But what exactly do employers on the Islands search for when hiring an accountant or lawyer?
1. You must have strong audit & accounting or legal skills
Employers will need to know that you have solid core skills upon which they can build. You will benefit from this because it will add depth to your experience. Companies can be expected to probe your skills in the interview, through review of your CV and by checking your references.
2. You must be keen to learn
Many of the roles will entail either working directly in the financial services sector or working indirectly on such clients (for example, financial services assurance). The truth is that employers have no problem as a general rule in hiring professionals who do not have existing FS experience. However, they do need to be very certain that you have the strong desire to widen your skills and continue your professional development. If you are one of life’s coasters, you won’t get the job.
3. You must be cosmopolitan and able to cope with change
Moving to live in a new country and taking on new responsibilities with a new employer and with new clients all mean that you have to be an adaptable, versatile candidate to succeed. Recruiters in these overseas locations need to have confidence in your ability to adjust to a different lifestyle and way of working. If you give the impression that you’re inflexible or parochial, you’re unlikely to achieve your full potential.
4. You must be knowledgeable about both company and the Island
Any sensible candidate will ensure that they are thoroughly prepared before an actual interview for a job. You can expect your interviewer to ask questions designed to reveal whether you have done enough advance preparation and have accumulated the background information that’d be expected from any professional (such as yourself) who claims they want to join the firm and move to a new country.
5. You must display future management potential
Companies are not only hiring a professional to fill a current vacancy: they are also seeking to recruit people who – if they are not already at management level – have the talent to progress.
Don’t shoot yourself in the foot by saying you definitely plan to leave the Island after the initial two-year (standard) contract period. Employers always hope that people will stay longer and the facts are that most people do elect to stay on beyond the first contract. Keep an open mind; you don’t know what the future holds.
6. You must possess excellent interpersonal skills
Part of moving abroad and joining a new company means that you’ll be both meeting a lot of new people but also leaving behind your family and friends. This means that you’ll have to get to know an entire new, additional social/work circle.
Candidates who have well-developed communication and interpersonal skills are most likely to be successful. One way employers will try to gauge this is by seeing how well you are able to develop a rapport with your interviewer during the interview process.
7. You must possess a positive attitude to life
This is probably the most important factor. People who have a natural ‘can do’ approach will always find a way to succeed at the things they aim for, and this is equally true on the Islands. It’s a fact that Islanders and expats offshore are almost always very welcoming, positive, friendly people which makes it easy to settle in and do well. Remember that like sticks with like so offer them what they are looking for and you’re more likely to be successful.
Does the prospect of improved earnings interest you? If you are a lawyer or chartered accountant and interested in working in the Bermuda/Caribbean region, visit our jobs portal to see the latest vacancies. Our site also includes a downloadable All You Need to Know guide which will tell you everything you need to know about living and working offshore.