Chaitra Kamath, senior talent and learning manager, Fidelity Investments
Chaitra Kamath, senior talent and learning manager, Fidelity Investments. Image: Fidelity Investments

‘When uprooting life, everything seems challenging’

13 Apr 2018

Thinking about relocating for work? Find out what it’s like from someone who moved from India to Ireland.

The opportunities to relocate for work, be it within the same organisation or a new one, are growing all the time.

Particularly in the global world of tech, consultancy and financial services, it’s not uncommon for talent to move around to different offices within the same company.

Future Human

Even if you’re not changing the company you work for, relocating can still be an overwhelming thing to do. However, it doesn’t have to be, if you know what to expect.

It can often benefit people considering relocating to hear from those who have already done it.

Chaitra Kamath is a senior talent and learning manager at Fidelity Investments Ireland. Here, she spoke about her experience relocating from her home in India to the Dublin office of Fidelity Investments.

Where are you from?

There are two places in India I call home: Bangalore and Mangalore. While I grew up in the beautiful coastal town of Mangalore, I moved to the bustling city of Bangalore after my marriage.

How long ago did you relocate, and what prompted your decision?

I relocated to Ireland from India three years ago. Fidelity is one of those few organisations that encourage career moves between teams, business lines and even geographies.

Just as I was thinking of my career path in Fidelity after close to three years in a role, I heard about this opportunity in Ireland. The job description matched my skillset and I thought it would be great to apply and see where it would take me.

Describe your role in Fidelity Investments.

I am part of the HR team and my main role is to create and implement learning strategy for the site. In addition to this, I also represent Ireland in various global HR projects.

Over the last six years, I have had the opportunity to contribute to or lead projects that are varied, from learning portal design, to in-house events such as CultureFest, myFidelity and InfoFest.

I’ve also had the chance to ideate a new hire app and work on projects around enhancing manager effectiveness and a global mentoring programme, to name a few.

What do you like most about your job?

The top three reasons why I love my job at Fidelity are: I get the opportunity to shape my career the way I want to, I have the flexibility that ensures I have a great balance between work and personal life, and the respect that we employees have for one another.

What were the biggest challenges of relocating?

When uprooting life from one country and moving to another without friends and family, everything seems challenging. But, with the right support system and a little bit of patience, it all comes together.

However clichéd that might sound, that was true for me and my family. Though we had some idea about life in Ireland, we had to learn so many things, both simple and complex – the education system, figuring out how heating at home works, traffic rules, the tax system, and the words ‘sláinte’, ‘Taoiseach’, ‘grand’ and ‘craic’, which very soon became a part of our vocabulary.

While there is a ton of information on the web, I mostly relied on information from my colleagues and members of Fidelity Ireland’s Asian Employee Resource Group.

There is a large Indian community in Dublin and we were fortunate to meet some amazing people within a couple of months of relocation. Over the last three years, they have become the best of friends and they also helped us make Dublin our new home.

What do you like most about your adopted home?

Hands down, I am going to go with the people here! Right from the moment I stepped out of Dublin Airport for the first time, I have found people here are very friendly, welcoming and courteous.

What advice would you give to others who are planning to relocate for work?

Take that leap of faith! It is a very daunting thought to leave behind everything you are familiar with, and move away from friends and family.

But, I can assure that it will be a very rewarding experience that will stay with you forever.

The last three years have been a phase of self-discovery for me. I have learned a lot about myself, learned new skills and have developed a lot.

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