23 August 2012: my last day as Deputy Director of UK Trade and Investment at the British Embassy in Dubai. Five years has flown by and it is time to move on. After serving in 8 countries during my career in HM Diplomatic Service the routine becomes familiar – close the bank account, weed out old clothes and bric-a-brac, get ready for the packers, talk to the Foreign Office about my next assignment …… except this time, it’s different.
My wife, Helen, is also a career diplomat. She works at the Embassy as HM Consul and has some years left on her posting. So, keep the bank account open, cancel the packers, and work on that golf handicap. ‘No chance’ says Helen. So, time to find a job.
During my diplomatic career I have held jobs in fields as diverse as Trade & Investment, Political, Consular, Resource Management so there is plenty of scope to draw on that experience and apply for a non diplomatic post at the Embassy. However, the end of my UKTI post presents an opportunity to work in the private sector to build on the insights and experience I have gained by dealing with businesses and local authorities in the UAE. After reaching out to local contacts I am invited for interviews at The Links Group. And now I find myself behind a computer in the Links office at the Fairmont hotel on Sheikh Zayed Road with the title Business Development Manager and the invitation to blog about moving from the UK public sector to the Dubai private sector in trade development.
Part Two of this story next week