“Compared to England, Australia offers my young and adventurous family a better outdoor lifestyle” says Karl Woods, the newly appointed Supplier Relationship Manager at Qantas. Recently placed by The Source, Karl shares with us the reason he chose Australia, his onboarding plan at QANTAS and advice on how to choose the right opportunity abroad.
Karl’s procurement experience began with Vodafone in the UK, he quickly progressed and relocated abroad to Singapore where he was looking after contract and commercial management of telecommunication operators and & IT suppliers in Europe and Asia Pacific.
Why was Australia appealing to you from a career and personal perspective?
During my time with Vodafone in Singapore, I spent a lot of time working in Australia and I enjoyed the work ethics. An Australian colleague once said to me 'Karl, in Australia you work hard and live well', which stuck with me. There was also always the feeling that the work life balance was important to my colleagues and customers, more so than anywhere else in the world.
What attracted you to the role at QANTAS? Do you have an onboarding plan for the first 100 days?
QANTAS has a style of supplier management that gets the most out of suppliers by working in a collaborative way, rather than 'beating up the supplier' to drive performance. The QANTAS style matches my personal style of supplier management and over the years I have achieved great outcomes by having an open approach with suppliers and sharing business goals to drive performance. The first 100 days will be largely spent learning about QANTAS and its needs which will include getting an in-depth understanding of the complexity of the business.
What three pieces of advice would you give to a professional looking to progress their career overseas?
It is important to be patient and to choose the right opportunity. People can get blinded by the glamour of an overseas opportunity, only to quickly learn that the grass isn't always greener on the other side. The three pieces of advice I would give to a professional looking to progress their career overseas are:
1. Look at the company – determine whether their values are in line with your own.
2. Look at the job – make sure you are taking on a role that will provide you with opportunity for growth as well as a challenge that excites you.
3. Look at the location in equal portions before making the move overseas.
Only the combination of a good company, a good job and a good location will make for a great experience.