If your heart is set on working overseas, also open your eyes up to other countries.
With Australia and New Zealand being geographically located in the Asia Pacific region, countries such as Singapore, Hong Kong, Phillipines, Malaysia, Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, China, Japan and Korea. The insurance world is emerging and evolving from scratch in countries such as Cambodia, Laos and the Pacific Islands. Many of the insurance markets in these countries have a fast paced developing insurance industry which is changing daily.
All of the international insurers, brokers and assessors will have offices in various countries in Asia Pacific. Since many major UK and European insurers are using countries like Singapore as their bases for their Asia-Pacific operations, getting your foot in the door into global insurance organisations operating in some of those countries may actually be a good stepping stone to being able to reach your goal of working in UK/Europe.
There is also a host of local insurers and brokers in each country, however you might find that they are not that keen to employ expats, unless you have particular skills that can't be sourced locally.
Certain types of experience is highly prized by companies in the APAC region, below is just a few to get your mind ticking a about what you can offer:
- Technical knowledge in as many lines of business as possible
- Product development and marketing experience
- Client management experience
- Technical claims experience, particularly in liability, marine and ISR
- Experience working with brokers and agents (many foreign insurers only deal with brokers and agents as their distribution channel
Some other important things you will need to consider before making the big decision:
- visa requirements;
- language (especially the extent to which non-English languages are required);
- local qualifications;
- cost of living;
- cultural differences.
And far from worrying about the 'brain drain' or losing talented YIPs overseas, many progressive employers actually see the longer term benefit of helping develop and support their YIPs staff; after all, once Australasian YIPs have 'done' their working travel, they are often more likely to return to the employers who supported them to do that, in the first place. Plus, they have a whole lot of new skills and contacts which may actually enhance the business. You never know until and unless you have that conversation with your employer.
Note that this information is generic only and you will need to do your own independent research into visa requirements for your personal circumstances,in particular.