Discover Moore: Secondment adventure to Moore Japan

Discover Moore: Secondment adventure to Moore Japan

Moore Markhams

Travelling the world or adventure might not be the first things that come to mind when choosing a career in professional services. However, for Jonathan Naysmith, Assistant Audit Manager at Moore Markhams, it was front of mind when he started looking for the right start to his audit career.

Jonathan joined Moore Markhams in 2017, drawn by the opportunities offered by Moore Global’s international network connections. In 2022, his dream came true. After an application process, Jonathan was accepted for a secondment at Moore Japan in Tokyo in 2022.

He is not alone. In a recent survey published by Seek New Zealand, 70% of accountants surveyed stated that secondments/internal transfer opportunities are either a must-have or highly desirable when looking for new opportunities*.  57% Rated overseas employment opportunities in the same way*.
 
WHY CHOOSE TO GO ON SECONDMENT?
Secondments offer a range of development opportunities, both professionally and personally, and can add tremendous value to your career. Jonathan always wanted to travel to Japan to experience everything the country is famous for. Luckily, Jonathan’s partner also secured a secondment opportunity in Japan with a competitor, which meant they could enjoy the experience together.

“I’ve always had a fascination for Japanese architecture and culture. The country is so diverse, and I was looking for somewhere I would never run out of opportunities to explore.” Jonathan adds.
 


SUPPORT FROM THE MOORE NETWORK
Support from above can make or break secondment experiences. Jonathan mentioned the continued support he received from Audit Partner Michael Rania, back home in the Moore Markhams Wellington office and the direct support from James Caldwell, Audit Partner at Moore Japan. Michael recommended the secondment to Jonathan and helped him with the relevant introductions and paperwork.
 
Jonathan elaborates: “Michael really made it happen for me, and I’m immensely grateful for the opportunity. It speaks volumes when your employer actively supports your development, even when it means they won’t have you there for a while.”
 
Culture shock?
Going on holiday in a new country is one thing. Travelling to a new country for work can be much more daunting. There are language barriers, cultural differences, dress codes, and even lunch-room etiquette! The host firms play a critical role in softening the landing of secondees. Jonathan’s host firm, Moore Japan, was luckily well-equipped to support him and provide a soft landing.

Thinking back to his first arrival in Japan, Jonathan muses: “It was (and still is) an amazing adventure, but it was also a bit of a whirlwind. Language, food, getting groceries, everything that was once routine suddenly became new.  Audit Partner James Caldwell, my line manager at Moore Mirai Audit (Japan), has been amazing. Japan is well set up to support international travellers; much is in English. So, getting over the initial culture shock wasn’t too hard and was part of the adventure. But the important things like taking part in social activities and really engaging at a more personal level with colleagues were made much easier thanks to James.”

 


What have you learned, and has it helped your career?
Part of the appeal of a secondment, particularly in professional services, is the opportunity to work with different clients and sectors. “Working under James Caldwell has allowed me to expand my professional experience in the shipping and logistics industry, which is the backbone of Japan’s economy.”

In addition, secondees experience a different working methodology, meaning that when they return to their own firms, they will have a new perspective on existing processes. “I’ve learnt so much about communication, people, different working methodologies and processes. I’m extremely fortunate to have had the opportunity, and I can’t wait to continue my audit career back home with Moore Markhams.”
 
ADVICE FOR ASPIRING SECONDEES
Jonathan is set to return to New Zealand in July 2024.  When asked what his advice would be to someone considering a professional secondment, he answered without hesitation:

“Don’t be afraid. Just DO IT! Trust your gut and take the leap. Experience new cultures and landscapes because there’s a beautiful world out there, waiting for you to discover it”, said Jonathan.

On top of this, Moore Markhams has also recently granted Jonathan six months off to travel in Europe, before returning to Moore Markhams Wellington in early 2025 as a newly promoted Manager.
 
 


MORE IN THIS SERIES
This article is part of a series showcasing the experiences of secondees across the Moore Global Asia Pacific network.
You can read more of their stories here:  
ABOUT MOORE MARKHAMS AND MOORE GLOBAL
Moore Markhams is a network of independent professional services firms across New Zealand and an independent member of Moore Global.

Moore Global is a network of independent advisory firms and the 11th largest professional services network in the world. With over 37,000 professionals in over 114 countries, there is always an office near you. Find out more about our global network here.

*SEEK - Laws Of Attraction - Candidate Insight