Each year Russia becomes more and more lucrative for young foreign managers. One could open any business magazine and definitely see advertisement of job opportunities for Russian-speaking manager. But today to be just a foreign manager is not enough to work in Russia, one should know Russian language.
If few years ago executive search and recruitment agencies talked only with Russian MBA students, recently the situation has changed considerably. A lot of MBAs explain their interest in Russia with the endless possibilities that are opened in front of the young managers on an actively developing Russian market, for example fast career growth, high salaries and huge perspectives. For this reasons a majority of Russians who get their degree in top business schools return home and not staying abroad. Besides, working on Russian developing market is more interesting than on a stable western market, and a lot of MBAs understand this.
Every month Russian headhunting agenfcies receive dozens of CVs from young foreign specialists who would like to apply their skills and knowledge in Russia. “Good education, minimal experience – and they strive for Russia” said Anna Koff, a partner of RosExpert hunter’s agency. “They were twice in Moscow, saw that there is civilization and night clubs, heard from senior colleagues that there is good money here and think that that will easily get it all.” But on practice things are really different. According to data from another headhunting agency – Arthur Hunt – only 5% of foreigners with MBA who don’t know Russian language, but want to get a job in Russia, got it.
For example publishing house Afisha was searching a specialist to cover a position of Business Development Director last year. The company didn’t set a priority to find a specialist according to the national character, however they preferred Russian-speaking Harvard alumni to several young foreign managers.
The same company, Afisha, had to part with the foreign Art-director several years ago. It was implied, that Afisha needed a foreign specialist for this position, because there were no such specialists in Russia those times. But as a foreigner had communication problems with the collective only because of the lack of Russian language, he had to quit. But at the same time the position of Publishing services director of one of the departments in Afisha is covered by Kathrin Morrison, an Englishwoman, who is fluent in Russian. Like most of the foreigners who settled in Russia, Kathrin came to Russia with her boyfriend. “I worked for 6 years in England. After I visited Russian I thought – why not? I like it here, and even more than in England” said Kathrin.
Upon joining a highly competitive job market, you will need to arm yourself with every advantage to stay ahead in the rat race and being conversant in Russian can give a vital boost to one’s career choices and salary potential.