Wanderlust or Bust
Want to move halfway around the world? Sure. You can keep your job, too.See next article
Wanderlust is a powerful force, but it grips some people more tightly than others. So what do you do when you’re one of those people who can’t stop fantasizing about experiencing another part of the world—and you also happen to like your job?
If you’re like most people, you sacrifice one or the other: your happy employment or your dreams of global exploration. But if you’re an employee at Adobe, you request a transfer.
In fact, at nearly any Adobe office in the world—and there are 67 offices now, in 39 countries—you’ll find employees whose careers at Adobe pre-date their time in that location. They start in London, move to San Francisco. Start in Boston, move to Munich. And they get to have both: career aspirations and wanderlust fulfilled.
San Francisco to Maidenhead, England
Kelly H. had been at Adobe for almost a year when some changes in her department opened up new opportunities. As a communications professional, her skills would be welcome at many places within the company. But a certain part of the world was calling her name.
From the moment I first set foot in London ten years ago, I knew I wanted to live there. I felt there was a tiny chance I might be able to make the move with Adobe and went for it. I’m amazed at how quickly the team responded.
A new executive had just joined the UK’s Maidenhead office, and Kelly proposed a move to London to kick off a new position in the company, managing his internal and external communications while building an Adobe thought leadership platform in EMEA.
While Kelly worked in her new role for a while in San Francisco and Paris, Adobe’s relocation team helped with the logistics of getting her to the UK—visa paperwork, tax guidance, and housing assistance. By January 2014, she was settled.
Kelly is now living in central London and taking advantage of world-class restaurants, museums, and easy European travel—all while learning the intricacies of being an expat in a new nation.
“Exit American football, enter ‘proper’ football and rugby,” Kelly says. “I am so grateful to Adobe. It just goes to show what can happen at this company.”
Lehi, Utah, to Hamburg
Jed G., a senior software engineer at Adobe, never thought that two of his passions would intersect in the biggest, craziest move of his life.
When he joined Adobe’s Digital Marketing business in Lehi, Jed was working on search, his big passion. He brought expertise in search from his previous work, and the field had fascinated him for years.
“Helping people find what they’re looking for is really an art form,” Jed says. “A lot of people take for granted that software can just find what you want, but there’s a lot of technology behind the scenes, and being able to scale search is important. I find that solving those types of problems is very fun.”
Jed began collaborating with other engineers in Adobe’s Hamburg office, and that’s when he got the opportunity to take a trip there for a hackathon to build a new platform in a short amount of time. Enter passion no. 2.
“I don’t know why, but ever since I was a little boy, I’ve wanted to go to Germany,” he says. “So I thought I’d just have an awesome trip.”
But that awesome trip turned out to be a preview. A few months after he returned home, it became clear that Jed was spending most of his time collaborating with the Hamburg team, making his presence in Lehi less than ideal. The solution seemed obvious, but almost too good to be true. An engineer who gets jazzed about search and Germany—transferring to Hamburg to work on a search team?
All the right people said yes.
I just feel so blessed. If I weren’t working at Adobe, I would almost certainly not have had this opportunity in my life.
With Adobe’s help, Jed, his wife, and their three children relocated to Hamburg, where the children are enrolled in a German school. Jed—with very little prior knowledge of the German language—is now thriving in an all-German work environment. Sure, it takes a lot of late nights of studying after the kids go to bed, plus the occasional follow-up with coworkers to clarify what was discussed, but he’s learning the language, doing the work, and living in the culture.
“I have to give props to management at Adobe, because this is awesome,” Jed says.
Noida, India, to San Francisco
For six years, Disha A. worked as an engineer in Adobe’s Noida, India, office on the Acrobat team. Then, fresh off her MBA program—with educational reimbursement from Adobe—Disha began looking for new opportunities on the business side of the company.
“I had a long association with the company, and I had had a wonderful time here,” Disha says. “This was the only company I’d ever worked at after I finished school, and I always found a lot of support at Adobe.”
At the same time, Disha’s future husband was in the States, so she was planning a move there. She worked hard to get the job she wanted in San Francisco. After rigorous rounds of interviews, she got a role that would be an ideal mix of old and new: a new position in a new office at the company she already loved.
Today, Disha is a program manager for product security and privacy, helping ensure security across Adobe products. She says it’s the kind of job she always envisioned for herself—interacting with people from all over the company, helping to keep the company’s software safe and secure—and she loves her team.
It’s been fantastic. The team here was extremely warm. My managers flew from Boston to be there for my first day. It was very welcoming and I loved it.
Sydney to San Francisco
Adobe’s search marketing team is now spread out around the globe. When Nathan W. was a member of that team in Adobe’s Sydney office, he got an invitation to visit the San Francisco office and meet his counterparts.
That’s when a seed was planted in his mind: Wouldn’t it be nice to work in the States someday? He loved the feeling of being closer to headquarters where Adobe strategy was determined, and he inquired whether he might work from the States at some point in the future.
After two years, it was a good time for me in terms of where I was and what I wanted to achieve. So I asked my managers again, and they were excited about giving it a try.
Three months later, Nathan was an honorary Californian. He’s still the search marketing manager for the Asia Pacific region, so he’s working a mix of U.S. hours and APAC hours. But even having to juggle time zones, it’s been worth it.
“It’s great to have a connection to the corporate strategists and understand what they do in the North America client accounts,” he says. “They have a larger volume of business and more budget to play with, and learning from them has helped me develop my accounts further.”
Nathan says he’s enjoying the culture in America—and, in particular, in his new office. People in the hallways say hello to each other, he says, even if they’ve never met. And as for his immediate team members? He says they’re like family.
“It was a dream for me to work in the States at some point in my career, and I feel extremely fortunate that the stars aligned,” Nathan says. “I was in the right company at the right time.”
Paris to Boston
Imagine this: You’re working for a French company, and you’re about to transfer to Singapore. It’s a done deal—you just have to get on the plane. That’s when you find out that your company has been acquired by one of the world’s biggest software companies. And that transfer to Singapore? Not happening.
What do you do? If you’re Jerome D., you grab the opportunity.
“I did an assessment and decided that Adobe was the greatest place for me to be,” says Jerome, who joined Adboe in the acquisition of Neolane. “Adobe has the mentality and objectives we had at my previous company, Neolane. It has a crazy ambition to build something big.”
So instead of Singapore, Jerome, his wife, and their two sons found themselves bound for Boston, where they survived their first Boston winter. It’s not easy to handle a last-minute change of plans on that scale, but Jerome says Adobe helped make it smooth.
I had a lot of help with this move. I’m really thankful to Adobe for giving tremendous effort in every single dimension of the relocation. It was incredible.
In Boston, Jerome is the director of consulting and helps customers implement Adobe Campaign technology. Aside from the obvious adjustments of an international move, Jerome is adjusting to a new company and culture—although he was happy to discover that Adobe is much like the company it acquired.
“Adobe has the same technology ambition,” he says. “They kept our technology, and I like the way they are managing the technology. Their vision turned out to be very much the same, and I appreciate that.”