Looking out over the mountains and beaches of California as the plane began to descend, it really hit me—I was finally coming back home. I have Credera to thank for enabling this return, as I have been lucky enough to have the company’s support in transferring from Credera’s Leeds office to Credera in Los Angeles. I have been able to move halfway across the world and keep the job I love.
The Backstory on Coming to Credera
I was born and raised in Northern California to two British parents, so I have always been a bit of a hybrid American-Brit. When deciding where to go for college, I applied to a few universities in the UK on a bit of a whim, but then before I knew it, I was going over there to study. Although it wasn’t my initial intention, I ended up studying and working there for nine years.
For the last two years, I worked in one of Credera’s offices in the UK in the Yorkshire city of Leeds. Upon joining Credera, I immediately noticed it is a people-focused company full of entrepreneurial, caring, and inclusive colleagues.
I also began to truly understand the term ‘global boutique,’ and how it described Credera so well: a company with a global reach and perspective, while retaining a personal touch. I was now working for a global company with offices and people in the U.S., Europe, Asia, and South America.
So imagine my delight when I found out we were opening our Los Angeles office in January 2021! It seemed like an opportunity to return home that was too good to pass up: moving countries while staying in the job that continues to enable me to grow and learn. I raised the possibility with my managers and was pleased to find they were supportive from the outset, willing to help facilitate my personal goal of moving back to California, even though it was very early days in the LA office’s development.
Moving to Credera LA
As one of Credera’s first global office transfers, it was a surprisingly simple process, helped in part because I was already a U.S. citizen and it made sense with the needs of the LA office. Within a matter of months, everything for the transfer was in place and it was just down to me to find an apartment!
I wasn’t sure what I should expect, moving from one office to another, but in fact, when transferring from the UK I’ve found the cultures between offices, and even countries, are a lot more similar than you might expect. The qualities I appreciated in the UK’s Leeds office can also be found in the Los Angeles office.
What Global Boutique Has Meant to Me
Of course, every office has its own people and its own exciting take on things. People in the Los Angeles office might be learning to surf, for example, and coffee chats involve a lot of discussions about the beach, whereas in Leeds it might be about the best hikes in the Yorkshire moors. And I’ve noticed the shift toward speaking about the NFL, rather than what I’ve become used to calling “football” again in the UK.
But regardless of which office you work out of, Credera retains an irrefutable connectedness through the company’s key cultural principle—valuing its people.
In my experience, the growing size and global scale of Credera has not detracted from the great sense of community within local offices, and across the firm people are appreciated and listened to, staying true to Credera’s boutique roots. Although I’ve met a lot of new people with diverse backgrounds, interests, and hobbies, the key values that people embody here are still the same: integrity, excellence, tenacity, a ‘people-first’ approach, and humility. Along the journey of my transfer, I have experienced how apt the term “global boutique” really is, and I believe that it is the perfect description of Credera today.
The move had its challenges: getting to know new systems, new colleagues, and finding the best places I could contribute to my new U.S. team. The move brought the rush of something new, but since I had already been working for Credera in the UK, things felt familiar enough for me to tackle with confidence.
I’ve gotten to know the structure of Credera in the U.S. and how they go about things—helped by numerous coffee chats over video with colleagues across the U.S.: Dallas, Chicago, Denver, Houston, Seattle, and New York. Lastly, after handing over my ongoing work in the UK, I’ve now found exciting ways to contribute to the U.S. team—already I’m running technical workshops, supporting monthly meetings for my LA team, and writing things like this blog post. Already I feel like I’m right at home.
A lot has changed in a short space of time: I’m now living halfway across the world, back in my home state, driving on the “right” side of the road again, and—without wanting to make my UK colleagues too jealous—enjoying much warmer weather than we had in Leeds. My partner and I are living in a new apartment, with new furniture, and new neighbors.
However, a lot of key things remain the same—Credera’s people-centric culture and boutique feel have certainly translated across to the LA office, and California still feels like home to me.
Now the big move is complete, it’s time for getting used to the small things: remembering to swap an “s” for a “z” in words like “organization,” or dropping the “u” from “colour,” and trying not to confuse people when I say “chips” but mean “fries.” It’s also time for enjoying the important things this change has brought, such as being able to visit my family up near San Francisco this Thanksgiving. I feel incredibly lucky to have this opportunity, and I look forward to seeing the LA office expanding further, with new colleagues joining us here in sunny Southern California.
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