Daniel Magale, KenyaDaniel Magale, a certified accountant, relocated from Kenya in early 2022. He is an IT and Projects Risk Specialist and provides investment, savings, and protection solutions to international investors around the world.
Choosing the Isle of Man
I’m a certified accountant by trade, but felt I had outgrown the profession, and was looking for a new challenge and a fresh start somewhere new. I had a friend from Kenya that had relocated to the Isle of Man and spoke very highly of it. After doing some research and speaking to several other Kenyan expats, I decided to focus my job search on the Isle of Man. I reached out to local recruitment agency, Orchard, and Rachel my main point of contact, was incredibly helpful from the get-go.
A personal recruitment service from the outset
Rachel made me feel like I was her number one priority, she gives a very personal service and every time we’d speak, she would remember every detail about me! I wanted to use my experience in accounting and audit to pivot my career, and Rachel was very resourceful in helping me find roles suitable to this change.
Making the transition from accountancy to risk and compliance
Rachel put me forward for a role at IFGL, within the Risk Legal and Compliance department (RLC), specialising in risk and compliance. My background and skills in audit and accountancy allowed me to make the transition into risk – and it was Rachel that gave me the confidence to go for the role, even helping me with interview prep.
I had an online interview with IFGL, and I could instantly tell they were a warm and friendly team, it was less like an interview, and more like a conversation. I went onto secure the role – and from there on out, Rachel helped me throughout the relocation process – from supporting me with my visa application to even helping me find a house ahead of my arrival.
The Isle of Man – a truly welcoming and safe place to live
Although it’s only been several months since I moved to the Island, I can safely say I have no regrets. Albeit the weather is slightly cooler to what I am used to, I have been overwhelmed by the kindness and generosity I have received from people from day one. This extends beyond my work colleagues and employers, but to the local community.
On my arrival into London, I was greeted by one of the directors of IFGL – I was honestly taken aback, as I would never get this level of interaction or engagement from someone of this seniority back home. Even when I got to the Island, the former tenant of my rental showed me to the house, helped me with my luggage and gave me a tour of the capital Douglas. My manager and colleagues have also been so welcoming, and generous with their time.
In my first week my line manager would pick me up and take me home each evening. He and several other colleagues have been kind enough to show me some wonderful places around the Island, including many of the beautiful beaches, and the infamous TT racecourse – something I am very passionate about, and was one of the reasons I chose to move to the Island, as I am a huge motorbike fan! We also have a lot of socials here at IFGL. Back home I wouldn’t usually socialise with work colleagues, but here I love it – I have made some lifelong friends already!
A welcome surprise is how safe it feels in the Isle of Man – I can walk anywhere and never feel unsafe, something I am still getting used to!
An Island of endless opportunities and great work-life balance
Back in Kenya I would be commuting to work for up to an hour each way – setting off at 6am to be in work for 7am. Here in the Isle of Man I can be at work within 10 minutes! This has made a huge difference to my day; it means I have more time to do the things I love and can explore the Island more now the days are longer, and the evenings are lighter. I am a keen cyclist, and there is ample opportunity here to get out on the bike and explore the country lanes, winding coastal roads and off-road tracks.
My work-life balance has also drastically improved - my working days are far more structured, and I work far less overtime compared to my previous role where I would be getting calls at midnight!
Something that has really stood out to me since relocating, is how many career opportunities there are here. There are many vacancies in accountancy, audit, compliance, and risk, and I’m encouraging several friends back home to move here. I’ve sold it that much, that two of them have already applied for roles! In the time I have been on the Island, I have grown both professional and mentally. Job satisfaction has far surpassed my expectations – and after speaking to several other African relocators, it is apparent that career progression, and the freedom to move roles (and careers) both internally within an organisation and externally within the industry is far greater in the Isle of Man.
I am very much looking forward to summer in the Isle of Man – I have been told it is when the Island really comes to life. Of course, I am very excited to see the TT Races – I’ve no doubt it will live up to my expectations! I’ve been given plenty of recommendations, and top of my bucket list is a trip up to Snaefell Mountain on the Electric Railway!