...Sos was presented with an opportunity to become an international director at 3M, overseeing the company’s businesses in Asia. But the position required that he relocate to Shanghai.
“Never in my life did I anticipate we would move to China,” Sos says. “I was excited, but when you have a family and a life you’ve established, you have to really think about what it means for your career. There’s no guarantee that you come out of those assignments and you’re better off.”
But the gamble paid off, and it became a career-defining move for Sos. “I was thrown into a completely different culture, and it was really challenging, but it was a good learning opportunity in many ways,” he says. “I developed a lot as a leader.”
After living in China for four-and-a-half years, Sos began exploring his options for returning to the U.S. One opportunity that presented itself was at Thermo Fisher. “What I found was that the experience that I had in Asia was highly attractive to companies like Thermo Fisher.”
Sos joined the company in November 2011 as vice president and general manager of molecular spectroscopy before assuming his current position in October 2015. “Life is about experiences,” he says. “I felt as though it was tremendously valuable to take on some risks, and they’ve paid off for me.”It seems to me that "go overseas for a short while" is a pretty standard way of getting a promotion in a large multinational company. Don't miss the other ones; they're all worth your time.