Hadrien Brassens in Australia: “I’ve been coming for 6 months, I’ve been living there for 14 years”

In 2008, Hadrien Brassens left for Australia for six months. Fourteen years later, he’s still there, becoming a recognized digital entrepreneur and starting a family. After so many years in Australia, does he have any plans to go back to France someday? What do you recommend to young people who, like him, go to Australia?

On March 5, 2008, Hadrien Brassens landed at the end of the world, 16,950km from her home. Here in Sydney he is neither too hot nor too cold, just good. The young man has in mind the goal of this trip: to find his final stage. If he chose Australia, it is not entirely accidental. Born in Chicago, he then spent four years in New York with his family. Always attracted to travel and international encounters, he completes a university exchange in Finland and, subsequently, an internship in the UK. Upon completion of her studies, Hadrien chose to deepen her professional experience in an English-speaking country. Canada or Australia, the two countries have been making him dream for a while. It is the network that will push him to Australia since a friend of his is already there and he is flourishing there: “He made me dream with his photos, I told myself that I would have fun with him on the spot. I hit it a bit out of the blue when I think about it, with € 300 in my pocket and a backpack, a suitcase. ”

Hadrien Brassens just arrived in Sydney in 2008

Career opportunities in Australia and one day, Hadrien starts …

Instead of a graduation internship, Hadrien directly finds a CDI in digital marketing, with a so-called “sponsorship” visa. [NDLR le visa est sponsorisé par l’employeur et permet d’avoir les pleins droits de travail et de vie dans le pays]. Then comes the economic crisis in Europe, it’s not the time to go back to France. If some of his friends are struggling to find their first job, the young man experiences the exact opposite: “The difference between Australia and France is that we give everyone a chance here. The job paid quite well for an entry level job, I am having a lot of fun, I was in an Australian discovery atmosphere, so I decided to stay a little longer. I always told myself there would come a time when I had to go back. And that moment never came… “.

Hadrien worked for two years first in one agency, then in another where he evolved very quickly, becoming head of department. Research specialist, he meets a colleague who specializes in SEO. What if they started their own business? One day an opportunity presents itself: “I meet a lawyer who personally manages his digital campaigns, without really knowing what he is doing. I quickly noticed that for years he had been spending millions of dollars in states where he had no offices or customers. As soon as I mentioned this waste, he said to me: “You have been hired! “And our box was launched …”

In 2011, Hadrien Brassens co-founded Reef Digital Agency with Chris Redshaw. The agency aims to help marketers and entrepreneurs harness the power of digital marketing to achieve their business goals. “We have expanded our customer portfolio, we had a small reputation. Our team was also growing and our work was rewarded, among others, by Microsoft. And then Covid hurt us. We have lost 50% of our turnover and in a short time we have gone from 25 to 11 employees. We had to transform our business a bit. Today we go up, we sign contracts and I am recruiting ”. Hadrien sighs with relief, she has been waiting for this moment for a while: “long awaited” concludes with a smile.

Hadrien Brassens co-founder of Reef Digital Agency
Chris Redshaw and Hadrien Brassens, co-founders of Reef Digital Agency

Living in France or Australia, the duel of heart and reason

With an almost nostalgic gaze, Hadrien Brassens admits “I miss France terribly. Like any expat, there are aspects of my country that are difficult to leave, family of course, friends, gastronomy, the charm of our countryside! I say this especially now because it has been three years since I returned and my family has not yet met my son. ”

If the young dad didn’t miss this much earlier, Covid and the birth of his son a year and a half ago make him understand that it could be that he is experiencing a turning point in his life. On the question of the definitive return to France, Hadrien Brassens hesitates a lot. He still has unanswered questions: how to manage his business with him with such a time difference? How is the world of agencies organized in France? How to make your non-French speaking teams work? “I should consolidate my business here to consider doing it elsewhere. I am very involved with my clients. ”But above all, how do you organize yourself when you are married to someone who comes, you and her family, on the other side of the world? On the one hand, as on the other, the entourage will be far away … «Conclusion, we are thinking about it seriously, but not immediately. ”

Australia, a “start-up friendly” and benevolent country

Having studied the Australian professional world for several years, Hadrien Brassens has the feeling that Australia is very good friends with start-ups: “There is a lot of support, a lot of initiatives around the entrepreneurial adventure here. I am thinking in particular of a company that has become a unicorn here, canva.com. But it is true that some sectors are highly competitive. In new technology, talent is expensive and rare. Generally, the salaries are very high, you need to be aware of this before starting here. “. But, despite the challenges, the entrepreneur thinks that the relaxed side we know from Australia allows not to stress, “Don’t worry, as we often hear here! “

As for personal integration, Adriano notes, with regret, that the communities (especially the French one) remain very much among themselves: “I find it a shame not to try to integrate myself into a new culture. I have met several people who appreciate the Australian environment, who feel good, but don’t try to adapt to the population. I love Australia, I am now a citizen. There are so many opportunities for personal and professional adventures. There is an Anglo-Saxon culture that I like much more than French culture. Just as far as the mentality at work is concerned, I think it is definitely worth absorbing “. Before continuing with a job interview for the Reef Digital Agency, very smiling Hadrien Brassens warns anyone wishing to settle in Australia that a smile and kindness there are contagious and can end up convincing …

Hadrien Brassens travels to Australia
Hadrien Brassens, New South Wales, 2016

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