Official internet-portal of St. Petersburg, cultural capital of Russia
Petersburg CITY / Guide to St. Petersburg, Russia
Printed from:
Business news, 28.03.2007 15:59

Managers Settling On Northen Capital

managers By Olga Kalashnikova

Special to The St. Petersburg Times

Only several years ago it was every manager’s goal to move from St. Petersburg to Moscow. Russia’s capital has always exerted a powerful influence in the business world, regarded as the place to make money, contacts and take one’s career to the next level.

But while the two cities remain very different, in recent years there has been a marked trend for professionals to return from Moscow to St. Petersburg. People are coming home. We investigate the differences in lifestyle between the two capitals and ask why so many people are coming back home.

“The active period of ‘capital migration’ fell between 2003 and 2004 when almost 20 percent of managers left the city in search of better money and more opportunities,” said Anna Sagaida, chief consultant and head of Top Hunt International Selection Office in St.Petersburg.

Indeed reasons for leaving appear obvious: there are more job vacancies in the capital, and the salaries tend to be higher.

Some of those who leave easily adapt to a new rhythm, start a career and stay in Moscow for good. Nevertheless, many others fail to fully accept the new mentality and life style.

“It’s no secret that people in St. Petersburg generally seem to Muscovites too relaxed and impassive, if not slow and lazy, while the former often see the latter as workaholics obsessed with making money,” said Marina Goryaeva, consultant at Triza Exclusive St.Petersburg.

Of course some people manage to have it both ways — working in Moscow, while actually living in St. Petersburg.

“This group of professionals tends to live here and there, coming home every weekend and grudgingly returning to their offices in Moscow every Monday morning,” said Goryaeva.

“As a rule, they are ready to come back if there is a choice of vacancies offering a decent salary.”

Goryaeva herself moved to Moscow in 2005, partly because her friends had already done the same.

“But mainly it was that I decided to change something in my life,” she said.

Working in St. Petersburg as a translator and administrative assistant at a point when she was planning to change jobs she started searching for vacancies in both cities.

“But two months later I realized it was not my job or city that I wanted to change but my profession.”

She joined the company Triza Exclusive and started her new career.

Following the example of friends is a common reason to move to Moscow. This happened to Natalia Malinova, manager of Elite Holding’s St. Petersburg office. Some friends opened a catering company and offered her the position of general manager.

Nonetheless, the situation is changing. Approximately half of those managers who left for Moscow are now returning to St. Petersburg.

“There are two kinds of reasons — emotional and rational ones,” explained Sagaida.

Rational Return

Rational reasons are connected to the gradual shift of interests from Moscow to St. Petersburg. The latter has become more attractive for investors, with an influx of large international companies creating many more job opportunities.

“At the same time there is a shortage of qualified employees. There is the phenomenon of a candidate’s market,”said Sagaida.

“It is not candidates who are competing for a particular job, but employers who fight with each other for the best managers.”

With rapid growth in the IT, retail and construction sectors, the geographical boundaries between regions are becoming blurred.

“We can see the process of a so-called merging of borders, first of all between the two capitals, but other regions are also involved,” said Goryaeva.

News source:

(c) 2000