Tag Archives: expats
...more than relocation...
…more than relocation…

When you enter Global Mobility into Google search, one of the top results is for an international chauffeur service. This of course has little to do the kind of global mobility advisory services we offer. The term global mobility is quite broad and covers international relocation, household goods shipping and a specialized function in human resources.

In the olden days it was also called “HR International” but that term became a bit out-dated when HR departments globalized. Now “Global Mobility” is the equivalent of the group that handles your international staff transfers together with a wide network of third-party providers. In an increasing number of large companies Global Mobility also deals with international local hires, international project workers and business travellers.

Today’s global mobility professionals are “GM Specialists”,  “GM Consultants” or “GM Managers” depending on their years of experience and volume of assignments. They are knowledgeable in immigration, tax, social security and employment law. They also need a good grasp of psychological skills. Not only do they need to be strong at sourcing the right candidates and developing the talents of an organization. They also have to manage an ever-increasing network of service providers. Sometimes they consult “trailing spouses” as well. In addition, GM Professionals must have a high intercultural competency when dealing with counterparts across the globe, be good at organizing and be cost effective.

We assume that companies with a professional Global Mobility service will often have a higher employee engagement and better performance ratings of their expats and international local hires especially in the first year of assignment.

Why do we think that?

You (the expat) want to focus on the new job assignment and getting it done right. You can hardly support your partner with finding a job or starting the children at their new international school. Facilitating the organization of the assignment and helping with the adjustment is the role of Global Mobility.

If you, your family or your company could use the expertise of a global mobility professional, please contact us. We also welcome your experience.

Thank you,

Angie Weinberger

Making friends in the new location


Whether making a global transition with your partner, family or just yourself, there comes a time after all the boxes have been unpacked and life returns to “normal” that you might begin to feel a bit lonely.

With the prevalence of social media and smartphones, it is easier than ever to remain connected with specific communities. However, it has been my experience that creating meaningful relationships in the host country is a key part to feeling more settled and at home. If you find yourself wanting to connect with other like-minded global people who are also living in your host country, then I have some advice for you.

First, try to find support groups. These are groups of people who are in the same phase of life or have the same interests as you. Maybe it’s a sports club, a “Mommy and Me” playgroup or a professional network. Once you find yourself amongst people similar to you, it’s easier to make friends.

If you are single and find yourself in a new country, seek ways to connect with other singles before going out on your own. Women especially find this helpful.

Friends are not only people you can go out with, but they are also people you rely on for support. It’s easier to express your feelings about the new country or life in general with a friend. Still some assignees may find it beneficial to work with a professional life coach or counselor to share feelings and experiences they might be having.

Whichever approach works best for you, remember that making friends requires courage and patience. Once you’ve made some friends in your new home, life abroad will be that much more rewarding.

What are some other ways you’ve made friends in a new place?

For a great community and social events in Switzerland, check out these sites:

Tips GPT_3In my last posts on “How to find a job in Switzerland” we discussed the résumé changes (#1) you have to do for Switzerland especially as well as how to put together a set of work references (#2) and then we went on to managing the interview (#3). Some of my advice is culture-specific to Swiss culture but I believe this one is more universal.

Did you ever receive an email that was so strikingly nice that you could not resist but had to pick up the phone and call the sender? Unless this was the love of your life maybe it was a person who knows how to communicate well in writing. Let’s call her Petra. Like Petra some of us have a talent for emails. If you are one of these people you could use your talent to help other people for example by writing a referral or a recommendation or even an #FF (Follow Friday recommendation on Twitter).

If you want to write a good referral it is important that you state the strengths of the person you are talking about.  For example: You want to introduce Paul, a website developer to Susan, who is just starting her business. Ideally Paul’s strength meets a need of Susan. You could say “Susan, I recently worked with Paul. He developed my website in less than the time expected, amazed me with the end result and I even paid the price he originally quoted. With the start of your new business I thought you might need a good web designer. You can contact Paul best via email. Kindly cc me on the note so he knows that we are in touch. Petra”

If you are referring for networking purposes only you can look for a common interest of Paul and Susan: “Susan, I recently met Paul. Like you, he loves to travel backpacking style through remote locations. I thought you too would get along well so I wanted to connect you on Facebook. Is that ok for you? Petra”.

In order to do good referrals you need to kow the people in your network well. You should remember their hobbies, children and partners. You also need to learn to listen to your contacts when you go for lunch or dinner. Often, we just talk and completely forget to listen and remember details about the people we are meeting. Give it a try and let us know what happened.

Have an inspired day!