Tag Archives: Global People

If you read this post you will notice that the conversation we had over the last few weeks about a shift in what “work “ will mean going forward is about to happen. I am generally a bit pessimistic when I look at the world economy and the political arena but I strongly believe in the idea of Europe.

The German economy is strong for example and new jobs in the digital industry but also in areas related to healthcare are created. Cities like Berlin and Hamburg attract a new crowd of globally-minded Europeans. In Zurich, Dubai, Casablanca, Pune and Singapore and other places you see these “hubs” of the globally mobile professionals.

At the moment you might still be working for one company, but within the next ten years you will probably either work for multiple companies, become a freelance consultant or run a charity next to your part-time role.

Don’t forget the economic migrants and refugees who moved away from their home lands either because a lack of opportunities or because they wanted a better future for their children. Many also fled because they do not want an ideology stamped on them that does not match their values and lifestyles.

We all are part of the Global People Club.

 

We are all in the middle of this shift. Retirement is not a goal any more because “artists” will never retire. They get better with age.

What will you contribute to this world?

Yours
Angie

PS: Have you considered career coaching and would you prefer to work in a small group, rather than 1:1?

Here is an offer for you: HireMe! Group Coaching

A German interview by Petra Schuseil with @angieweinberger on “Lebenstempo” (life speed):

https://petraschuseil.wordpress.com/2016/11/24/angie-weinberger-das-lebenstempo-unter-der-lupe

If you are a Global Mobility Professional, intercultural coach or a line manager you probably already sense that out colleagues in Human Resources are often overwhelmed with international assignments, business trips and expats in general.

They need your expertise and it’s great to be in expert. Expertise does not develop in one year though. It takes a life-time.

We believe in taking one step at the time and learning to do stuff yourself. That’s why I have written “The Global Mobility Workbook -A step by step Guide to Managing International Assignments”.

GM Workbook Cover High Res
#GMWORKBOOK

Because I know your struggles and I want you to shine. AND I like to build from scratch. You can break down the complexity of international assignments when you look at the parts, pieces and process.

After reading the book you should be able

  • to run your international assignments in a strategic way,
  • develop a metric for international assignment success,
  • sort out or develop your assignment policy and be more compliant,
  • have a clear structure on how you can support international assignees and their spouses through the assignment process by providing a worthwhile experience to them
  • develop your competencies according to a career plan as a Global Mobility Professionals
  • know where to go with further questions.

It’s a bit like IKEA. You break it all down into it’s part and learn to build it from scratch.

You can start by checking out all blog posts in the category “global mobility” on our blog.

Kind regards
Angie Weinberger

If you like those posts please become a member of our “Global People Club” now. For all of you who join us before the year end the membership will be free for your lifetime.

It’s best if you use a personal email ID as you might be moving jobs and countries a few times in your life.

Child psychologist

This is Clara. She moved to Basel in 2012 from the UK. Her husband had received a very good job offer and they both decided to move here together. Clara was not aware that her degree in child psychology would be less known in Switzerland plus she had to learn the German language before she could function here. After one year she felt rather useless and depressed.  In one moment she focused on your job search, the next moment she was playing with children. In another minute she opens her email account only to find that she was rejected for all the jobs she applied for the previous week.

Sounds familiar?

  • You feel disappointed and angry.
  • You blame Switzerland.
  • You blame the fact that your German is not fluent
  • You hate your partner for exposing you to this situation.
  • You might even feel like you do not know who you are anymore.
  • You stand in the line at Migros and a person barks at you and you stop to care.
  • You do not get that the cashier asks for your “Migros Card” because of his or her funny foreign and Swiss accent.
  • Maybe this is the day you called the handyman to fix a light bulb only to discover that you cannot communicate with him or her.

You are exhausted, tired, emotional and you just wish to pack up and go home. You certainly do not want to meet another Swiss person tonight. Then your wife calls to cancel the dinner you had planned for both of you.

This is the typical expat spouse experience. What often happens is that you have a “culture shock” a bit later than your (working) partner as in the beginning of the international assignment you are too busy to organize the home and settle in everyone. You are too busy supporting your children and your partner. One day, you notice that you have your own needs too. Some expat spouses therefore only have a “culture shock”  late in the first year of assignment or even the second year.

What can you do to overcome “culture shock” and focus on your job search again?

1) Develop a regular routine.

2) Go for a short walk of 15 to 20 minutes per day.

3) Practice a relaxation method such as progressive muscle relaxation.

4) Write a diary or blog to digest your experience.

5) Go on a weekend trip with your family.

6) Reconnect with friends and family.

7) Build up a social circle.

8) Meet professionals through structured networking groups.

9) Watch your eating and drinking habits.

10) Invite one person you do not know well for a coffee per week and get to know this person better.

What happened to Clara?

Clara took a course and rebranded herself. She also built up her network in Basel and continued to study in her field. Today she is working as a freelance teacher working with global children at the International School in Basel.

 

Discussion with Jill

 Jill is a successful Global Marketing Director with over twenty years of experience. She moved to Switzerland in 2009 as a local hire when she received a good offer from a large pharma company. As a US citizen and single professional woman integrating in Switzerland (a country largely dominated by males earning the main income while females keep the household and children in perfect shape) she initially had a hard time adjusting. After two years she finally felt settled and at home. Jill loves her work and next to a bit of exercise and travelling she does not take a lot of time off. She is successful and strong in a male environment. She is accepted because of her international background, experience and the high quality and fast output.
Then one day early in 2014 the company she works for had to downsize. Foreigners go first. Why is that? There is no logic in the employment law requiring certain criteria to be met when downsizing is on the agenda. Contrary to many European countries Swiss employment contract and employment law is closer to the US and UK case law. It is actually very easy to terminate an employee.

What most foreigners moving to Switzerland underestimate though, is that their work and residence permit status is closely linked to their employment. Unlike EU citizens (which still have the benefit of the blialteral agreement with the EU) a US , Canadian, Indian or Australian is considered a “third country” citizen. (Not to be confused with third world country). The immigration status therefore depends on having employment.  The fact that you are eligible for unemployment benefits is not giving the authorities grounds to extend your work and residence permit.

Last month I had two clients who were made redundant or are about to be terminated. Often not even the HR department understands the implications of the termination. I offer advice and support to clients in such cases.  I am not going to blurt out what I told Jill but we will update you if it works out. In a worst-case scenario she only has 60 days to move out of Switzerland (with an L-Permit it is only 15 days).

Here are three tips what you can  do now to avoid such a situation:

1)   If you are made redundant speak to HR about your personal situation. It might be possible to extend your termination period.

2)   Keep in contact with recruiting companies and headhunters in your field.

3)   Strengthen your network in your industry as most jobs are given to personal connections these days.

4)   Get married to a Swiss person or EU citizen.

5)   If you are transferred by a company, negotiate a repatriation clause in case of redundancy.

6)   Before you become desperate, make an appointment with us.