Tag Archives: Networking

Have you ever wondered what you are doing there in Shanghai, Pune or Moscow? Is this international assignment really a career step for you or do you feel that the tasks you have are less challenging than in your previous role? Have you felt a bit downgraded even though you might earn more money than ever?

It could be that you are a victim of a corporate strategy that does not really work out the international assignment business case but just sends “talents” abroad to give them “international exposure” or you were sent abroad to fill a gap, to replace a critical key person on a short notice. It was easier to send an assignee than to hire from the local market. Maybe your knowledge, skills and experience also justify that you were selected for the role but still…

You feel you are not working up to your full potential.

Here are five tips how you can improve such a situation:

  • Draft your international assignment business case by showing the business value of your assignment. Show facts and figures about how you can improve sales, research or processes in the new location. Discuss quarterly targets with your host sponsor. Ensure that these are filed and reported back to your home location.
  • Address the issue with your home sponsor on your next home leave. Discuss what you think is lacking for your career development. Make sure that the sponsor sees your development as a responsibility and regularly connect with her or him.
  • Journal your experience as it might be a perception error due to culture shock. Speak with an intercultural career advisor about critical incidents in the host location that give you the feeling that you are “an outsider” or “off track” or “performing badly”.
  • Ensure that your training and development history is updated in your home location regularly and that you keep your profile updated on any skill sites (internally and externally). Update LinkedIn at least every three months.
  • Build your professional network in the host location by attending business networks, industry group events and seminars. You will profit from your connections even when you move to another location.Reizigers 4

We all know that a professional network is important but some of us are more eager to build and maintain their network than others. Especially if you are more of an introvert you might not like to run around at a large event. Consider these nine ideas for building your professional network.

​1) ​Go to a Toast Masters International event and learn public speaking at the same time​.

​2) Join the Swiss British Chamber of Commerce or a similar organisation.

3) Join the “International Club” in Winterthur.

4) Start your own Meetup-Group around your topic of interest.

5) Become a member of the InterNations Professional Networking group.

6) Book a seminar in your field of expertise, e.g. with ZfU Business School.

7) Host a party and show your cooking skills.

8) Take a dog from the “Tierheim” for a walk and strike up conversations with random people in the park.

9) Ask me for an introduction to one new person on LinkedIn. 🙂

As we all have hesitations around networking I have come up with “10 Professional Networking Principles”. You might want to read them before you reach out to the crowd.

 

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!

Angie