Monthly Archives: September 2016

Global Mobility Policies are biased

Traditional global mobility policies written by Western companies with their outlook on taxation, international assignments and a home-based compensation approach do not fit today’s world any longer. They had a cultural understanding of a nuclear family and terminology from the Army.

We Global Mobility Professionals often sound like we are at war. We speak about home and host country, expatriation, repatriation or hardship as if our patria or home territory was the only island of happiness in the world.

We coined the term “home leave” to suggest that only “at home” we can relax and enjoy our life, while at the foreign outposts in Mombasa and Rio de Janeiro we are at war with the local population.

As Global Mobility Professionals, we are surprised that the stream of inbounds and outbounds has changed. These days the main expatriation routes are no longer going out from Europe or the US. We see assignees from China going to Switzerland, India to Sweden and Indonesia to Holland. We managed London to New York and now it is Casablanca to Mombasa or Caracas to Madrid.

A lot of moves and a lot of different cultural assumptions question the traditional models.

What is “fair” in a global team?

It is hard to say what is “fair” in a global team. Will you accept that your colleague from India gets paid about 50% of your salary? Do you find it ethical that your passport qualifies you to a better standard of living? Is the home-approach still feasible in a non-colonial, non-hierarchical and skill-based “eco-system”? Are we innovative enough in Global Mobility or are we repeating patterns of society that are as outdated as the suit I’m wearing to work today?

We’ve known for years that expats discuss their benefits but they used to do it secretly back in the nineties. I’m pretty sure now there is a WhatsApp-Group to discuss your benefits package by location.

Why should you believe your employer is giving you the best package possible? Why should you believe that the policy applies in your case when everyone up in the higher ranks seems to get an exception?

Generation Y populates the workforce. The “I”-Generation is more individualistic and used to instant gratification. This generation does not accept a one-size fit all principle. Policy segmentation is a start but I think we need to customize our proposals to assignees and their families even further.

Coming from an egalitarian culture, being fair and giving fair chances to everyone has always been important to me. Over the years I have learned though, that the assignees with the best negotiation skills have the best packages. Female assignees and assignees from less assertive cultures on the other hand often accept what they have been offered. Their request for amendments is quiet and not understood.

Senior management can request anything and often is it granted. For them “policy” is almost like a red flag that needs to be challenged.

We assume that assignees need financial incentives and that financials are the major consideration point when deciding whether to go on an international assignment or not.

We should consider skill development, learning opportunities, living conditions and extra services and build them into the benefits matrix. Providing these will also give more equity in the host country. I also believe that the classical home approach won’t last very much longer. Until we can fully customize packages we will need better GM Technology, engaged Global Mobility Managers and above all HR leaders with an international mindset.

Angie Weinberger

You might also want to attend the “Building the Global Mobility Business Case”-Workshop by Expatise Academy in Amsterdam on 23 JAN 2018.

 

Every time a coaching relationship ends I have a hard time to let the client go. When you learn to be a coach you also learn methods for your psychological hygiene. What you don’t really learn in my view is how to let go and accept that the client will take the next steps without you.

Every coach has to let go...
Every coach has to let go…
We do not yet know enough about the real impact of the coach on the coaching relationship and the success of our clients. It would be arrogant to assume that I am having a big influence on my client’s development. My clients are highly intelligent professionals. They are thrown into circumstances where a little bit of guidance makes their efforts worthwhile. Whether they succeed at finding a job they love or at improving their satisfaction during a merger is entirely up to them.
[tweetthis]It is not because I feel they still need me. It’s more because I still need them.[/tweetthis]
When I say that I have a hard time to let my clients go, it is not because I feel they still need me. It’s more because I still need them. Every client brings in a special energy and challenge. Once we are performing as a team I really start to like my clients and I sometimes even want to be their friend. I know that as a professional I need to keep a certain distance and it is better not to expand the relationship for too long but having an ongoing relationship with a client is comforting. It’s a regular income too.
If you also have a hard time letting go here are five rituals for ending a coaching relationship you can work into your practice.

Ritual 1: Limit the number of sessions to a logical number such as nine.

In my experience, every transition takes around nine sessions if you follow short-term coaching approaches and believe in only selling as much as needed. It is obviously different if your sessions contain advisory elements or are built around advising clients or providing a regular service to them. I am talking about classical executive coaching according to the definitions by the International Coach Federation.

Ritual 2: Call the final session “final session”

As you know in coaching we construct and while we construct in the world of the client, we also drive the cycle of the coaching and cycles between the sessions. We should formalize beginning and end. Many of my clients even bring a small present to the last session. I never expect it and I am always a bit embarrassed but it is a great way to bade farewell.

Ritual 3: Run a debriefing in the final session.

In the final session, I always like to look back at the target achievement and at the whole process. What did the client go through, where were the major changes in the process and how do they feel about themselves now.

Ritual 4: Agree how you will keep in touch.

As a coach, public speaker, lecturer, author and business owner you are probably as busy as me. So you understand that it will be hard to “keep in touch” with all of your clients. What I ask my clients is whether they would like to stay on the mailing list for weekly updates and I tell them to let me know if they want to have lunch or a coffee. I also offer that they can send me weekly progress reports. I am proud to say that some of my clients contact me a year later to tell me that an exciting breakthrough occurred or that they remembered something I told them or that they just understood something better that I had tried to explain to them earlier. I always love those emails and cherish them.

Ritual 5: Wish the client well

After we finish the conversation about keeping in touch I tell my client why I like them and wish them well. That is the most emotional moment of the journey. Don’t forget to take notes in between when there was a moment that moved you in a special way. Then the coaching relationship is over. I tell my clients that I keep their documentation for five years in case they ever return. After five years I delete their documentation.

Guest Post by Uma Campbell


Graduation day has come and gone, and thousands of new grads around the world are now on the job hunt. While the job market is still highly competitive, new grads have the benefit of finding work in an increasingly global market. This means that there job prospects go beyond just the local listings but now graduates can easily access job opportunities from all over the globe. Many top careers are in demand all over the world, so new graduates looking for a chance to progress their career internationally can find job positions in cities and countries wherever they may desire. Here are some top careers that can take you around the globe:

Engineer – Engineering careers are in high demand all over the world and in many different fields of engineering. From petroleum engineers to architectural engineers, the field is growing rapidly with job openings always popping up for entry-level positions. The field is also known for being one of the highest paid positions especially for new graduates. Recent graduates looking to work in the field of engineering in any aspect will likely find positions available all over the world.

Physical Therapist- PTs are needed all over the world in both hospital settings and private practices. PTs help patients to recover from previous injuries to regain movement or manage pain. Many healthcare jobs are in demand globally and PTs are one of the most desired positions.

Registered Nurse- Many countries all over the world are experiencing a shortage in nurses. Thus the position is heavily in demand by many hospitals and many agencies are looking for newly graduated nurses to help supplement their staff. Although the average pay for nurses can vary between countries, positions are hardly scarce and new grads will usually be able to find openings at hospitals. A demand for private nurses also allows new grads opportunities to practice in their field and work internationally.

Statistician- Businesses are constantly in need of various kinds of financial analysts to help make important decisions and strategize. Statisticians help companies see patterns in profits and consumer spending. Their knowledge in reading such data can help executives figure out the best way to progress a company and become more successful. International companies, small startups and large corporations, are always looking for employees that can help foster their growth and statisticians are high in demand to help analyze data that can increase profits.

bestcareers20162

Physician- Healthcare is one of the few industries that consistently see growth and demand year after year. Physicians in particular can find career opportunities all over the world. Although the road to becoming a physician can be demanding and involves several years of study, the career rewards in the end are tremendous. Opportunities to practice all over the world are plentiful and the earnings for new grads are typically higher than other healthcare positions.

Computer Analysts- As companies all over the world are reliant on technology and computers in their day-to-day operations, many organizations look to staff computer analysts and IT teams to help ensure that their technology is in top shape. It is no surprise that one of the best jobs for recent grads is working as a computer analyst. Computer analysts not only work to help with daily tech issues but also work with companies to make sure they are using their programs efficiently and effectively. They help organizations make sure they are using the best programs for their tasks. New graduates in this field will find that many companies are looking for freshly graduated students because of their up-to-date knowledge of programs and systems.

Teacher – Along with being considered one of the sexiest careers, teachers are one of the most in demand positions all over the world. From STEM teachers to English teachers, educators are needed in both city and rural settings as education becomes a priority for many countries looking to increase their citizens earning potentials.

Many of these positions are careers in the fields of STEM, but there are many other positions that are available for various other fields. Working internationally can be both a rewarding and challenging experience. New graduates should job at any opportunity they find to go abroad as it is a great way to advance their careers but also travel the world.

 

uma2Uma Campbell is a yoga instructor and freelance writer. She currently lives in Southern California. She enjoys writing about meditation, natural medicine, and home design.  Her interests include: home decor, yoga, and running. She also really loves crafting She has her own line of home-made jewelry. She lives alone with her cat and two turtles.


In a continuous effort to counter-balance my fear of failure, I like the experience of “lack”. I’ve been a solopreneur for more than four years now and slowly slowly I see signs that the business is out of the nappies and has become a kindergarten child, ready to stay on it’s own with her other small business friends during the day. When I come home all she needs is a bit of checking on (bank balance), a bit of nurturing (invoices and business development) and a bedtime story.

I “practice poverty” by letting essentials such as coffee run out, living with an empty fridge, not having printing paper, wearing old shoes and asking the hairdresser for an extension of payment terms.

I would not say that my company is “successful” or broke even yet. Compared to others our growth is slow and this year I took on a job to cover my living expenses. Still, we send out invoices every month and we have a number of regular clients. The client base is becoming bigger and to my amusement former clients send us their wives and husbands.

I love to be the “family coach”. As a career woman I believe that the interests of the career-driving and the caretaker role need to be more balanced in most marriages. I also believe in long-term relationships and I know that with most of you I will be contact for a lifetime. Still, there are days when I feel like a failure or when I am concerned about ending up under a bridge.

Running a business requires that you confront your fear of failure every day.

When you “practice poverty” you watch all your resources better. In the first-world we are used to luxury and constant access of resources. Switzerland is highly productive because of stability, access to resources and a highly skilled workforce. Here, we cannot imagine a life where you cannot afford to buy anything, not even a cup of coffee. My aunt thought I was kidding her when I told her I did not have money to buy coffee last month. She saw that I was paying easily for our holiday in Italy but she could not see how I live without a certain standard.

I invest in having a cleaning person so I can use my time for the business, my loved ones and myself. I have months where I cannot pay the rent or run out of money to buy coffee. I admit, I was never good with saving money. I always had enough since I went to high school. In order to improve my business cash flow I had to learn to manage my finances better. Maybe you are in a similar situation and profit from my advice below.

I have summarized my learning in “seven cash flow habits for solopreneurs”.

1) Budget vendor expenses and pay in advance

I tend to create a lot of work around myself. In corporations usually my team would be happy to be involved in several projects but in my own business my supporting freelancers can be overwhelmed with the amount of work I ask them to do. About two years ago I started to pay them in advance either on a quarterly or yearly basis. We sometimes stop to work before the end of the year as we are out of money. I had to abandon projects due to a lack of budget.

2) Invest in your Business Priorities

Once you have clarity about what your clients need and how you can help them be more successful you will also know where your priorities for investment should be. Invest in those and abandon the rest.

3) Pay for Survival Tasks

You have survival tasks in every business such as invoices, accounting, making appointments, following up on conversations with prospects, digital media marketing and web-design. Not all of these tasks are your business purpose so you should pay someone to do them for you.

4) Maintain a Wish Book

To avoid impulse purchases I am writing all my wishes into a wish book. I used to buy a lot of books and many haven’t read yet. I don’t do that anymore. I used to have clothes that I did not wear. Not anymore. And I had a lot more shoes.

5) Date a Cook

In Switzerland dining out is very expensive and one of my good decisions was to date a man who loves to cook. Even though my cooking skills have lessened we enjoy a good home-made dinner almost every night. I am thankful for this.

6) Nurture your Spirit, Body and Soul

When we feel fulfilled either through our work or our contribution to the world or through little acts of kindness every day our spirit, body and soul are nurtured. When we feel full of love we do not need consumption to comfort ourselves.

7) Abandon Credit Cards

It’s almost impossible to live without a credit card in our society but I only have a business credit card now so I need to justify my expenses to my accountant. My bank does not give me credit either. So I cannot overspend. It helps.

 

I am moving out of my comfort zone with this post showing you one of my biggest weaknesses and how I handle it. Let me know if it helped you and if you have any questions.

 

Nine budgeting ideas for the start-up entrepreneur

My favorite bloggers write as if they are talking to me. I feel I know them. Great writing is a skill bloggers have shaped for years before anyone reads their posts. In our communication in companies we often write less perfect.

We have not learnt in university how to write an email that another person will understand. In my school, there was no course on business communication but we learnt a lot of crap about marketing.

We do not write English at a level where engage a native speaker. Most native speakers will find errors in our emails and probably find your style rude (German) or long-winded (French).

We perform anyway. We pride ourselves with the average number of emails we digest every day. Despite more communication there is less understanding.

Do we see a major change or has the shift happened and we feel the consequences? What is the change in the global society that influences us, creates ambiguity and sleepless nights?

The funny haired propaganda talkers of this world fuel the illusion (or delusion?), that if we all sat together with the people who look like us, talk like us and think like us, everything that is “wrong” with the world (economic challenges, unemployment, hate, scarcity of resources, war) would go away.

(#Bazinga)

You and I know that that we can only change the world if we model the behavior we wish to see in others. Only action creates change. (Thank you Mr. Gandhi)

Ask yourself: Can you reduce your emails and act instead?

Consider yourself privileged

Clare Joy and I held a workshop on Saturday for the CapacityZurich Refugee and Migrant Business Mentoring Program called “Building relationships and Enhancing Business Communications”. We held the workshop in English and German and most of our participants were native speakers of a third mother tongue. It required rethinking for me. We worked with a volunteer translator Viola Zoller (who did an amazing job) and Clare and I learnt to pause. We all spoke slower than normal and I noticed that even though we did a good job it was hard to keep everyone engaged.

The workshop made me understand once again how privileged I am, that I had the chance to live in English-speaking countries and learn the language at a level where I can now work in English. It also made me aware how we often exclude people based on a lack of language proficiency, how we do not take them seriously if their grammar is flawed or their pronunciation hard to understand.

I encourage you to watch your own behavior around others who are not in the culturally dominant group. I promise that I will try even harder to listen to anybody and to speak slow and use simple language.