Go Where the Fear is and Magic Will Happen
Photo Credits: @Claudia.hug (insta)

When you are ready to show your art to the world you might find out that all the doors are open. 

Did you ever host a party and thought shortly before “What if nobody shows up?”. This is how I used to feel before every party at my house. I thought this time it would be different, but honestly, I was even more afraid. I wished for a few hours that I can sit on my sofa, watching a movie in my jogging pants and eat popcorn. And then I realized this is just a form of stage fright…

Our party was just like any great party.

Time flew by and I was too busy talking to people while magically the prosecco glass in my hand seemed to fill up automatically. I would like to tell you what I took away from the last five days especially if you didn’t have a chance to join us in person.

Photo Credits: @Claudia.hug (insta)

The event starts when you feel ready, not when it is scheduled

I was still in the middle of a call with an important client when my doorbell rang. This is rather unusual in Switzerland so I knew who it was. My first guest had arrived from Dubai. After an introductory chai, Nazia Abdul Rasheed and I took a walk through my city. I showed her Zurich’s landmark such as the Lindenhof hill, where the women of Zurich fought of the enemies in the middle ages by disguising as men. We went to see the Fraumuenster with the Chagall windows and left our doggie bag there as a gift to God. We walked through the old town, had a brownie at the Zurich Film Festival, lunch at St. Lucia and became friends right away.

Stage-fright is normal

I was struggling for a long time to recognize myself as an artist and even on Thursday I had this fear that no one would show up to our event. During the morning, I could tell that I had stage fright and it was worse than when I was playing a major part in the school play in high school. I changed my outfit last minute and was quite nervous practicing what I wanted to talk about. When my long-time uni friend Iris Kollek arrived I was a bit shaky and we had to leave to the location immediately. Our team and friends helped with the preparation of the giveaway bags, the book table and the room.

I had no idea that being in the centre of attention would mean that I would be overwhelmed when getting a huge bunch of flowers from Inge Nitsche, CEO Expatise Academy and her business partner Ernst Steltenpohl .These two “guild masters” of Global Mobility have supported me over the last five years and I was very surprised about the lovely greetings they sent me all the way from Holland.

My family showed up early as well as a few other guests but I was pulled away between photographers,  bloggers and last-minute organizational questions. After a photo session with Christina Fryer from @NewInZurich, I tried to greet most guests in person and loved how many actually did show up. Almost every seat was taken when we started (and the few latecomers filled the left seats.)

Photo Credits: @Claudia.hug (insta)

The History of Guilds is very relevant for us
The first speaker was Philip Welti, the Guild Master of the guild house wher

e we held our book launch. We heard from Philip Welti, the Guild Master about the history of the “Zunfthaus zur Waag” from 1637 to today.  We then moved to Monika Fischer’s story of her first intercultural encounter with her German mother-in-law. The “Potato Variety” story was hilarious and also showed how sometimes cultural differences are based on your perspective of the world. Monika’s experience shows that we can widen our view when we move to other cultures and interact with people with another cultural background. Monika also asked who in the room lived in another country than their home country or who had a partner or spouse from another culture. With a few exceptions, most of the people in the room showed up. We are living in the global village here in Zurich.

Magic happens when you leave the red sofa

When I went on stage I told our guests that we would guide them through an activity called “The Magic Postcards”. We asked people to get to know new people in the room and to catch up with the ones they already knew. As I’m a big believer in building professional relationships to get work I encouraged participants to write a postcard to the people they met at the event. During the next few months we will send out these postcards. I promised magic to happen and now I am excited like a child before Christmas hoping that whatever my guests wished for will come true over the next few weeks, be it a new role, a new job, finding a new friend, spending more time with loved ones, getting healthier, being with the parents, getting that writing project started or photography class done.

If you still want to write a postcard to another person who was at the event or was supposed to be at the event please let me know. Maybe the magic dust still works a few days later. Also, if you can’t wait to receive your postcards you can tell me to

Photo Credits: @Claudia.hug (insta)

prioritize or you could just practice patience.

“Patience is beautiful.”

I finally got to thank my mother in public. Even though I was a little nervous about doing this, I just had to thank and kiss my mother in public. Although I didn’t win an Oscar, I felt it was time. I knew she would not fully understand my words in English, I was hoping that she would love the gesture anyway. Thank your parents as often as possible. You never know when they will leave.

After the book launch is before the RockMeRetreat

Now, we would like to focus again on building our Global Mobility Guildhouse, helping our professionals, our expats and their spouses and all the clients we serve. We would like to spend the remainder of the year with ge

tting our clients ready for their next steps. The highlight of our business year 2019 will be the #RockMeRetreat. We still accept clients who are going through a professional change, have just arrived in a new country or wish to balance their own wishes with their careers better. We work towards more creativity, more agility and a healthier lifestyle together.


Personally, I wish to find a bit of time for writing, because after all, I’m a writer and this is what we do. I feel blessed, happy and want to thank you all for coming, your presents and your kind wishes.       

Feel Your Fear and Start your Business anyway

Fear is the biggest showstopper in your life and mine. A colleague asked me last week how I managed to quit my (well-paid) full-time job to start my own business.
“Are you courageous or were you afraid too?”
I told her that I was really scared. I had almost pulled out of my decision to leave my former employer when my manager gave me a book called “Feel the fear and do it anyway”.
I had a few tough moments over the last four years, the lowest point was probably last year when I supported a group and had to clean the bathrooms and bins and accidentally threw away my friend’s house-keys in a effort to clean up. She rummaged through the garbage and needless to say was not happy with me.

But in all those years whenever I confronted my fear and worked through my insecurities (usually with the support of my mentor or my coach) my business made a leap. You don’t have to be as crazy as me and jump ship. Leaving a job and all security behind especially when you depend on your income to support you is kind of insane. For me it was the right decision at the time and the way to go. Today, I take a more relaxed approach to my business as I have a part-time role and I grow my business on the side. It is a matter of choice in this country.

Having a choice is having power. Having a choice means that you are in the driver seat. Having a choice means that you may not be in the mental prison you feel stuck in. If you wish to understand more about fear you might want to read my older posts on this matter: Conquer your fears little Jedi and your wishes will be granted.

Kind regards
Angie

PS: If you are looking for a shortcut you can set up a meeting with me. Watch out for #Decemberdeal on Social Media. Like, RT and Share our hashtag #Decemberdeal and get a discount on our packages for 2017.

Why you might feel the fear of an international assignment and should do it anyway

by @angieweinberger

In Germany there is rumor and evidence that Generation Y is not willing to work abroad. Now obviously, it is not the most important topic on German news considering we have a humanitarian crisis in Europe and refugee camps being attacked. BUT if you are a Global Mobility Professional or a global line manager who needs internationally-minded and experienced team members you might start to worry about this Gen Y. 

The underlying tenor of the SPIEGEL article is that work-life balance seem to be more . Raising a family is a value again and men and women want to share the load of educating children and careers alike. Good news for women’s careers, bad news for Global Mobility.

Is this really a global phenomenon though?

If you check out the study “Talent Mobility 2020” by @pwc you will read (and maybe tweet)

“The millennial generation will view overseas assignments as a rite of passage, an outlook that will change the way workers and organisations approach overseas opportunities in the future.”

An experience

I don’t think that Gen Y is not willing to move abroad. For me Gen Y might be over-saturated. Gen Y professionals grew up with the option of studying and working abroad before they entered the workforce. In my days having studied and worked in another country was an achievement. Now it seems very normal.

I still believe though that the experience of a long-term assignment (minimum two years) is not replaceable with working in your home region only. It’s also a different experience moving abroad for studying or an internship when you are 25 and single compared to when you are 35, married and with two children.  Believe me: You still need the experience in today’s globalized world. Also, the world has more countries than Germany. A lot of Indians, Chinese and Brazilians will love to go on an international assignment if you ask them.

 

If you want to be an effective global professional you have to have had exposure to people from other cultures and you have to have FELT the difference between working for example for a manager with a hierarchical approach who might be French versus the participatory approach of a Swedish manager. It is not enough to read about this difference. You have to experience it.  When you feel the difference you can also pick the style that suits you best once you are leader.

When you never lived in a country where people have a different skin colour than you, you might have never been exposed to cultural dominance or the opposite. You might have never understood cultural bias or you cannot even differentiate faces of people with a different racial background…let alone pronounce their names correctly.

It’s all good and well to prioritize family over work but who says you cannot have family while you are on an international assignment. Who says you cannot bring your husband to Bangladesh if you are a successful career woman? I know a gay couple who moved to India and a father of four who worked in Thailand and I’ve spoken to Western career women who worked successfully in Abu Dhabi. It’s all possible with the right attitude, global competency and the right package. It also works when you have an international assignment business case with a repatriation plan.

This is where we might find the real issue. A lot of companies have decided that Gen Y “needs talent development”. So they have sent the young talents abroad without a real business case. Obviously then your experience might be flawed. When I was sent to India almost ten years ago it was an eye-opener for me and I worked really hard. We had a staff shortage and we needed to pull ourselves together in order to build a BPO from scratch. I learnt a ton about Indian culture and even more about myself in stressful projects. Maybe it is worthwhile checking what your assignment business case really is.

While we currently have a tendency of cultural regionalism we should not forget that the market growth is not happening in Switzerland and Germany but for example in Turkey, Malaysia, China and India or in the countries that had wars for the last decades such as Iraq. If you want to be successful you might not even have a choice other than moving around for your career.

Please share your view on moving to other countries on international assignments (no matter which generation you belong to).

 

2014-05-08 16.50.16

 

Seven Shades of Fear and Techniques to tackle them

Have you ever been in a situation where your initial reaction was fear showing by you getting worried that you’ll be losing everything, been found an imposture or knowing that you’ll be criticized for something you knew was a bit risk

 

With a bit of distance you probably noticed that all of these situations were harmless and that you made them a lot bigger with your fear.

I have probably told you already that even after having graduated more than 15 years ago I still have a recurring dream that I failed at Math (which funnily enough was one of my best subjects ever).

Seven Shades of Fear

I thought that if I am ridden by fear, it might be that you face fears as well. Have you recently had any of those?

 

  • Fear of not being genuinely likeable and just being liked because you have money, work for a brand, you have influential friends etc. (1)
  • Fear of not being good enough and being found out (2)
  • Fear of not taking enough charge and being considered slack (3)
  • Fear of losing everything and ending up under a bridge (4)
  • Fear of spiders, cats, airplanes (5)
  • Fear of your imminent death (6)
  • Fear of getting too close to someone and possibly getting hurt (7)

 

As we become older (not wiser) we see more risks and it is legitimate to decide that certain risks are too high for us to take in this situation of our lives. However, fear should not stop us from doing anything that is important to us.

Just do it and work with your fear

That allowed me to attend a wedding in Pakistan (probably the safest trip I have been on in the last few years), start my own business by leaving a well-paid job and going on a two-day alpine hike with sneakers (sliding down a snow field on my butt).

 

Fear is a compass but when fear turns into anxiety it blocks your ability to live the life you want. As a coach I advise you apply these seven techniques:

 

1)   If you are afraid of a project: Break it down in very small items and tasks. Manage one task every day.

2)   If you are afraid of not being likeable work for charity. Do something for others without expecting any reward.

3)   If you see yourself procrastinating write of your fear to friends. Commit to a first action step.

4)   If you are afraid of losing everything start to budget your spending, learn about finances and start saving money.

5)   If you have an anxiety disorder such as fear of animals seek therapy. There are ways to heal these anxieties.

6)   If you are afraid of dying work on your physical health and get advice how you can improve your health. Start small walks.

7)   If you are afraid of loving someone who might break your heart love someone who loves you first and shows you love through action. (Or get a dog.)

 

Task: Which fear would you like to tackle first?

More reading

Do you wish fear didn’t hold you back? ​

7 steps to overcome the fear of pursuing your passion or basically anything

Feel the fear and do it anyway – Amazon

Grundformen der Angst

 

Fear of something can be a sign of a “shadow” according to C.G. Jung

http://www.schattenarbeit.de/wasist.html

 

Changing Lives – Why it is important that you find your Purpose in Life!
Globe and Covid19

Starting a business (and keep running it) is hard work. I mean hard! But it is all worth the time, money, and effort invested in the end for those who have a passion, a plan, and a reliable support system. It’s going to be a rollercoaster ride, though. Between the rewarding highs of seeing the spark of interest in a student’s eyes or the genuinely thankful client, you were able to help. Then, there are the lows of the stress and responsibilities that come with being an entrepreneur, and you might wonder if you did the right thing or if you are going to make it. But the freedom to focus your energy on what you have most at heart allows you to grow, live for your purpose and live from it too!

It requires a lot of discipline, physical and mental fitness, and friends who will not leave you if you have not been in touch for more than a week. You need a life partner and family who is entirely behind your decision, and you need to be prepared to work harder than ever. After almost ten years of building and running an offline and online business with freelancers in different locations and a diverse client base, I consider myself a pro.

A few years ago, the business drained of resources, savings used up, and I had invested in two additional courses. 

I was ready to give up and get a full-time job.

I even had said “yes” to a full-time job offer. But then “fate” kicked in. In a very relaxed moment during our first RockMeRetreat, I knew the answer was a clear “No.” 

I was not ready to start a full-time job in a leadership role again, where I would spend all my energy on maneuvering politics, playing the game, coaching a team, and sitting at a desk for more than six hours a day.

Yes, I was very disappointed when the company told me that they wanted to hire somebody else. I was down and scared, but at the same time, I was relieved. And I knew this feeling. It was the freedom smell. 

Deep down inside, you know that you will always fall back on your feet and have all the skills within you to make a living. 

This post is not a pep talk on how we should leap out of our comfort zone and fight for survival daily because this adrenaline level is not suitable in the long run. We only need this kind of adrenaline in an actual emergency during a tornado or a Coronavirus pandemic but not every day for years on end. 

A job is great. A paycheck is wonderful. A sick day is sensational. A sponsored coffee is amazing. A paid holiday is fantastic. A burnout isn’t. 

You probably wonder how you keep the energy drainers out of your work environment, and my advice about this is a simple one: Focus on your well-being first. Focus on that as long as you need, stop eating junk food, walk regularly, stop working after six hours and change your routine to fit your life. Most of the issues we have at work come from our fear of not being enough. We overcompensate. You might think that you need to achieve that next level, subsequent promotion, or next salary band. Then you will have a wonderful life. But let me be honest with you: There is a price you pay for that. And this price might not be what you are looking for right now.

I am in favor of abandoning many of the typical HR systems. Let us give our people the benefit of the doubt again and help them find their intrinsic motivation. We should help them work in projects where they can thrive, help them develop client relationships they will find engaging, and above all, we should change lives. Passion is a better driver than security for entrepreneurs as employees. 

And if you doubt now how you can help your team get to that level, we should have a conversation. I would say that first of all: Everybody still has a ton to learn in this world. 

Understanding that we are always learning is the first step towards growth. Many people, especially women, need help to find the confidence to move ahead. In Switzerland, many women grew up in a male-dominated environment where they learned to work more than their peers to be recognized, and when they tried to move up the ladder and had to show their teeth.

Then a manager told them that they were too aggressive and too pushy. They started to have self-doubts and fell into a complacent state where moving up was no longer an option. I know many excellent women, but they neither sell themselves nor get enough credit for their work. They run departments silently in the background, while a male colleague gets the bonus and the honors. 

I committed last year to help more people outside of the “circle of trust.” My team and I started helping more diverse women. We worked with women in and from developing countries, women with more seniority, and women from minority backgrounds. 

Whatever their backgrounds, women with young children also face obstacles and prejudice in the labor market. Managers often assume they will miss work when their children are sick or that they will leave early. 

As an HR Professional, I’m ashamed to say that, but we diligently exclude certain people from the workforce here in Switzerland, depriving them of the fundamental right to work. It’s not always intentional, but we cannot always blame unconscious bias for our decisions. Some companies forgo excellent candidates because the humans who make up that company cannot move beyond their prejudice about women (even more so if they come from developing countries, have young children, have gaps in their resume, or are LGBTQ+, or disabled). 

It is frequent for people with a refugee background who cannot produce the required papers and certificates for specific jobs to face many challenges when accessing the job market. People suffering from mental health problems such as depression and talents who might be on the autism spectrum or have schizophrenia face numerous barriers when searching for a job. 

We might not be able to create a significant groundswell today and start a revolution, BUT we can change lives, one person at a time. Join us in our mission. We’re on a mission to bring the Human Touch back into Global Mobility.

Kind regards

Angie

 

P.S. 

Do you work in Human Resources or a closely related area? I’m giving away VIP passes to the HRMSummit in Bahrain. It’s an online event and geared towards HR professionals. Respond VIP to enter our raffle. We need to have your professional email address, professional title and employer in order to forward your details to the organizers.