The Digital Nomad Lifestyle

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The Digital Nomad Lifestyle

Are Digital Nomads the Same Old or a New Breed? 

Contrary to what many might think, the term Digital Nomad isn’t an invention of the 21st century. The word was first introduced in Wiley’s homonym book “Digital Nomad” published in 1997. However, up until recently, people tended to connect this denomination with names of fancy Facebook groups or fora where a small number of privileged and techy professionals were allowed. Until ten years ago, the typical graduate who entered the workplace would be shown their desk and tied to it afterward. If, on the one hand, a few digital-first companies were already offering the possibility to work flexible hours and/or from home, on the other hand, most employees could not even dream of working from a paradisiac location ten thousand miles away from the company’s office. 

Nowadays, Digital Nomadism has become a real working trend, and it is becoming more and more appealing among Millennials, who will make up 75% of the global workforce by 2025, according to IncWith this data, it’s easy to see that we’re dealing here with a real new breed and not a restricted circle of tech-savvy gurus. And at this point, it’s also easy to predict that the rise of this category of workers will also have a substantial impact on Global Mobility policies. 


The Six Points You Need to Make Sure to Check

Fatima is a young and determined woman who works as a freelancer. She recently moved to Switzerland, where she continues to work, and calls herself a Digital Nomad. If, like her, you too are a Digital Nomad and you’re about to or have just moved to Switzerland, this article might enlighten you on some fundamental technical issues you must be aware of in the Helvetic Confederation. Despite this article being Swiss-specific, these points are worth considering wherever you dream of living, either temporarily or permanently.  This is an overview of risks we see frequently. I recommend seeking advice from specialists in individual areas for deeper advice on your situation. I’m happy to introduce you to these specialists in Switzerland.

1 – Labor Law 

The labor law that applies to your case changes significantly whether you are classified as self-employed or employed. In Switzerland, being self-employed means working on your behalf, being independent, and assuming financial risk. You may decide on the type of company you build.

You will need your infrastructure, you draw up invoices in your name, you assume the risk of collection, and you work out your taxes. Additionally, you decide on your organization and your method of working. You may outsource work to third parties and work for multiple clients. Based on this employed/self-employed differentiation, the aspects concerning your work permit also vary.

It is as well possible that, due to different legislations across countries, the Swiss labor inspection authorities could qualify you as an employee of your current “employer” or “client”. This can happen even when your status is self-employed or freelancer in your country of origin. If this should happen to you, you must provide further documents to the competent authorities. 

Based on your host country, you must familiarize yourself with the local employment law, especially if you plan to hire other people for your business.

2 – Immigration

If you share the typical Digital Nomad spirit with Fatima, you will probably travel often. Even during Corona times, you will most likely travel more frequently than a traditionally employed person. For this reason, you must have the correct permits to enter the countries and work there. 

If you’re an EU / EFTA national not yet residing in Switzerland and working there over eight days per calendar year, you will need both a residence and work permit. If you only work here for up to 90 days per calendar year, your employer must register you via the online registration procedure. Usually, the permission will be given. However, you can only work here for 90 days in a calendar year. 

As a “third-country national,” you must be aware that work visas are limited to quotas and are not easy to obtain.  You are not allowed to work in Switzerland while on a tourist visa. You don’t want to get into trouble with the Swiss authorities.

The permits that allow you to work in Switzerland are L, B, C, and G. They have different purposes and durations. If you want to read more details about the characteristics of each permit, check our resources at the bottom. As an expat spouse, you are generally approved when you receive a B-permit. With the L-permit, there is often a restriction. Do you feel confused? Trust me, it’s normal. That’s why it’s always best to get advice from an Immigration Specialist. I suggest you contact BecomeLocal

You might be up-to-date already, but if you didn’t know it, some forward-thinking countries have already introduced specific visas for Digital Nomads! These visas are not for any Digital Nomads, and every country has listed its requirements and benefits, but it is worth checking them out. Up to today, the countries that offer this opportunity are Barbados, Georgia, Estonia, Bermuda, and Thailand, while Croatia is next in line. Check out our resources below to learn more about the topic! 

With the Digital Nomad trend on the rise, Fatima wishes that Switzerland too will have this specific type of visa in the future, simplifying the bureaucratic burden she must endure.


Digital Nomad Visa 


Georgia:  the application process is not yet up and running yet but the government is updating their website. 


Thailand: the SMART visa program is not only but also for Digital Nomads.

Bermuda: to apply to their Work from Bermuda visa visit


European Union BlueCard Scheme


3 – Personal Tax

Based on the Swiss federal tax law, you become a tax resident after living and working in Switzerland for 30 days or after 90 days without earning any income. 

In Switzerland, you are responsible for paying your taxes. You are taxed only on the income generated in Switzerland and not your worldwide income. This is regardless of whether you’re self-employed and does not depend on whether you receive a one-time payment or a regular salary. 

You must learn to differentiate between your turnover and the potential salary that you are paying yourself. My most important advice is that you either find a good accountant like Joerg Blaettler of Winston Wolf or learn accounting with basic software such as Bexio.

4 – Corporate Tax

If you work for an international company without an office in Switzerland, be aware that your presence could create a “Permanent Establishment” for the company. This means that the company might have to pay corporate tax. If you want to keep working from Switzerland, you should discuss this with them beforehand. 

If you own your own company and are registered outside Switzerland, corporate tax issues could become even trickier, and you might incur double taxation. Depending on the countries involved, treaties have their specific clauses, and you will have to look at your particular situation. 


5 – Social Security

For Digital Nomads like you and Fatima, it can become challenging to ensure at least basic insurance for retirement, disability, or unemployment because social security is generally connected to the country of employment. 

The first thing you need to know is that Swiss social security is based on three pillars that I will explain here briefly. The first pillar is basic insurance (old-age, survivors, disability, and unemployment insurance): this is mandatory if you are a resident and earning an income in Switzerland. If you are self-employed, you must pay the total contribution through a self-declaration made to the authorities. If you don’t do this, the rules will estimate and claim the gift, and you will incur a fine. 

Let’s focus on the pension scheme. When you reach the official retirement age (64 if you’re a woman and 65 if you’re a man), and if you’ve contributed for at least one year, you can claim the retirement annuity. Please remember that the assistance is limited and calculated based on the years of contributions.

The second pillar is the employee’s pension scheme. This is mandatory and covers the same risks as the first pillar, but it’s provided by the employer instead of the State. 

When you take a break from or give up your job in Switzerland, a vested benefits account lets you hold on to your retirement savings. You can look at how to open this type of account (Freizügigkeitskonto in German) with a bank such as UBS. 

The third pillar is additional private savings that you’re free to undertake or not, depending on your preferences.

If you have a foreign employer with the right to apply for a certificate of coverage, they might be exempted from Swiss social security. If not, the foreign employer might have an obligation to register in Switzerland and seek a first and second-pillar solution for you while you’re based in Switzerland. 

6 Health and Accident Insurance

As a Swiss resident, Fatima needs to have mandatory health insurance in Switzerland. She’s entering her third month in the country, and her time to stipulate one is almost over. You have up to 90 days to sign your health insurance contract when you set foot in the country.

All health insurers in Switzerland provide the same benefits under basic insurance. However, if you want to be covered for other needs, such as better hospital accommodation, legal assistance, and so on, you need to add voluntary supplemental insurance. 

In Switzerland, each person must pay health insurance premiums. The premiums are independent of the individual’s income but vary depending on age, residence, and health insurance, so you can choose the health insurance company with which you wish to take out basic insurance.

If you move to Switzerland but still work in an EU/EFTA country, you must be insured in the country where your employer is based. This also applies if you are self-employed. In this case, you can’t purchase health insurance in Switzerland. If you feel lost and need guidance in making the right choice, please email us.

As you figured out already, there’s a lot on the list of items you need to consider when deciding to work as a Digital Nomad in Switzerland. Having a clear vision of how everything works isn’t easy, especially if you need to understand bureaucracy in a language you speak poorly. This is why we always recommend contacting a trusted expert in the field. If Fatima worked it out, you can certainly do it too! And remember, it will be worth it; Switzerland ranks number 1 in the world for quality of life! 

We will shortly publish “The Global Rockstar Album, ” a self-help book for managers and nomads who want to bring purpose, performance, and productivity to their work while becoming more inclusive servant leaders. Sign up here to be invited to the book launch party in Zurich, Switzerland, and learn more about the publication.


Global Relocation Checklist_10_2020_Weinberger Angie 2020_1

Blogs and Podcasts


Other Articles in this Series and Related Content

The Digital Nomad – Part 5 – Which Channels to use in Order to be a More Effective Global Digital Nomad
The Digital Nomad – Part 4 – How to be a Global Digital Coach, Consultant ot Trainer
The Digital Nomad – Part 3 – Improve Your Productivity Kanban-Style – Global People Transitions
The Digital Nomad – Part 1 – Global People Transitions
The Social Media Newbie Part 3 – Global People Transitions

Unpacking the Shortcomings of Lifestyle Expats

New York

Lifestyle Expats

I have been a strong proponent of Global Mobility for years now and most readers and clients will know my general optimism towards it. This week I will be taking a critical look at the trend towards more Lifestyle expats and various shortcomings that need to be addressed. AIRINC (2019) confirms that 13% more companies now have an international one-way transfer policy (72% vs 59% in 2018). We also have to take into consideration here is that our populations are a lot more diverse than they used to be 10 years ago (Weinberger, 2019).

Let’s dive right in.

In recent years, we have come across a new source of mobility traffic. We can call this driver “lifestyle”. Through technology, economic crisis, and mobile mindsets, younger professionals are more willing to move to other countries to find work. The local-to-local hires from abroad are often “coming for love and staying for the job”. Locations with a high influx of foreigners due to low unemployment, high staff turnover and perceived high quality of living – such as Australia, Canada, Singapore, United Arab Emirates and Switzerland – attract professionals from many countries. The jobs require academic backgrounds and professional experience but can be filled by local staff, if the talent is available in the marketplace. There is, however, a downside to this trend. Not many professionals think about the long-term consequences of moving from one place to another. Social security is covered in a later chapter, as well as other potential issues that can arise for global mobility professionals.

Lifestyle expats are often expat spouses in Dual-Career Couples, Third Culture Kids (TCK’s) and Gig Workers (or Digital Nomads as they tend to be called too).

What’s in the packages?
Often the packages of lifestyle expats are limited. They have a local employment contract in the Host Country. Sometimes we support the immigration and relocation process. The company does not always offer international medical insurance or an international pension plan. In many cases, this is not because of bad intentions. Often, local HR staff has not considered the package and support as they have misconceptions about how these systems work globally.

So here are a few examples and tips to consider.

Going to the US? –  Do you face any Work and Residence Permit Restrictions?
In recent years I have heard a lot of complaints about the US immigration process among others. Protectionism has made it a more trying and difficult process in many countries. In Switzerland, too, we have more administration to tackle than before the bilateral agreement with the EU on free movement was accepted. You need to learn and understand the steps of the immigration process – for certain countries such as the US, you will need the help of a lawyer. Check if your spouse is allowed to work in the host country.

Going to Brazil? – Have you thought about your personal security?
In several countries in the world, you might face issues of personal safety. Brazil is one such country which has built a bad reputation over the years. It’s worth taking a look at your government security websites before moving to a new country. Additionally, once you are there, find out right away where your Embassy is in case of an emergency and get yourself registered with them.

Going to Europe? – Do you have social security in this particular European country?
Imagine if you will, that you move overseas with your spouse, you just find out that you are pregnant but you don’t have health insurance coverage yet in the new country, nor any type of social security. You might not have new coverage because insurance companies won’t accept you or they will increase their premiums significantly.

This leaves you stuck in a limbo where you are waiting for the lengthy assessments for private medical, social security and international pension to come through, while your spouse or yourself require the use of those facilities.

Going to the Middle East – Do you have any residence rights if you get fired?
The employment on a local contract poses a risk in many countries in the world as you might have to leave the country in case you lose your job. If you accept a contract in the Middle East, make sure that you understand your rights and obligations but also your residence permit status. Is it bound to your employment or financial security?

Going to China – Are you ready to face the pace and work 24/7?
Some countries have a different work ethic than others. Some countries are highly productive while others still have a lot of inefficient processes. You could move to a country like China and be surprised how many hours you are physically expected to be “at work”, in the office or even socializing with colleagues. The pace in fast-growing markets such as China could drain you or become stressful in the long run.

Going to India – Will you face tax issues and do you understand your package? 
As a local hire, you might have different legal implications to consider than an expat being sent by a company. If you are going to India, it is worth checking the kind of tax exposure you will face there and to really understand the package that you are offered.

Relocation Planning is left up to you
Many companies have not implemented a great process for hires from other countries. HR often works ad-hoc and as mentioned doesn’t understand all implications.
I once met an expat who moved to Switzerland around the New Year and didn’t have a place to stay when she arrived! Normally, the company could have provided temporary accommodation but that did not happen, the expat ended up having to figure things out on her own.

You somehow forgot that the host country has a different native language than English
Internations mentions that there are still many expats moving to another country without managing the host language to a workable level. I’m often surprised when clients complain about German being ‘so hard to learn’. Even if you can survive well in Switzerland without German, not speaking the language hinders you from integrating into a culture and entering the “circle of trust”.

How can Global Mobility help if they are not empowered and don’t have the staffing?

Increase the Scope, Team and have Global Mobility report to the CEO
What can be done to improve on these shortcomings? On an organizational level, I strongly feel that making Global Mobility a  function reporting to the CEO is the most logical path to positive consequences. Global Mobility activities need to include all sorts of cross-border activity including weekly commuters, International Business Travellers, International Hires and “Digital Nomads”.

It would allow for smarter, involved decisions regarding Global Mobility professionals as part of the company’s expert staff. Looking after the wellbeing of your international workforce is now considered essential to an organization’s success, there really is no justification for slacking off on that front.

Having the CEO directly involved with Global Mobility allows them to devise budgets and become the escalation point for critical hires and moves. Often, CEOs only hear about GM when things go pear-shaped and there is, for instance, a real life-and-death situation such as a terrorist attack or a tsunami – at times like these GM might not be able to get through to them because there are too many layers of organization between them.

Address the Package Issues through a Guideline
We should address the package issues and devise at least medical coverage, support with the immigration for expat and spouse, international pension, pay for the move and repatriation in case of redundancy and ensure the personal safety of the expat family.

Despite the tougher aspects of being involved in Lifestyle Expatriation, I still maintain my optimism. The Future of Global Mobility will see us rise to the level of other corporate functions and we will be able to support our diverse global clients even better than today.

Great strides have been made in recent years and I am certain that the coming days will see more positive resolutions to people’s pain points and enhance the expat experience.

Get the third edition of The Global Mobility Workbook!

Key Factors to Consider When Defining Your Ideal Client as an Expat Coach

Key Factors to Consider When Defining Your Ideal Client as an Expat Coach

Are you struggling to attract the right clients to your business? Do you find yourself working with clients who don’t align with your values or goals? If so, it’s time to define your ideal client. Understanding who your ideal client is and what they want is essential for creating effective marketing strategies and building a successful business. In this article, we will explore the five key factors you need to consider when defining your ideal client. From demographics and psychographics to pain points and goals, we will dive deep into what makes your ideal client tick. By the end of this article, you will have a clear understanding of who your ideal client is and how to attract them to your business. So, let’s get started and find your perfect match!

The Importance of Defining Your Ideal Client as an Expat Coach

Defining your ideal client is a crucial step in building a successful business. Without a clear understanding of who your target audience is, you may find yourself wasting time and resources on marketing efforts that don’t yield the desired results. By defining your ideal client, you can create targeted marketing campaigns that speak directly to their needs and desires. This not only increases the effectiveness of your marketing efforts but also helps you attract clients who are a perfect fit for your business.

When you know who your ideal client is, you can tailor your messaging and strategies to resonate with them on a deeper level. By understanding their pain points, goals, and desires, you can position your products or services as the perfect solution to their problems. This not only differentiates you from your competitors but also builds trust and credibility with your target audience. Defining your ideal client allows you to focus your resources on attracting and serving the clients who are most likely to benefit from what you have to offer.

So, how do you go about defining your ideal client? Let’s explore the key factors you need to consider.

Identifying Your Target Market

The first step in defining your ideal client is to identify your target market. Your target market is the group of people who are most likely to be interested in your products or services. To identify your target market, you need to consider factors such as demographics, psychographics, and behavior.

Demographics include characteristics such as age, gender, location, income, and education level. Understanding the demographics of your target market can help you create marketing messages that resonate with them on a personal level. Psychographics, on the other hand, include factors such as values, attitudes, interests, and lifestyle choices. By understanding the psychographics of your target market, you can create marketing campaigns that align with their values and aspirations.

Behavioral factors include how your target market behaves in relation to your products or services. This includes factors such as buying habits, preferences, and decision-making processes. Understanding the behavioral factors of your target market can help you tailor your marketing efforts to meet their specific needs and preferences.

Once you have identified your target market, you can move on to the next step of defining your ideal client.

Understanding Your Ideal Client’s Needs and Pain Points

To define your ideal client, you need to understand their needs and pain points. What problems are they facing? What challenges are they trying to overcome? By understanding their needs and pain points, you can position your products or services as the perfect solution.

One way to understand your ideal client’s needs and pain points is by conducting market research. Market research involves gathering insights about your target market through surveys, interviews, and other data collection methods. By gathering insights about your target market, you can gain a deeper understanding of their needs, desires, and pain points. This allows you to create marketing messages that resonate with them on an emotional level.

Another way to understand your ideal client’s needs and pain points is by analyzing your existing client base. Look for commonalities among your best clients – what do they have in common? What problems did your products or services solve for them? By analyzing your existing client base, you can identify patterns and trends that can help you define your ideal client.

Once you have a clear understanding of your ideal client’s needs and pain points, you can move on to the next step of creating buyer personas.

Conducting Market Research to Gather Insights

Market research is an essential step in defining your ideal client. It involves gathering insights about your target market through surveys, interviews, and other data collection methods. Market research can help you gain a deeper understanding of your ideal client’s needs, desires, and pain points.

One way to conduct market research is by using online surveys. Online surveys allow you to gather quantitative data about your target market, such as demographic information, preferences, and buying habits. You can create surveys using platforms such as SurveyMonkey or Google Forms and distribute them to your target audience via email or social media.

In addition to online surveys, you can also conduct interviews with your target audience. Interviews allow you to gather qualitative data and gain a deeper understanding of their needs and pain points. You can conduct interviews in person, over the phone, or through video conferencing platforms such as Zoom or Skype.

Another method of gathering insights is through social listening. Social listening involves monitoring social media platforms and online forums to gather insights about your target audience. By analyzing what people are saying about your industry, products, or services, you can gain valuable insights that can help you define your ideal client.

Once you have gathered insights through market research, you can use this information to create buyer personas.

Creating Buyer Personas for Defining Your Ideal Client as an Expat Coach

Buyer personas are fictional representations of your ideal clients. They are created based on research and insights gathered about your target market. Buyer personas help you understand your ideal client’s needs, desires, pain points, and goals. They provide a clear picture of who your ideal client is, allowing you to create targeted marketing campaigns that resonate with them.

When creating buyer personas, consider factors such as demographics, psychographics, behavior, and goals. Give each persona a name and a backstory to make them more relatable. For example, you might have a persona named “Sara the Small Business Owner” who is a 35-year-old female entrepreneur looking to grow her business.

To create buyer personas, start by identifying commonalities among your target market. Look for patterns and trends in demographics, psychographics, and behavior. Use the insights gathered from market research to create detailed profiles of your ideal clients. The more detailed and specific your buyer personas are, the easier it will be to create targeted marketing campaigns.

Segmenting Your Audience to Tailor Your Marketing Efforts

Segmenting your audience is another important step in defining your ideal client. It involves dividing your target market into smaller, more specific groups based on shared characteristics or behaviors. By segmenting your audience, you can tailor your marketing efforts to meet the specific needs and preferences of each segment.

There are various ways to segment your audience, such as demographics, psychographics, behavior, and geographic location. For example, you might segment your audience based on age groups, interests, or buying habits. By segmenting your audience, you can create personalized marketing messages that resonate with each segment.

Segmenting your audience allows you to deliver the right message to the right people at the right time. It helps you avoid a one-size-fits-all approach and allows you to create targeted marketing campaigns that are more likely to resonate with your ideal clients. By tailoring your marketing efforts to each segment, you can increase the effectiveness of your campaigns and attract clients who are a perfect fit for your business.

Refining Your Ideal Client Profile Through Testing and Analysis

Defining your ideal client is an ongoing process. As your business evolves and your target market changes, it’s important to continuously refine your ideal client profile. This can be done through testing and analysis.

Testing involves experimenting with different marketing strategies and messages to see what resonates with your target audience. By testing different approaches, you can gather data and insights that can help you refine your ideal client profile. Analyzing the results of your tests allows you to identify what works and what doesn’t, allowing you to make data-driven decisions.

In addition to testing, it’s important to analyze the data you gather from various sources, such as website analytics, social media insights, and customer feedback. Analyzing data allows you to gain insights into your target audience’s behavior, preferences, and needs. By analyzing data, you can identify patterns and trends that can help you refine your ideal client profile.

By continuously refining your ideal client profile, you can ensure that your marketing efforts are always targeted and effective. This allows you to attract and serve clients who are a perfect fit for your business.

Aligning Your Marketing Messaging and Strategies with Your Ideal Client as an Expat Coach

Once you have defined your ideal client, it’s important to align your marketing messaging and strategies with their needs and preferences. Your marketing messaging should speak directly to your ideal client’s pain points, desires, and goals. It should position your products or services as the perfect solution to their problems.

To align your marketing messaging with your ideal client, consider the language, tone, and style that resonates with them. Use their language and address their pain points directly. Focus on the benefits and outcomes they can expect from using your products or services.

In addition to aligning your marketing messaging, it’s important to align your marketing strategies with your ideal client. Consider the channels and platforms they prefer and tailor your marketing efforts accordingly. For example, if your ideal client is active on social media, focus on creating engaging content and running targeted ads on platforms such as Facebook or Instagram.

By aligning your marketing messaging and strategies with your ideal client, you can create a cohesive and impactful marketing campaign that resonates with your target audience.

The Benefits of Targeting Your Ideal Clientas an Expat Coach

Targeting your ideal client has numerous benefits for your business. By focusing your resources on attracting and serving your ideal client, you can:

  1. Increase the effectiveness of your marketing efforts: By targeting your ideal client, you can create marketing campaigns that resonate with them on a deeper level. This increases the effectiveness of your marketing efforts and helps you attract clients who are a perfect fit for your business.
  2. Differentiate yourself from competitors: By understanding your ideal client’s needs and pain points, you can position your products or services as the perfect solution. This differentiates you from your competitors and helps you stand out in a crowded marketplace.
  3. Build trust and credibility: By understanding your ideal client’s needs and desires, you can create marketing messages that build trust and credibility. This helps you establish yourself as an authority in your industry and builds long-term relationships with your clients.
  4. Increase customer satisfaction: By targeting your ideal client, you are more likely to attract clients who are satisfied with your products or services. This leads to higher customer satisfaction and increased customer loyalty.
  5. Maximize your return on investment: By focusing your resources on attracting and serving your ideal client, you can maximize your return on investment. Instead of wasting time and resources on marketing efforts that don’t yield results, you can invest in targeted marketing campaigns that generate a higher return on investment.

In conclusion, defining your ideal client is a crucial step in building a successful business. By understanding who your ideal client is and what they want, you can create targeted marketing campaigns that resonate with them on a deeper level. From demographics and psychographics to pain points and goals, considering the key factors outlined in this article will help you define your ideal client and attract them to your business. So, take the time to define your ideal client and watch your business thrive!


Expat Onboarding in the Host Company 90 Days Survival Pack

Expat Onboarding in the Host Company 90 Days Survival Pack

Over the last two decades in Human Resources, I have noticed that a lot of international talents were left frustrated by the process of moving to another country for work. I observed that the issues weren’t just financial, but pertained a lot to both the individuals and the company underestimating the challenges involved in moving to a new country. Therefore, today I would like to draw on my experience and discuss some important practices for that critical period, the first 90-odd days, of an expat landing in a new country and beginning their onboarding process in the host company.

1 – Prepared Before You Land

Increasingly, in this age of protectionism, many countries now require you, the ex-pat, and your accompanying family to have active medical insurance before you arrive in the country. This is different from the travel insurance you may have used for vacations and needs to be negotiated with a local provider in the host country. Whether your company is processing this for you, or you are required to do so on your own, you also need to make sure you are aware of what is covered – are your children covered? What about planned or unplanned pregnancies?

On that subject matter, there is now a lot more paperwork and prerequisites required before visas and associated work permits are given out, with increasingly thorough information required. If your company is handling this for you, make sure you are kept in the loop so you avoid unnecessary delays. However, if you are required to manage the applications on your own, ensure you are aware of the full process. You may need the help of a specialized lawyer in this scenario, don’t hesitate to contact them.

You may also have to plan your own relocation, a shortcoming of lifestyle expatriation that many organizations have still not overcome. An issue many people have with selecting medium-to-long-term accommodation is that they do not want to make such decisions based on photos alone. To get around it, a recent trend involves making short-term living arrangements via Airbnb or similar services, and then inspecting more appropriate housing in person. It makes a certain amount of sense, but you want to keep an eye on your budget, as good rentals may not come cheap.

Finally, make sure you have wrapped up all pending tasks and necessary paperwork before signing off!

2 – Micromanage the Move

It may seem just like an airplane journey but make no mistake, the move is frequently considered the most stressful time. That’s because of all the farewells and goodbyes, packing up, and shipping of belongings. And don’t forget that while you are also spending time at the office on last-minute tasks, your spouse is at home managing the children and the packing. Generally, this means that by the time your plan lifts off, everyone is pretty exhausted and you may end up questioning your decision, worry about the unknown challenges ahead, and fearing for the future of your family.

In this situation, make sure you open up to your Global Mobility Manager when they reach out to you. Talking about what you are feeling and experiencing with them will help them both meet your unique needs and guide you on the best way to manage stress. Often they will arrange an arrival service for you and give you a day or two off before you have to join the new workplace. Use this time to spend time with your family and help each other settle in properly.

3 – Manage Expectations

You’ve landed, navigated immigration, moved into temporary living, and started settling in. Now, it’s time to join work! You may find yourself settling in very quickly because the workplace and culture at the office give you a feeling of “being at home” fast.

That may not always be the case, however. There is a wide range of issues that can crop up, so your excitement needs to be tempered with a can-do attitude to learn new things. It really depends on the country you are in and how well you are prepared for the different cultures.

For instance, arriving in Switzerland is considered tougher because of the challenges associated with assimilating into Swiss culture later on. A move to Brazil would, for example, necessitate greater research into personal security. China has a culture revolving around work and you may find yourself working longer and engaging with colleagues far more than you bargained for. And did you forget that the host country’s native language is not English?

This not only means that you need to learn more about the host culture, but that your company needs to shoulder some responsibility for preparing you for such challenges – you may find that your company may sign you up later on for intercultural awareness training, spouse career coaching, and host language training, all providing essential support not just for you but your spouse as well.

4 – Pamper Your Family

It is natural to get swept away in the hubbub of new activities as you settle into a new work life, adjust to new office culture, and make new acquaintances. An unfortunate side effect of that is that you may forget that your spouse will be having an entirely different experience from yours. Their adjustment is tougher than yours and they can often find themselves feeling alone and left behind. Remember, while you are working they are the ones who will be ensuring your children’s schooling commences at the earliest!

Providing emotional support to your spouse is critical in helping them adjust, especially if they are not always guaranteed work rights by the host country and have to put their own careers on pause. Language and cultural barriers can make it harder for them to do basic tasks (like choosing schools, setting up gym or sports club memberships) and build up stress. Time zone differences can make it harder to contact friends and family back home and you both may feel the additional worry of not being in frequent correspondence with your own parents or close relatives and friends.

During this period of 90 days, you may be in frequent contact with the Global Mobility professional assigned to your case by the company. Their job is not just to get you up to productivity quickly, but to ensure a smooth transition for you and your spouse. They will be your guide and support during the entire assignment, not just the first 90 days so it is beneficial to form a good working relationship with them.

The initial period after your move will not follow a fixed path, some expat families face greater challenges than others, due to a variety of reasons. Whichever path your onboarding follows, remember to be in regular and detailed contact with your Global Mobility Manager, because as with most things in life, communication is key to success here. If you need further support you could always work with a Global Mobility or Expat Coach.


Global Relocation Checklist_10_2020_Weinberger Angie 2020_1


A New Year with a New Way of Starting it.

We will shortly publish “The Global Rockstar Album“, Angie Weinberger’s new book for managers and nomads who want to bring purpose, performance, and productivity to their work while becoming more inclusive servant leaders. Sign up here to learn more about our publications.

Seven Virtues for Purpose, Performance, and Productivity

Back to School in a great car

Seven Virtues for Purpose, Performance, and Productivity

The Back-to-School Mood

Rose petals sprinkled over my neglected Zen Garden, sunflower fields turned brown, and you have started to turn on the lights in the morning again. When you get home from work, you don’t want to sit outside anymore as it is dark, but you might vaguely remember this feeling you had as a kid when you were playing hide and seek at this time of the year, and it was just a notch better because it got dark at dinner time. This August is a bit like the “Summer of ‘69”. Did you also feel like a Rockstar? Finally out again in the world, listening to Rock’n’Roll Music” or “Jailhouse Rock.”  Still, my dear, fall is here. We can still have a glass of “Summer Wine,” but the days are as short as the “Itzy Bitzy Teeny Weeny Honolulu Strand Bikini.” 

Apples are ripe for harvest, and the smell of onion pie and early wine hangs in the air. How do you remember the early fall, back when we were in high school? I remember a particular moment going down the stairs from our horrible grey concrete school building of the 70s, thinking, “This is great! I love being back at school!” I swung my newly acquired pepita jacket across my shoulders and closed my leather school bag with a sense of accomplishment. 

Do you miss those times when you felt like the world was in order and that you had all the opportunities ahead of you? You know when you feel like a “Rockstar” sipping champagne in a limo, with your Bono hat on, driving through “New York” with a bass drum pounding similar to the headache you will have the following day? 

Is this the life you want to have, without limits, without regrets, and certainly without the need to have a “boss” tell you what to do, as you know best how to do your job, how to build your contribution to the world and how to achieve your goals in work and life?

If you want to get to this focused and productive life level, you can start by building weekly practices and adding them to our RockMeApp. Last week I already spoke about seven easy-to-implement steps to help your body adjust to a new culture or new environment. This week, I would like to dive even deeper into these seven deadly rituals for focus and productivity

1 – Start Your Week with Monday Wishes

Starting your Week with Monday Wishes is a powerful way to start your week. Use your Have-Done-Diary to write down your wishes for the week without limiting yourself. Even if you end up re-writing your to-do list, just brain-dump everything you wish for the week. The list should include fun stuff like “a bunch of flowers,” too. According to this post, journalling can also help with depression.

2- Craft Your New Morning Ritual

I believe we should all have a morning ritual, and you can design yours around your needs, lifestyle, family, and pets. For example, you can think about, which order you ideally go through your morning to have a happy and productive day ahead. Pro tip: Don’t check your mobile phone during this time of the day.

3 – Finish with Friday Reflection

If your workweek closes on Thursday or Friday, use the last hour of your day to clean up your desk, sort paper or emails, write a task list for the week ahead, and then go through our four reflection questions on the RockMeApp. Here’s a helpful virtue of separating the workweek from the weekend. I’ve talked about taking 90 minutes on Saturday to finalize open tasks instead of working late with a few of you. Test this; for me, it works well.

4 – Plan a Digital Detox Day 

Taking a real break from Social Media, especially those funny videos on Insta isn’t easy unless you have a plan on where you can hide your phone for 24 hours. You might be a parent and need to be reachable for your children. Using my uncle’s strategy to have an elementary mobile phone to remain reachable over the weekend for essential clients and family can pay off. Alternatively, you can try to apply willpower (just kidding). Turn on the “Radio GaGa” and listen to unexpected songs, hear the news without images, and enjoy that wonderful feeling.

5 – Weekly Practices You Can Do Anywhere

Weekly practices are a vital element of our programs. They help with sanity maintenance and make you a happier person to be around (as opposed to your inner Mr. Hyde, who is also a corporate zombie.) If you are struggling to define what practices are helpful to you or haven’t even started, I encourage you to define weekly goals that you can achieve no matter where you are. Examples could be daily walking targets and relaxation exercises or keeping your space clean of clutter

6 – Consider my Productivity Hacks 

If you feel you have maxed out your productivity already, please test this: If you can implement one of these seven productivity hacks (1- Have-Done Diary, 2 – Pomodoro Method, 3 – Eisenhower Matrix, 4 – Pareto-Principle, 5 – Peace Island, 6 – Repetition Checklists, 7 – Outsourcing Housework) and you notice any changes you might still have potential to improve, and there’s always space to learn and get better at tools. Also, to let you in on a secret, I used to waste a lot of time with mundane tasks such as looking for the correct passwords or making sure I had the right document version. A year ago, I often needed to follow up on team tasks and could not always rely on them. We now use password managers, a few master spreadsheets, and SLACK for team communication. I cannot say that this has increased our productivity. Still, my stress level is lower as now everything is well organized and accessible from anywhere and all team members.

7 – Revisit Your Weekly Planner

When you started working with the weekly planner (we usually hand this out at the end of all programs), you might have noticed an increase in productivity right away. Now, with a bit more practice, you might see that you could make optimizations or you could change your meal or exercise plan for the fall. I recommend that you keep the general structure and only optimize what doesn’t work well yet.

If you work with Coach or Aunty “Angie” I promise that we will rock you!” so that no stone will be left unturned. We will also shortly publish “The Global Rockstar Album” which is a self-help book for managers and nomads who want to bring purpose, performance, and productivity to their work, while also becoming more inclusive servant leaders. Sign up here to be invited to the book launch party in Zurich, Switzerland.


Further Reading

Overcoming Depression One Page at a Time: The Impact of Journaling on Mood