Category Archives: Global Mobility

The breakneck advances in modern technology and communication have revamped how we work in ways previous generations couldn’t have dreamed of. No longer does ‘working professional’ mean a person sitting in a cubicle, or in a conference room. You can work from home, from another country, even halfway across the world!

While we’ve witnessed this blurring of manmade boundaries, I feel such breakthroughs are not being embraced by organizations, most of which still stick to ‘traditional’ hierarchical structures in the face of an evolving workforce. The result of that is that a lot of modern professionals feel that they’re being held back by these relics of the past and as a result feel disempowered.

The truth of the matter is that we often tend to get a bit one-dimensional when, for instance, we stick with the same career for over a decade and haven’t moved to another company within the last five years. Such a move is guaranteed to stagnate your all-round professional development and flexibility, you don’t want to become a corporate zombie, do you?

Each year, you should explore options to upgrade your knowledge base and skill set. Set yourself new, incremental goals in the form of small weekly practices so your brain is kept regularly active and you’re not just going through the motions.

Here’s our top ten list of how to keep your knowledge base in a constant state of improvement:

1. Set yourself a reading target of 25 minutes per day. Maybe pair it with a nice cup of coffee or tea.
2. Listen to podcasts on your commute to/from work. They can range from industry-specific subjects or even a relevant hobby!
3.  Write guest blogs for reputable websites, adding to other’s knowledge base is just good karma!
4. Give guest lectures regularly at universities and professional academies.
5. Attend a panel once in a quarter where you and other professionals are sharing your expertise.
6. Join a non-profit board so you can learn a completely new skill.
7. Engage in (a maximum of) three groups on LinkedIn to see buzz topics, hashtags, and important trends in your industry.
8. Book a Master-level university course in a topic you wish to dive into deeper.
9. Attend at least one annual industry event.
10. Sign up for and attend one retreat a year to clear your baggage and move on unrestrained.

We often believe we deserve a promotion but there usually aren’t that many promotions available; some of us end up having reached our highest career level at the age of 35.

Don’t let that happen to you.

Let’s have a conversation about your current global leadership or expatriate career wishes and challenges.

Kind regards,
Angie

by Brooke Faulkner via @faulknercreek

The worldwide web has also led to a more worldwide economy, and despite recent political manoeuvrings and issues with trade, that situation is not likely to change anytime soon. Many companies have moved toward not only a remote workforce, but one that is international as well.

Think of the social media sharing app Buffer. The company has a 100 percent remote workforce with no physical home office. Employees and often their spouses are treated to a once-a-year retreat paid for with the money the company saves on infrastructure. Employees work around the world, in many different places and environments.

How do they manage this workforce? How do other countries do it? What does it take to manage employees across the globe and from various cultures who speak different languages? It is challenging, but for many companies, it is not only worth it, but it is a necessary evil.

Understanding Culture

One of the first challenges you will face is maintaining company culture when a different societal culture defines the country where your employees are located. When any company is looking to expand globally, it is important to maintain vision, mission, and values. This involves some important steps in cross-cultural management.

Send Experienced Teams to Establish New Teams

No matter how great a leader you might be, you cannot instil company culture by yourself. Typically, as a company grows, the company culture becomes a blend of employees and management working together. Assemble a small, experienced team to help set up and manage remote teams even if they do so virtually. This will assure that mission and vision are communicated properly.

Understand and Honor Local Customs and Traditions

You cannot establish a workforce presence in another country without understanding and respecting local customs and traditions including holidays, religious restrictions, and other cultural differences. To work with these things, you will have to think outside the box and have alternative holidays and other considerations.

This translates to many different areas, including the location and layout of offices, necessary break times, and even dress codes if you have one. Your team must work to align your company culture with that of your host country.

Work at Cultural Alignment

This cultural alignment will take work. There are several important aspects of aligning your company culture globally, and it will not happen organically. Here are some points to consider.

  • Direction and purpose: What is your “why” and how does it translate to a new culture?
  • Supervisor support: What does management support mean, and how can it be achieved remotely or globally?
  • Learning and growth: Are there opportunities for growth even globally? Are training materials available in the native language and are they relevant?
  • Relationships and team performance: Relationships must be developed outside of employees’ and management’s comfort zones, but the end result is rewarding. Pick team members who are willing to do this.
  • Make feedback into influence: Your global team members are more than just employees and will have ideas of how to make your company work in their culture. Welcome their influence and implement their feedback.
  • Recognition and rewards: These may look different in another culture, but they are still necessary and relevant.

By making the alignment of your company culture a priority and following these steps, you will increase the value of your global presence.

Managing Remote Teams

Like Buffer, many global teams are remote, and managing remote workers has additional challenges. While there are many advantages to a remote team such as global talent, saving the cost of relocation, and the addition of diversity, there are also some drawbacks. One of those is that they can be more difficult to manage.

LIke cultural alignment, there are some general guidelines for managing virtual teams that apply nearly universally.

  • Build trust: Your team must trust that you have their best interests at heart, just as you do those of your customers. You have to follow through with what you say you will do, and give them the support they need to accomplish the tasks you set for them.
  • Have clear goals, standards, and rules: A part of this building of trust is to have clear and consistent expectations and goals. Work must be done to a standard regardless of where in the world your employee is.
  • Communicate clearly and constantly: Communication is the key, and while this can be challenging in different time zones and across the world, it still can be done. As a leader, it is your responsibility to align your schedule with theirs, not for them to inconvenience themselves to accommodate you.
  • Build a team rhythm: Consistency is also key. Develop a rhythm and a schedule your team can adhere to, and that works for all of you. Develop and stick to consistent workflows to keep everyone at their most productive.

To manage a remote team, you will need a more flexible company culture, especially worldwide. Be conscious of this, and don’t micromanage no matter where in the world your employees are. Your management style must be consistent and predictable, too. Managing people is much different than managing spreadsheets and numbers, no matter how far removed from your office they are.

Remember, you are the leader, and the satisfaction of the employees and, in the end, the customer is your responsibility.

Providing Your Team with Tools

One of the key elements to working globally is to have tools that translate to everyone and are available in a variety of languages and formats for different countries. There are several tools that do this in different categories.

There are other ways to support your team as well. Tablets or laptops are the most common platforms, but you may want to provide remote teams with phones or pay their cell phone service costs for them. Both physical tools and software are important and should be a consideration. Managing their devices makes it easier to manage the team overall.

Traveling Both Ways

Face it, if you expand globally, you will be doing more travel, and you may want to bring in your remote employees from time to time, or like Buffer, have some kind of annual gathering.

While video meetings and chat are good, there is something to be said for meeting face to face. There are many ways to manage your international business travel, from rewards cards to mileage programs, and rewards programs can save you substantial money, especially when traveling abroad. Don’t be afraid to bring employees to you too, for annual reviews or other special events. Make this a positive experience for them, and use the time to connect and build a deeper relationship.

Global management and handling an international workforce comes with a number of challenges, but in the end, the diversity, the relationships you develop, and the broader presence of your company will be worth all of the work.

 


Do you want to start a career in Global Mobility? Do you want to become an even sharper and wittier consultant on top of GM Trends and well networked? 

Globalization, Digitalization, Urbanization, Outsourcing, and generational preferences are disrupting Global Mobility.

Automation, business transformation, and the gig economy challenge our approaches to global talent management, leadership development, and life planning.

What we assumed about pensions, family structures, migration, health and security in mobility policies is deconstructed by our realities.

These fundamental changes do not only have an impact on our policies and expats. They also shape our role, our profession and how we define our work.

I used to believe that someday Global Mobility Leaders will have a seat at the table. The time is now.

The Global Mobility Profession is ready for take-off. Are you ready to join our Cabin Crew?

Are you a Global Mobility Specialist or Manager? Do you feel it’s time for you to move on?

Do you feel you have all the capabilities, knowledge, skills to be successful in Mobility and international Human Resources for the next 20 years?

Do you have the necessary professional network and reputation to thrive?

  • Improve your knowledge and skills in Global Mobility and international HR.
  • Become a better listener and consultant.
  • Raise your professional standing.
  • Develop and maintain a professional network and support group in our community.
  • Become more effective in (intercultural) communication.

Are you confronted with these challenges?

  • Moving from being a transactional busy bee to being a recognized consultant,
  • Suffering from imposter syndrome, fear of failure, perfectionism and other symptoms of fear (especially common among female professionals),
  • Building effective professional relationships,
  • Balancing work and personal life and staying healthy in a 24/7 environment,
  • Negotiating across cultures and for promotions, talent programs, and other incentives,
  • Knowing when to move on and finding a new role in this niche market,
  • Deciding on a role in another country,
  • Losing a job due to outsourcing and general industry trends.
@angieweinberger

Email angela@globalpeopletransitions.com to discuss your career development in Global Mobility.

 

“It is Rocket Science!”

Inge Nitsche (referring to Global Mobility)

HireMeExpress

With our HireMeGroup we hack the job market in Switzerland through developing strong business connections.

Have you been looking for a job or a new job for more than six months?

Have you written over 100 online applications without getting a positive response – EVER?

And are you sure that there are jobs in your field but you just never get a chance to show that you could excel at them?

And are you worried that you will never be able to feed your family, that your kids will never get the education they deserve and that your partner despises you for being at home?

Then it’s time to work with us. Because these are all good reasons to join our upcoming HireMeGroup with Angie Weinberger.

You will receive guidance from our experienced Global Mobility Coach Angie Weinberger and the support of a group of like-minded professionals. Angie is the author of “The Global Career Workbook”.

Hack the Swiss Job Market!

With the HireMeGroup you’ll hack the Swiss Job Market.

You’ll feel more self-confident in your job search and understand how to network even if you are introverted. Most of our clients find a job during or shortly after the HireMe! program.

Program Dates:

Meetings will be held on three Saturday mornings from 9 AM to 12 PM in a location in 8032 Zurich. We will arrange one meeting per month on 26 January 2019, 16 February 2019, 9 March 2019.

Arrange a meeting with Angie now to discuss and agree your personal goals for the #HireMeGroup. These should be completed before the start of the Group.

Fee CHF 1’200 + VAT per participant, payable before the start of the program.

Group size: Maximum 6 participants.

Prerequisites:

  • Valid residence permit (L, B or F) for Switzerland. If you have an L-permit you can also join us. We are open to recognized refugees.
  • The group will be run in English but in case you’d prefer to join a German group, please let us know.
  • We will not accept more than six people per group to ensure that everyone has enough air time.
  • Participants have to come to a new location in 8032 Zurich. If you live too far away ask Angie for 1:1 online coaching options.

Still deciding?

Not sure if a group coaching program is right for you? Here are some of the reasons why you might select a group, over an individual, coaching program

  • Wider accountability not just to the coach but also to others in the group
  • Gain immediate access to a trusted circle of like-minded professionals
  • Expand your network faster – in a group, you will not only exchange experiences but also networks
  • Receive feedback from the coach but also from others in the group
  • Get access to our expertise at a lower cost

Not ready yet but you might want to join a group in the future?

Sign up for the Global People Club Sandwich.

Here is an outline of the content we usually cover in the HireMe! Groups. However, it’s not a training so content and discussion topics will always be customized according to the needs of the group on the day of the event.

Outline

Build your professional network in Switzerland or elsewhere

Refine your personal brand

Improve your professional presence online

Style your job applications to Swiss recruitment practices

Write effective Letters of Motivation

Learn the art of storytelling in interviews

Improve your stories

Deepen your understanding of your personal values

Improve your Executive Presence in Interviews

Set weekly targets at a healthy realistic pace

The Global Career Workbook

The Global Career Workbook will be used as a guide through the program.

Facilitator / Coach: Angie Weinberger

Danny

Guest Blog by Danny

Every day, there are people seeking opportunities to work abroad thanks to the internet that has increased information exchange, making it a lot easier for people to find jobs to apply for. While it goes well for most of them, some people still struggle with fitting in and properly adjusting to a new work environment.

Other than a chance to grow financially, anyone considering to work overseas must have other goals of advancing in different areas. But before you make that move, what are the top things you need to consider:

Anticipate culture shock

Most people do thorough research about a new environment before they move, but unlike moving from a city to another, changing nations, and perhaps continents, is not easy. Culture shock is the emotional, mental and physical disorientation someone experiences due to the sudden exposure to a totally new environment. Unfortunately, there is no test, even the Basic Skills Test that tests your cognitive ability for maximum productivity in the workplace, that can adequately prepare you for this kind of situation.

At first, the difference you realize while in the new environment may only be in the eating and dressing habits, but with time, concepts like time zones, economic structures, language barrier, organizational cultures, bureaucratic systems, among others, will catch you by surprise. Driving might even be difficult for you, with different rules to apply. You will probably experience what is called “culture shock”. Culture shock is the emotional, mental and physical disorientation someone experiences due to sudden exposure to a totally new environment. It includes changes in lifestyle habits, attitudes, food changes, language barrier, among others. It often refers to an emotional state similar to a depression where you do not want to meet the local population any longer and where you wish to retreat to your home.

Therefore, it always helps to anticipate a certain level of disorientation for the move to overseas.

Understand the work permit terms

A lot of people end up frustrated in a foreign place after termination of employment, having to find illegal ways of sticking around, simply due to failure to understand the terms of the visa.

Now, depending on which type of work permit you have, the terms are different. Some dictate that you return to your home country after being fired or losing a job, while some give you a chance to work for a limited number of years, upon which you must return to your nation. In most cases, the employer takes care of acquiring a work permit for their international hires, but that does not take off the duty you have of going through the paperwork to understand the conditions. Further, different countries stipulate different guidelines under which someone would receive a work permit, depending on the amount of work you do.

Getting credit can be very difficult

Do not just assume that once you move abroad things will be well for you, particularly financially. Once you are in a foreign country, it can be tough to get things done on credit and loans. Instead, consider getting a credit card with an international bank before you leave your nation, which is a lot easier to transfer the card over having to rally for people to vouch for you before you can acquire a credit card.

Banking can also get complicated

Working overseas might be the clean slate you needed to get your life on the right track both financially and careerwise, but when it comes to banking, you may need to come prepared, because anything could happen. The first step you must ensure you follow before the big move is to have reserve money in the bank, preferably in an international bank. While you may find it cheaper to travel on local currency with a weekly paycheck to keep your wallet busy, you will need some backup plan should anything go wrong, for example, a stall in your payment.

Have an international health cover

Among the worst things that could happen to you in a foreign land is to fall sick, when you do not have the comfort of family or a little understanding of the medical systems. Make it a priority to get an international medical cover that will take some of the pressure and worry away.

Change is not easy, leave alone a big change like this. While it is okay to get excited about your new job, take time to deliberate through some of the things enlisted here to help you transition effortlessly.

The Global Career Workbook

If you want to move abroad for work and do not know where to start check out Angie Weinberger’s “Global Career Workbook” here.

About the Blogger: Danny Kariuki

https://www.linkedin.com/in/danny-kariuki-31733374/

Danny Kariuki is a top-rated freelance writer on Upwork. He helps clients reach greater heights through top-notch content development strategies.