Category Archives: Global Mobility

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



by Valeria Crescenzi

Hi there! I am Valeria and let me start by thanking Angela for this opportunity to share my personal experience about relocating to Switzerland. I hope that my story has the chance to help people who might be thinking about jumping to a foreign country.

I’m not far from my native place but my life in Zürich is completely different from the one in Rome. To be honest until the end of 2013 Switzerland wasn’t in my plans. I moved to Zürich in January 2014.

A new experience

To me living abroad is a brand new experience: born and raised in Rome, I was pretty sure that my life would have been there all along. I’ve never lived in other countries enjoying such an international environment as the one in Zürich. I am 31 years old and moving here meant, first of all, coming back to school. In a broad sense: I am really going to school everyday to rapidly learn German but, more importantly, I am learning a new way to deal with life. All the expected things in Italy, here are not to be taken for granted. Even going to the grocery shop is different.

I had to start again from scratch, building up, day after day, my new Swiss life. How did I change so far? I am more curious, more aware of what happens around me and I am using Wikipedia and language dictionaries as never before! Joking aside, even thought my coffee is still Italian, my phone is fluent in Italian, English and German, my computer is Swiss and my new friends come from all over the world. I am also understanding the real meaning of the word “flexibility”, the ability to being responsive to change.


An idea to become self-employed

Regarding my professional transformation, my mind was already set on the idea to be self-employed. So that, I began to collect information even before moving. This made me aware of the characteristics of the Swiss job market reinforcing my desire to go solo. My first 7 months helped grasp the reality behind what I had researched in advance and to explore the community, through participation in many networking events.

I also re-analyzed my previous professional experiences countless times. Reality check: done. In June I started to be a “singlepreneur”. My baby is Crescenzi Communication, a communication “solo-agency” fluent in Italian and English (we are gearing up for German). Starting your own business in a foreign country is not trivial. More than formal bureaucracy – which is very lightweight here – the major challenge is facing the specific cultural gap. You never know what you are giving for granted about what is allowed and what isn’t.
In the start-up phase of Crescenzi Communication I am also learning to push myself forward not caring about blushing (forget old shy Valeria) and to rely on other people.

Again…it’s all about learning. To close let me say that success is not granted but, as a Williams quote says, I’m not telling you it’s going to be easy, I’m telling you it’s going to be worth it“.


Contact me

Valeria Crescenzi
Crescenzi Communication
Phone: 0041 76 688 53 06
Twitter: @CrescenziComm

For this year we planned to experiment. Sounds funny right?

So one of these experiments is that we invited bloggers to tell us about how their transition to Switzerland has changed their outer and inner life. The results are showing women with different voices and different stories. All of them have shown a lot of courage. We admire them for what they have mastered. We love their voices and we love how they admit their anxieties and shortcomings.

Going abroad is an adventure. It changes us deeply. Some of us can never stop and settle again. Others just want to do that. Let’s see what our bloggers want to share from Tuesday onwards. Every Tuesday a new post will appear. Your comments are appreciated and please share as much as possible.


Thank you



We are all focussed on our immediate need these days (“I need to get this done NOW.”)​. When you run a startup this thinking changes a lot as suddenly you just need to do one thing: Make others happy! In that sense I sometimes browse through posts and share a lot of knowledge and insights via Social Media.

I have just browsed through this article and had to laugh about one sentence. I thought it was worth sharing with you and hope you like the post.

“From an organisational design point of view, GM is a subset of HR. But when HR went through a redesign, GM was left out, because it was regarded as being a bit strange and too difficult to do. It often has its own software, its own reward and HR policies, and so on. Consequently, mobility was left in the ‘too difficult to solve’ box, and we see that with our client base.”Andrew Robb, L​eader of Deloitte’s Global Mobility Transformation Team​

We have a lot to catch up on and a lot of work to especially around the interface of talent management, succession planning and Global Mobility.

Confession #3: I hate multinational companies who try to make a deal at the expense of smaller vendors but I am drawn into the cycle of cost cutting through my clients as well.

Recently I held a talk about starting a business in Switzerland. It was a one-hour talk and I was not paid for it. This is a network sponsored by companies. I support their cause. I said yes. We discussed at length that my session would not be about technicalities or process because

1) This depends largely on the type of business you want to set up.

2) Most of this information is freely available online when you know how to use Google.

3) Many of the listeners were not yet sure whether to start a business or seek employment.

So we had agreed that I hold more of a motivational speech, sharing my story of entrepreneurship and my lessons learnt. I mentioned in my presentation that it is important to seek legal advice specific to the personal situation. Still, I got the impression that people were not fully satisfied with the information. What they need is a real business coaching. Only very little companies in Switzerland provide this helpful support for their expats and spouses though. One of my clients does. The expat spouses are very thankful. They are brand ambassadors.

Lesson #1: Support your expat spouses with high quality coaching!


In other instances I often get asked for free advice. Sometimes I am happy to “pay it forward” and I have helped many people in a 15 minute chat on Facebook but there is a point where I stop to give free advice. I also noticed that no one ever asked me for my time without paying when I was in a corporate role.

Since I started a business people sometimes behave as if I was unemployed. They think that I am available at random hours during the day (for a coffee at the airport). Many people think that it is fine to ask for my consulting, an article or a talk (without even mentioning payment). I understand that the internet has made free education and training possible but entrepreneurs need to earn an income too and once again I have to say: “Quality has a price!”. In my earlier blog post on “10 Professional Networking Principles” I have given you ideas how you can ensure that you deal sensibly with other people’s time.

If you are also an entrepreneur follow my advice: Only make time for contacts you feel have been appreciative and supportive in the past. Avoid the energy snatchers.

Lesson #2: Quality has a price! 


One client cut costs by avoiding all sorts of services (home search, settling-in).  The poor expat has to organize most of the relocation himself. We bend over backwards to find “cheap” workarounds. What happens is that everyone involved in the transfer has a lot more work, more coordination and conversation is needed.

In other areas cost cutting leads to overworked, stressed and long-term disabled staff through under-resourced teams. Considering that many of our clients still pay massive salaries and bonuses to their senior management I really wonder if the new processes, outsourced arrangements and work-arounds really benefit the bottom line.

We need to look into a lot of corporate processes with a fresh eye and from the perspective of our clients, cut out all the admin crap and just focus on delivering an outstanding service.

Lesson #3: Cutting costs at the wrong ends will increase complexity and stress!


What’s your take on this?

Please share this post with your cost-cutting corporate friends.