Category Archives: Global Mobility
Expat Spouse

Going on an international assignment is often a relationship challenge. Even if you have already been married for a long time moving abroad can bring out the best and worst in the relationship with your spouse and/or life partner.

Gone are the days of the “expat wife” sitting in the expat country club, playing tennis or painting her fingernails at the pool while an armada of the staff was taking care of the driving, children, household, and cooking. Today, life partners and spouses are of all backgrounds and all colors.

My observation is that more and more male spouses are joining female expats. We also see more same-sex couples going on assignments together. Some couples plan to have a family while on assignment, others have children living in a boarding school in different countries. My advice here is mainly for dual-career couples. If you have children, you might face other challenges but usually, there is more support around finding schooling by companies than helping with spouse adjustment.

Here are five principles you can use to help your spouse adjust to the host country faster.

1) Make sure you understand all legal obligations when applying for a residence and work permit.

Make sure you have understood the legal obligations in case you are not legally married. Is your life partner allowed to reside in the country? How hard or easy is it to receive a work permit? Did you consider adequate health, accident and life insurance coverage? Work permit legislation can be tricky even for married couples. Make sure you understand the implications of your work permit type for your spouse/life partner.

2) Help your spouse with the job search by building your network in the host country fast.

Try to find out how to build up a network in the host location fast. Speak to agencies and headhunters about job opportunities. Understand the role of agencies/headhunters in the process before you contact them. Build on- and offline networks to find a job. Help others too so that you will be considered when it is your spouse’s turn to look for a job.

3) Get intercultural training to understand the cultural differences.

Understand the cultural differences in how to write an application and how a resume typically looks for the host country. What are the usual ways of getting a job? How important are personal introductions? Who should sponsor your spouse? Getting a social life and making friends together will help in the transition into the new culture. Try to make time for events so that your spouse feels that you are on this adventure together.

4) Utilize support offered by your company.

Utilize the resources of the company you work for. Request for help. Some companies offer spouse career coaching or job coaching. f you have a chance get coaching for your spouse. The transition into a new country is stressful. Sitting at home without a real task can trigger depressions or a feeling of loneliness.

5) Discuss a fallback option with your spouse.

In case your spouse cannot find a job in the host location, come up with a fallback option and value work even if it does not generate family income. Examples include volunteer work, social engagement, university degree, freelance work or building up a company. Sometimes I have observed that expatriates are so busy with starting a new job and a new life that they forget to listen and support their partners. This might be more important than anything else. I have seen couples who agree that they take turns in advancing their career. After this assignment your spouse should be able to pick the next role or location first.

I find it critical for a couple to live together (or close to each other) during an international assignment. Commuting creates separation and your life will diverge. Also consider that even though your career step might be important it does not mean your life. So once in a while, you might be better off turning down an international assignment to save the relationship.

If you would like to discuss your or spouse’s situation with me, kindly email angela@globalpeopletransitions.com for an appointment.

It had never occurred to me that a ballpoint pen is actually refillable. I did not even think that it was using ink. To be honest, I was never a big fan of the biro, ball pen, or dot pen. How could you even have so many words to describe the same instrument? In high school, the taste and smell made me nauseous. 

In an attempt to motivate me to “get back to school,” I cleaned up all my desk drawers and found two hand-softening silver ink dispensers rolling over a ball. With these two, my handwriting looks as beautiful as that of Daisy, the kitten. Have you ever seen kittens handwrite? Me neither, but she came to mind, and it’s a beautiful thought. She sports a pink bow tie with white polka dots, greyish fur, and blue eyes like Terence Hill (If you don’t know this actor you are too young for my programs). 

Daisy is going back to school next Monday, and she will be organized and have refilled her pens. Let me tell you how I spent the summer as it might seem to you that I am always on and productive. I really needed a long break this summer, and I wanted to spend time with my family in Germany. At the same time, I had signed up for three courses during the summer. 

Do you know how your mind often just needs new input? This is me after being “productive” for months. I need new input.

That kind of learning only works for me with a structure, so I worked on a particular “summer schedule” for three weeks, where I worked productively for six hours maximum. The rest of the day I enjoyed meals with my mum, went for a walk, sat at lake Constance, licked on dark chocolate, mango, and greek yogurt ice cream (because that’s what you do in Southern Germany), tested the rosé wine selection from the local supermarket and held my grandmother’s hand while she was trying to get back on her feet after an unexpected fall. 

Why am I telling you this?

In “back to school mode,” you might be looking forward to more routine, having the kids out of the house for a few hours and a place to go to that you call “workplace.” I wish I could tell you that you will get back to your routine in no time and that the 761 emails all contain information only but need no action really because honestly, nobody was at work. 

Everyone was sipping rosé in France or eating tomatoes in Mallorca. Because this is what you do when you are a grown-up. You eat tomatoes, dip the mozzarella in olive oil and crema di balsamico, add two leaves of container-grown basil, and for a good time, you eat an extra slide of the garlicky mayonnaise-dripping sauce that you would never touch at home.

This little holiday adventure is over. Stop slacking. It’s back-to-school season. As we don’t know yet how this fall will pan out, I wanted to give you a list of ideas of how you can start your back to school routine:

1 – Hand Write Your Brand

In case you are still looking for a job, and you have missed signing up for our HireMeExpress program, here’s one idea: Why don’t you let me handwrite your biography for you? Most people have a rather generic way of writing about themselves. Most resumes are boring and hard to understand. Let’s work together on developing your personal brand, your purpose, your one-sentence mission statement, and your creative valve.

2 – Design Your Workspace

Put on your favorite playlist and clean your home and your workspace if you work from home. Make your workspace so attractive and full of creative passion that you wish to return to it magically all the time. Clean out your wardrobe and anything that reminds you of “old me.” 

3 – Create Your Magic

If you wish to live a life full of purpose, you want to figure out what matters to you, understand who you need to serve and how to do it, and then create your magic. It’s not that hard once you get started. Follow your intuition despite the fear you might feel. Focus on what matters to you and what is important to get to your goal and acknowledge that you have what it takes within you to be you.

The hard part comes later when you are creating your art, your work, your creative brief, or your ZEN garden in the backyard, and you start doubting yourself… But first, you have to get there! Dear First Name, we can help you find your own path during the RockMeRetreat 2021.  I would personally like to invite you to our RockMeRetreat 2021. The RockMeRetreat is a seven-day leadership retreat held from 18 to 25 November 2021 at Kloster Ilanz, Switzerland. 

Sign up here for our mailing list to show your interest. Tube mail this love letter to anyone in your company or your circle of friends. And if you are not sure if this is for you I’m sure you’ve heard of this modern communication device called a mobile phone. Type +41791922877 or respond to this message to arrange a call with me. We will be happy to take your reservations until 30 September 2021. 

Further Input:

 

https://globalpeopletransitions.com/do-you-want-to-live-a-life-full-of-purpose/

 

https://globalpeopletransitions.com/how-to-get-rid-of-clutter-in-five-steps-spring-cleaning-for-more-productivity/

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rmM0kRf8Dbk

The Pandemic ain't over yet. As I had gone through COVID-19 when it wasn't a thing yet, I wanted to share again these simple tips for you. Some of them are useful in any kind of stressful situation as well.

1- Drink a lot of Water

Supporting immune health through good nutrition, proper rest and hydration is important for fighting off infections. Dehydration can thicken your blood, which can be a cause for heart disease as well. Thus, it’s important to have plenty of water so our liver and kidneys can remove waste through body fluids.

I drink at least three liters of water and tea. The type of teas that you can incorporate in your routine to strengthen your immune system are:Linden Blossom Tea and Ginger Tea.

2- Boost Your Immunity

Our immune system is a complex model of cells and systems, each with their own role in combating illnesses. The overall condition of your immunity determines how vulnerable you are to catch an infection or fight it off. Our physical, mental and emotional state contributes towards a healthy immune system.

We can manage our stress as well as include supplements to boost our immunity, especially when we aren’t being able to eat a well balanced diet.

These are all homeopathic options and helps your immune system:

3 – Exercise Regularly

Regular exercise of moderate intensity can be beneficial for lungs, immune system and mood. Exercise boosts the production of an antioxidant known as “extracellular superoxide dismutase,” or EcSOD, which in turn, protects against acute lung disease and other diseases.

Here are a few suggestions which I personally recommend:

  • Simple yoga breathing exercise in which you cover one nostril and exhale quickly
  • Feldenkrais breathing session done While Lying Down. “Breathing In All Directions” [deeply relaxing].
  • Progressive Muscle Relaxation, according to Jacobson. It  is a method that helps relieve that tension. In progressive muscle relaxation, you tense a group of muscles as you breathe in, and you relax them as you breathe out. You work on your muscle groups in a certain order. When your body is physically relaxed, you cannot feel anxious.
  • Movement meditation (when dizziness stops in SloMo) showing a basic introduction to active meditation.

4- Calm Your Mind

When dealing with health issues, family tragedies, international job transitions, change in our organizations you can and should focus on your own well-being first. We still have to stay careful and practice social distancing, but that doesn’t mean we can’t enjoy little moments in life.

Any kind of creative work or mindful action can help you be in the present and be calm and secure. Watch birds, water your plants, listen to classical music or watch animal films. I also painted to reduce the feeling of isolation and increase self awareness.

5- Will to Fight Coronavirus

Don’t let this disease consume you. You can fight it. Watch this video by @chriscuomo. Once I saw it, I decided to be more active even in the hospital. Remember, it’s okay to let fresh air in. Both sunshine and fresh air are essential. You can take it at your window or balcony. Try to let fresh air in at least three times a day. If you can walk outside for 25 minutes, it’s even better.

6- Turn off those notifications

It is easy to get depressed when watching bad news coming in from various parts of the world. When you watch TV, it seems like there’s an endless world crisis and the images you see, work on your subconscious as well.

Give yourself a break from all media! It was easy for me to turn off my notifications and apps, especially when I was in hospital. I was happy to pass my time watching comedy. I loved “The Big Bang Theory”. When I recovered I decided to have a 24 hour – offline time on the weekend where I try to go through life in an analogue way.

7- Constant Video/Voice Calls

Due to corona virus, it’s not easy to be able to do a lot of calls in a day. The virus can particularly strain your voice so make sure that you are only talking with your closed loved ones. Avoid those who are deniers as explaining them will add unnecessary stress, which you should rather avoid. I also found video calls to be exhausting, especially when someone was talking in the background or the person wobbled with the mobile in hand. Tell your friends and family what you need from them in this phase.

8- A Good Night’s Sleep is Vital

Anxiety related to loss of control or uncertainty can mess up with your sleep routine. I would highly recommend you to sleep whenever you feel tired as sleep can help boost your immune system. On the other hand, sleep deprivation weakens the body and makes people more vulnerable to contracting a virus. Create a sleep schedule and put your upper body a little higher. Buy cozy and fresh bed linen and wear comfortable clothing. Aim to limit screen time at night.

9- Write A Diary

Try to structure your daytime schedule by writing a diary. You can keep a check on your mood as well as track daily activities. I would often ask myself the following things:

  • How am I feeling today?
  • What am I thankful for today?
  • Which three topics or tasks do I want to tackle today?
  • What do I wish for?

Join the RockMeRetreat

Are you suffering from digital fatigue or are you currently in a transition and feel a strong need to “clear your head”, “make a plan”, take a time out?

Then the RockMeRetreat 2021 might be for you. Receive all our updates on the RockMeRetreat 2021 by signing up here.

Follow and connect with me (please use code: COVID19AINTOVERYET).

Further Resources

My Pandemic Series

The Rise of Weinberger – Building up Strength during the Pandemic – Part 4

https://globalpeopletransitions.com/the-passion-games-playing-yourself-through-the-pandemic-part-3/

https://globalpeopletransitions.com/sleepless-in-switzerland-getting-through-the-pandemic-part-2/

https://globalpeopletransitions.com/angie-alone-at-home-managing-yourself-through-the-pandemic-part-1/

In this interview we cover:

  • Repatriating Your Role – You own your career and your brand
  • Expect Re-Entry Shock – It’s not all milk and chocolate
  • Plan the Logistics – The devil’s in the detail, consult the Pro’s
  • Optimize Taxes – Talk to Your Tax Expert when to go

Badi Tiefenbrunnen

Temperatures are at summer highs, soccer champions are keeping us glued to our T.V.s, and before you know it, we will have reached the Swiss Recruiting Summer Slump. 

From Mid July to Mid August, Switzerland seems to fall asleep. This year might be different; we cannot tell yet, how recruiting will evolve over the summer. However, I am still expecting to start the “summer schedule” very soon.

Decision-makers aren’t around to take interviews and your chances of finding a job over the summer holidays usually are lower than in the more active times. If you haven’t signed a contract by now, I bet you won’t sign one within the next four weeks. Yes, I will invite you to a Cheeseburger if you prove me wrong.

With the start of international and Swiss school holidays, you notice fewer people in the trains and motivation to work is generally a bit lower than usual. This is the time to take overtime compensation, go home at decent hours, and get out of the country for a while. It’s also time to jump into a lake near you every evening after work.

That being said, even if there is a recruiting dip during summer, that doesn’t mean that there are no interesting opportunities. In fact, contract-to-hire positions are abundant during that season, and many job-seekers decided to take the summer off, which is a considerable advantage if you keep job hunting. Moreover, the Swiss Federal Statistical Office published a press release on 27 May 2021 concluding that despite the first quarter of 2021 being the fourth quarter in a row to see employment fall, it revealed some signs of improvement (4000 more vacancies than in the 1st quarter of 2020 and an employment outlook indicator showing an upward trend of +2,6%).

We observed a rise in job postings over the last three weeks and because of the pandemic, I am expecting a slight delay in the “Sommerloch” (Summer Dip) this year. As you know we share job postings with a low number of applicants in our Facebook Groups. As a client, you can join this group: The Global People Club. In case you are a reader but not a client yet please join here and refer to this post: 

That is good news, but on top of that, many predict a new phenomenon, coined the “Great Resignation” by Anthony Klotz, that might help you find a new job in the next few months: due to the major shifts in the labor market landscape since the start of the pandemic, an important proportion of workers will want to change jobs. That will, in turn, create thousands of job openings. Now is the time to jump at the opportunity: Work on your brand, nurture your network and in between, take the time to take care of yourself!

If you are looking for a job right now, you probably feel that you are late to the game. The most common reaction I see from clients is to stop all efforts over the summer. This would be counter-productive. You could still use this time for your job search by following these six important steps for finding a job in Switzerland (and maybe elsewhere too.) We also want to encourage you to plan your time so you can still spend more time outside. Starting this week, we recommend you work on a special “Summer Schedule” from 7 AM to 1 PM, and then you can spend the rest of the day in the “Badi” of your choice, reading, listening to podcasts, and enjoying life.

Aperol Sprizz in the Sun

1) Start your Summer Schedule with a Beauty Ritual

Before you get your headshot taken, plan time to pamper yourself during the summer. Georgina Axis runs an English-speaking day spa in Zurich. The Pure Beauty Spa team is highly professional, and the products are all amazing. It’s the perfect way to start your “summer schedule*.” You will get 20% off your first facial when you mention “Angie Weinberger” in your booking.

2) Have Your Headshot Taken

You might also want to revisit why a personal brand is essential and how it links to your seven work principles. If you are looking for a photographer, we recommend Carmen Sirboiu, owner of Carmen.Photo. All our members and clients are eligible for a unique discount for a Premium LinkedIn and Personal Branding photo session with Carmen. If you use the code ‘’Global People,’’ you will get the session (value 190 CHF) at the Special Price of 99 CHF. 

3) Build More Professional Relationships Outside of the House

Summer is an excellent time to build new relationships and catch up with your current contacts. Most busy people might feel less pressure than usual. Encourage them to enjoy the nice weather and spend time outside. Why don’t you take them for ice cream in the sunshine after work? Why don’t you request an early morning walk by the lake combined with a cold coffee? Or you could offer to take over their recycling runs as you have enough time on your hands at the moment for half an hour of them sharing career tips with you. A personalized request is key here.

4) Develop a Weekly Practice for Meeting Your Contacts

Set yourself a weekly practice for meeting at least one contact. Ask them if they can introduce you to three more professional contacts in your field. If you are hesitant, you probably have not written down your networking purpose yet. Write down your networking purpose, send it to me, and add a weekly practice to your RockMeApp.

5) Enjoy the Holiday With Your Family

Summer is also the best time to be away from Switzerland if you are looking for a job. You will probably not miss much, and in emergencies, companies could also interview you by video call in your holiday home. I would advise that you charge your batteries and get out of the city for a minimum of two weeks. Your children and partner/spouse will probably love it that you have time for them.

Travel Later6) Practice German and Prepare for an Exam

You have now been in Switzerland long enough to have at least started with German lessons. Ensure that you have one exam in your pocket and the certificate in your application file. While the summer is a great time to enjoy your time off, it also has rainy days. Join Heike Reinhart for a trial class and work on your German.

Join the next HireMeExpress Program

Commit yourself to a schedule by working with us. The next HireMeExpress group program after the summer break is open for sale from 13 July 2021 and will close on 22 July 2021. The program will start with the first group session on 27 August 2021 and we will release Module 1 on 20 August 2021. Wishing you a lovely summer time and see you back at the end of August.

Kind regards

Angie & Team

PS: Individual coaching sessions can be booked all through July. Just make sure you reserve them as soon as possible and ideally in the mornings. 

 

References:

Coffey, Patty. In Forbes, 28 May 2021, „7 Reasons To Keep Up Your Job Search This Summer.” Retrieved 25 May 2021, from

https://www.forbes.com/sites/nextavenue/2015/05/28/7-reasons-to-keep-up-your-job-search-this-summer/?sh=f5a426b1b176

Federal Office of Statistics, 27 May 2021, „Employment barometer in the 1st quarter 2021, Employment in Switzerland fell in 1st quarter 2021 for the fourth consecutive time – but outlook is positive.” Retrieved 25 June 2021, from 

https://www.bfs.admin.ch/bfs/en/home/statistics/industry-services/businesses-employment.assetdetail.17344107.html

Kelly, Jack, in Forbes, 26 May 2021, „How to Attract the Attention of Recruiters as We Head Into the ‘Great Resignation’ and People Look to Switch Jobs.” Retrieved 25 June 2021, from

https://www.forbes.com/sites/jackkelly/2021/05/26/how-to-attract-the-attention-of-recruiters-as-we-head-into-the-great-resignation-and-people-look-to-switch-jobs/?sh=3779c45e389a