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Guest Post by Balakirthika Jayakumar

Switzerland is considered a paradise on earth. Every human aspires to set his/her foot on the land of Switzerland. Why is it that one aspires to visit this place? It is the bounty of nature in this country that attracts people. Also, the high standard and quality of living.

The people of India are fortunate enough to have a glimpse of Switzerland through movies. It is a clichĂ© to have a song shot in this country to add richness to the movie. Either personally or virtually people have ideas about this country that is exuding “excellence” on all levels (including but not limited to chocolate and cookoo clocks).

These days, thanks to social media, we find resources on the net. Your search for any insignificant or significant details and you get them on the Internet. Thanks to the encouragement given by YouTube monetarily and/or intangible recognition that motivates one to share their knowledge and resources. It is up to the person looking out for the information to decide what he/she wants to look at.

I am a fortunate few who did not just read and virtually visit Switzerland but have been blessed to stay in Switzerland that too with a work permit. My husband works for a Switzerland-based company and after years of service in due recognition of his contribution to his company, he was asked to relocate to Switzerland and execute the responsibility globally from the headquarters. My husband is a self-made man with high aspirations felt blessed by the opportunity and with the most difficult dream becoming reality came a series of expectations to make this blessed life more blessed. 

The first thing was to give wonderful education to children. To our surprise, the education consultants in India never suggested Switzerland. They supported Germany, but not Switzerland. With determination, my husband put us all on our toes, and the whole family was geared up to find a way. The process looked tedious as we did apply to colleges, but got rejections from many. We did not know the reason though it was clearly stated. The simple reason was the requirement of Work Experience for entering college.  In India, we would work only after the completion of the first degree. This difference was not obvious to us in the beginning. Now anybody asks us, we would guide them.

One of the challenges to studying here as per our understanding was the high cost of living. The expense of education was affordable as the government supported the funding for all students. It was the living cost that one had to plan and be equipped with to pursue the education.

Another challenge was that for the VISA, the country gets approval from the student that he/she will not demand employment in the country upon completion of studies. A country that readily extended its helping hand to accommodate the student to empower through education unbiased does not assure employment. Unlike the USA, Canada, and the UK, which charge their students a huge amount, but paves way for their employment, here was a country that did not assure the same. Unless the student has the thirst to acquire knowledge and the willpower to sustain the knowledge, he/she would choose the easier destination of the USA and like countries.

If the family relocates to Switzerland these challenges are nullified for the family bears the expenses of stay which is anyhow a necessity. Such was the case for us. The first add-on dream of educating our children abroad got fulfilled. The education system is highly commendable with passionate, unbiased teachers willing to impart knowledge genuinely. 

Here the challenge was the pattern of examination. The examination was based on the understanding of the concepts learned. It was never reproducing the concepts. This was a part of the assessment in the education system studied by our children. Now when the whole assessment module revolved around assessing the understanding, it did look challenging in the beginning, but later children knew that the effort required was more and in a new direction and they accommodated themselves for the new system and started learning and implementing the same.

Life in Switzerland is fantastic if you have all the needed money. One had the potential to earn and equally had to shell money for a living. One cannot just casually lead a life. Things have to be planned. Certain commitments like insurance, tax, travel and accommodation are inevitable. A major portion of the earnings is spent on these inevitable. Like any expat, who relocates to Switzerland, we too have landed upon dreams to earn, spend and save for the future. This is an opportunity to create savings. With one person’s earnings, it is not possible to save as per the expectation.

The standard of living raises, the quality of life exceeds the expectation, and self-development increases. One tends to be more systematic and accountable. The trust one has in others is another marvel. The fitness quotient is another dimension that calls for appreciation and motivates one to be so. The dignity of labor is the culture of Switzerland that every country needs to acquire.  The discipline inculcated into one from childhood requires a standing ovation. The concern for the environment, the patriotism ingrained in each, and the support they extend for local produce is something amazing.

Having seen all these wonderful aspects of this country as an expat wife with years of experience in my home country, I aspired to render my services to this holistic country. I landed in this country with high hopes of fitting into the job market and doing wonders in this already magical country. With almost score years of experience, I was very confident that I will be quickly absorbed into a renowned company and that there will be great learning as well as a contribution from my side. I took a month’s time to settle and with great enthusiasm started applying for the jobs that were suggested by well-known job portals. There was a rejection the first time, then the second, and then the third. And when the 10th consecutive rejection came, I was shattered. 

Every rejection came with a sweet note saying that your experiences are highly appreciable but sorry to share that they do not fit our company requirements. My confidence was reduced and I was literally groping as to what to do next. I had no clue where I went wrong. All these years of experience I had created a mark for myself in my job domain and where did I go wrong? I was not even short-listed. How do I prove myself when not called for personal interaction?

This was when Ms. Sonia Meier, Managing Director / Immigration & Relocation Specialist, BECOMELOCAL GmbH who helped in getting settled in the country shared the details of a series of 3 free workshops to be conducted by Ms. Angie Weinberger, Female Founder, and Managing Director at Global People Transitions Ltd. This was what I was looking for. A helping hand to assist me. It came as a boon. I was a bit apprehensive. With an open mind, I attended the workshop. That was mind-blowing. It was organized so systematically with no strings attached that with no second thought, I enrolled myself in HireMeExpress.  This program was for 12 weeks interspersed with one-on-one sessions with Ms. Weinberger. There were many other people like me who were looking for scaffolding. I deem that we were a blessed lot to be part of the group.

I could understand the system that worked in Switzerland. I knew what I had to work on. Never did Ms. Weinberger judge me. She was and is always there to guide me. She seems to understand what goes on inside of me. She understands my state of mind. I have understood how to proceed and what is that I am looking for. With great confidence and determination, my search is on. I am getting a few leads. It is not easy for a locale here also to switch jobs or get into a new job. The same applies to me. But I have got a path now with the destination. Soon I will be there.

I feel instead of being on a mission not knowing how to proceed when we know that there is someone to lend their helping hands, bringing in the human touch to global mobility not merely by words, but from heart, one has to utilize the service and follow the process religiously to embark on the best for you.

I am getting to know the culture of Switzerland. I value their space. I value their beliefs a lot more now. With conviction, I am all set to become the Digital Learning Specialist who would create a mark for herself in the industry as a trainer touching the lives of many. I started working as a Freelance Editor, pulled together several anthologies, and organized a club of writers and my days are busier than ever. While I still look for a full-time job, I cannot stress enough the importance of freelancing to expand my skills and enhance my personal brand and portfolio. I am on my path and look forward to meeting you anywhere in Winterthur, Zurich or Delhi.

If you want to contact me please reach out via LinkedIn or contact me through angela@globalpeopletransitions.com. 

Hotel Des Finances

Paul Jarvis is one of my favorite creators. I read his “Sunday Dispatches”. I loved his online course Chimpessentials, which taught me almost everything you are seeing on the Global People Club Sandwich and which also encouraged me to continue writing to you on a weekly basis by email in the age of social media.

I ordered several of his art books already. The latest book “Company of One” was a special delight. Okay, I might be crushing a bit on Paul J. He has an amazing voice too.  However, you really should read the book and follow him. Paul is one of the creators who runs a business from an island in Canada and is very successful with it.

I finally got confirmation that all I had done over the last 10 years as an entrepreneur was not completely wrong. No, instead of founding a “scalable startup” I had  a “company of one”. And I believe that scaling is possible in my business. However, if I want to continue to stay aligned with my mission of bringing the human touch back into Global Mobility, I cannot scale, automate and robotize everything.

“Au contraire…” (you need to say this with a glass of Rosé in your hand), I really believe that Paul Jarvis hit the nail right in. There are companies who can and should stay small because otherwise they might lose their special “umpf”. And you know what I noticed? This is not a question of what kind of business you have right now. It’s more about where you are heading. If you are dreaming about leading a digital nomad life where you can live in the Italian countryside near a vineyard, spend the summer on Long Island, the winter in Kashmir, and a lot more time in between with your elderly family members, then my friend you need to start to take action now.

When I decided to go fully digital in 2018 I knew that I would need to take turns and that this will not happen from one day to another. What I hadn’t anticipated was that I actually am quite old-school and that I prefer human interaction over online interaction. 

I also noticed that the more I work online, the more I feel a need to write stuff on post-it notes and use paper to organize myself. For example, I used a Kindle a few years ago. This year during my vacation, I had it with me, but I preferred to read paper books. I journal in a diary and I only use my laptops for calls and managing my business. I’m taking handwritten notes on an Ipad, as this way I seem to better work with the right side of my brain.

However, the main idea to have a digital business that I could run from anywhere has been magnified by the corona crisis. Still, the main reason that keeps me in one city right now is my personal and professional network and that a basic income needs to be made every month. 

I think Paul is right. Obviously, it depends on your business model and if you are a creator, an artist, or a programmer.  I love the creative part of my business, but over the last few years I also always had to have enough “billable” time to make a living in one of the most expensive cities in the world. 

My friends in corporate are all wealthier now than I am and I have doubted myself a lot. I’m still not sure how I will manage to survive during my retirement. You might think now that I’m exaggerating and maybe you think that it can’t be that difficult with all my contacts and all the income streams that I have created. You might be right. 

However, I live in a very security-oriented environment and I also come from a family which was poor after the second world war so I have to practice to shake off this insecurity-poverty-story.

For me, the best way to get out of that spiral is through continuous education and ongoing learning. I notice that I am growing when I am implementing new technology or improving programs or just seeing faster progress with my clients because I could show them a hack. I buy into organic growth because it allows me to maintain my quality standards. In the corporate world, I often see a lot of back-and-forth and low-quality products. This is not what I want to create with my team.

As I’ve been following Paul’s work for a while I have been asking myself the “enough” question a lot. You probably heard me say this before, but my relationship with money completely changed when I became an entrepreneur. I would say that I need only 60% of the monthly income that I needed when I was employed. The main reason, aside from lowering my base costs, is that I feel a lot more satisfied with my life since I started my business. Helping you directly makes me happy. I love my work. I don’t need shoes, handbags, suits, or other material stuff to feel happy. I just am.

Paul Jarvis asks three questions:

  • How much is enough?
  • How will I know when I got there?
  • What will change if I do?

He explains how he maintains a minimalist lifestyle and how this helps him to save and reinvest while also allowing him to take extended offline periods over the summer and winter. I’m working on getting better at taking these long breaks as well.

I translated this into ongoing questions on what I would like to achieve financially in my business and when we are there it will help to have a buffer as well. My minimum income is 60k CHF gross. This allows me to survive, not necessarily thrive and the minimum turnover is around 140k CHF. You might need to calculate this for yourself, but interestingly enough the minimum salary is exactly what has been determined as a substance for people living in Switzerland. 

I usually say that you should have 100k CHF in the bank before starting a business full-time. At the time I started mine, I needed this buffer to get through the first few years. Later on, I would find regular income mainly through consulting projects, interim mandates, and classroom lectures or workshops. 

Now, these are usually on-site so they won’t fit a long-term digital nomad strategy. So for me, the last question is easily answered: Once I have enough income to stop working on-site on consulting projects and I have a buffer I will be able to move around more in the world.

I want you to start thinking like a CEO. If you are thinking about starting a company of one, I would suggest that we have a coaching conversation. Let’s have a chat to see where you are at right now. Book me via Calendly. 

 

References

Jarvis, P. (2019): Company of One.

DIgital Nomads

Contrary to what many might think, the term Digital Nomad isn’t an invention of the 21st century. The word, in fact, was first introduced in the homonym book “Digital Nomad” published by Wiley in 1997.

However, up until recently, people tended to connect this denomination with names of fancy Facebook groups where a small number of privileged and tech professionals were allowed. This is because until ten years ago, the typical graduate who entered the workplace would be shown their desk and be tied to it thereafter. 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 thousands miles away from the company’s office.

Nowadays, digital nomads are becoming a trend. In Global Mobility we speak of “Virtual Assignees” and “Digital Nomads” now as new assignment types. Millennials, are going to make up 75% of the global workforce by 2025, according to Inc.

In fact, in 2015, flexible remote work was already the top priority for Millennials and 85 percent expressed their preference for telecommuting 100 percent of the time (Flexjobs survey).

With this data at hand, it’s easy to see that we’re dealing here with a real new breed and not anymore 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 obviously also have a strong 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 has recently moved to Switzerland from where she continues to work, and she 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 that you need to be aware of in the Helvetic Confederation.

Despite this article being Swiss-specific, these points are worth considering wherever in the world you’re dreaming to live, either temporarily or permanently.  

This is an offer an overview of risks we see frequently. For deeper advice on your personal situation I recommend that you seek advice from specialists in the individual areas. 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 that you work on your behalf, you are independent, and you assume the financial risk. You may decide on the type of company you build.

You will need your own infrastructure, you draw up invoices in your own 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 you work for more than one client. Based on this employed/self-employed differentiation, the aspects concerning your work permit vary as well.

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 in your country of origin your status is of self-employed or freelancer. If this should happen to you, you will need to provide various further documents to the competent authorities. 

Based on your host country you really need to familiarize yourself with the local employment law as well especially if you are planning to hire other people into your business.

2 – Immigration Law

If you share with Fatima the typical Digital Nomad spirit, you will probably travel often. Even during Corona-times, you will most likely travel more frequently than a traditionally employed person. For this reason, it’s important that you have the correct permits to enter the countries and actually 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 up to 90 days per calendar year your employer will have to register you via the online registration procedure. Usually, the permission will be given. However, you can then really only work here for 90 days in a calendar year. 

As a “third-country national”, you have to be aware that work visas are limited to quotas and they are therefore not so 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 generally have the approval 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 Sonia Meier  of BecomeLocal

Special Digital Nomad Visas

You might be up-to-date already, but in case 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 own requirements and benefits, but it is worth it to check 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 if you want to find out 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 needs to go through.

3 – Personal Tax

Based on the Swiss federal tax law, you become a tax resident after living and working in Switzerland for a continuous period of 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 on your worldwide income. This is regardless of whether you’re self-employed or not and it does not depend on whether you receive a one-time payment or a regular salary. 

It’s important that you learn to differentiate between your turnover and a potential salary that you are paying out to yourself. My most important advice is that you either find a good accountant like Joerg Blaettler of Winston Wolf or you learn accounting with a 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 decide that you want to keep  working from Switzerland, you should discuss this with them beforehand. 

If you own your own company and this is registered outside Switzerland, corporate tax issues could become even trickier, and you might incur in double taxation. Depending on the countries involved, treaties have their own 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 am going to briefly explain here. The first pillar is the 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 need to pay the full contribution through a self-declaration made to the authorities. If you don’t do this, the authorities will estimate and claim the contribution, and you incur a fine. 

Let’s focus on the pension scheme. When you reach the official retirement age, and if you’ve contributed for at least one year, you gain the right to claim the retirement annuity. Please keep in mind that the annuity is limited and calculated based on the years of contributions.

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

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

And if you have a foreign employer? 

If you have a foreign employer who has the rights to apply for a certificate of coverage, they might be exempted from Swiss social security. If not, the foreign employer might have the obligation to register in Switzerland and seek for 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, in fact, up to 90 days to sign your health insurance contract from the moment 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 a 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 insurer, so you are free to 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, it is not possible for you to purchase health insurance in Switzerland. If you feel lost and need guidance in making the right choice for yourself, we personally advise that you contact Ralph Endres of ExpatPartners or Domenico Bilotta at Helsana

As you figured out already, there’s a lot on the list of items that you need to take into account when deciding to work as a Digital Nomad for Switzerland. Having a clear vision of how everything works isn’t easy, especially if you need to understand bureaucracy in a language that you don’t speak well. This is why we always recommend that you reach out to 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! 

Kind regards 

Angie Weinberger

Definitions

Digital Nomad

Online dictionaries such as Investopedia.com or Urbandictionary.com define Digital Nomads as individuals who are independent from their location by performing their work using “new” technologies, i.e. deriving their income by working remotely. A Digital Nomad is not required to commute to the employers’ office / headquarters to be physically present, as telecommuting is their preferred way of working. The typical digital nomad can be found in a myriad of locations, including using public co-working spaces, a home office or travelling around the globe.

Permanent Establishment (PE)

According to the OECD, it is a fixed place of business through which the business of an enterprise is wholly or partly carried on. The term includes a place of management: a branch, an office, a factory, a workshop, a mine, an oil or gas well, a quarry or any other place of extraction of natural resources. A building site or construction site could also be a Permanent Establishment. However, tax authorities are adapting beyond this traditional definition. Overseas contractors, International Business Travelers (IBT), warehouse space, digital activities and so on could also create a PE.

Resources 

Giving back
Working from this hotel in Dubai? A dream coming true for us digital nomads.

If you need to make a self-employment declaration and you don’t know where to start from,  you can check these resources out: 

Social Security in Switzerland

https://www.ahv-iv.ch/p/2.02.d

https://www.svazurich.ch/pdf/Checkliste_se.pdf

https://www.svazurich.ch/internet/de/home/private/arbeitssituation/selbstaendig.html

How to Develop Your Business

Here is a lot of general business advice from us. We can discuss this further. Please email Angie for a first consultation.

https://globalpeopletransitions.com/GlobalMobility/growme/

https://globalpeopletransitions.com/GlobalMobility/solopreneur/

https://globalpeopletransitions.com/GlobalMobility/global-entrepreneurs

World-Class Copywriting Courses

Ash Ambirge – The Middle Finger Project

Best Course on Building Digital Courses

Amy Porterfield

Best Podcast on Building a Global Expat Lifestyle

Sundae Schneider Bean

Dominic’s Advice for Swiss Compliance for Digital Nomads

https://feibv.nl/wp-content/uploads/2019/04/Dominic-Suter-MasterCourse-Human-Resources-and-Global-Mobility-Master-Paper-FINAL.pdf 

Details about the characteristics of the various Swiss work permits: https://www.swissinfo.ch/eng/work-permits/29191706 

More about Digital Nomads and immigration into Switzerland: https://newlandchase.com/digital-nomads-is-immigration-law-keeping-up-to-the-hype/ 

The guidelines published by the Small and Medium Enterprises (SME)

Other Countries

More information on the application procedure, supporting documents and the requirements to obtain a Digital Nomad visa in the countries that offer this: 

Barbados: 

https://www.fragomen.com/insights/alerts/12-month-remote-work-visa-introduced

Georgia: 

The application process is not yet up and running yet but the government is updating their website

Estonia:

https://e-resident.gov.ee/nomadvisa/ 

Thailand:

The SMART visa program is not only but also for Digital Nomads.

Bermuda:

Apply for their Work from Bermuda visa visit https://forms.gov.bm/work-from-bermuda/Apply

Is there anything I could help you with?

You probably despise networking. You think of networking as wasting time and you don’t like to go to events with no direct outcome. Are you appalled by “coffee meetings” with people who never plan to support you but happily take your free advice? Know that feeling?

You probably heard me say this before: For me, time has an immense value and since I started my business I’ve come to the conclusion that I have three major priorities: 1) My health, 2) My time and 3) My support group (including my family and partner). Without these you cannot run a successful company of one.

In order to use my time effectively and to the best possible outcome, I am constantly reviewing my “networking” strategy and have become very strategic about building connections in a way that suits me but also generates business. At the same time with recent health challenges, working from home and restrictions on events I had to think of other ways to “network the network”. The term “working the net” already indicates that there is work involved in building and maintaining mutually beneficial business relationships. AND while this comes natural to expats and other people from more relationship-based cultures, it requires energy for people from strictly task-based cultures.

The secret to making peace with “networking” as I often explain in my talks and workshops such as “#Networking4Nerds” is to treat your business relationships similar to other friendships and to be a giver.

Here are my five recipes for working your net:

1) Connect those who would not meet

A big benefit of being a networking queen or king is that you can organize connections. Think about who would need to know whom in your network in order to move ahead one step with one of their issues. Maybe a friend needs a new job or a business contact wants a new client or needs to solve an immediate problem at hand. Risk a little discomfort. Set them up for a “Professional Blind Date”. Trust your judgement and see what happens.

Over the last few years I have made several professional introductions. Mainly I helped my clients to find jobs that they would otherwise not even know. I also benefit from introductions so I try to keep the karma of connections spinning. 

2) Accept that Relationships require work

As in a good marriage you want to keep the relationship alive by making it beneficial for both parties. Once you know too many people you might just react once you are asked but even a small advice to a junior colleague might help them to move ahead in their career or move out of a job where they have stopped to learn.

A lot of professionals I know have lost the ability to trust their managers and colleagues. Being a mentor for a more junior professional in your industry can be really motivating for this person.

3) Share your knowledge and expertise graciously

There has never been a time where too much knowledge was hurtful. It’s also impossible to shock people with well-written report summaries or other insights you have about your industry. Start posting on LinkedIn. Tell people what you know and how you view the trends. In a worst-case scenario you get a negative comment. Be bold and bring in your unique perspective to the world.

4) Help others and increase your self-esteem

It sounds like a boy/girl-scout value but “a good deed a day keeps the shrink away”. When you help your contacts then you will feel more self-respect and wake up with a smile on your face. It always makes me so happy when a client tells me they found a job they love or that a connection was really helpful.

It’s even more fun to just support people in your network (for FREE). Give them likes, +1, endorsements, retweets and hearts when you are not paid for it. It’s a great way to give people appreciation and we all could get a bit more of that especially in the corporate world.

5) Challenge yourself and treat networking as a game

I often ask my clients to set a networking target. That includes that they must give before they take. It could be a small weekly challenge such as meeting a person you never met for a coffee. You could also offer to connect someone to someone else because you know they share a theme, hobby or interest.

These connections really seem to bring out most amazing collaborations. You obviously want to ask permission before sharing details. You could implement a score card on your whiteboard and whenever you helped a connection you add a smiley there. Imagine how that will make YOU feel.

 

If you would like to know more and keep updated on how to find work in a new market sign up here to join our HireMeExpress Waiting List.

The Holidays are near

Thanksgiving and Black Friday are over and for the last few weeks, I was not in the Holiday spirit at all. Even if Starbucks hands me a red cup and I order drinks with Holiday flavors and eat Maroni it still feels very wrong that we are entering December shortly. It’s also a bit too warm outside. For the last few weeks of this year, I would like to bring more presence to all my interactions with you and my clients. Presence is important as we are constantly pulled in so many directions, and “energy flows where our attention goes” (Robbins, T n.d., para. 2).

I would like to share with you a small confession: Before I launched my business and when I started to blog, I had a tendency to spend a lot of time on social media. There was a time when my family was concerned that I was getting addicted to Facebook or Twitter. Luckily, I got over this by developing healthy ways of interacting with social media. If you are like me, you can hardly survive a day without your smartphones anymore, let alone access your bank account, google account, or any account for that matter.

When we are offline or have low batteries, it creates feelings of anxiety. I have an ongoing experiment where I am trying to increase my productivity and get more done by using fewer and fewer resources (money, paper, time, people). What it boiled down to over the last years is an annual ritual for this time of the year. Let’s call it the “Reduction Challenge”.

1 – Start with an Inbox List

To write this I started an inbox list I am regularly checking. The list became very long. I am not even sure I finished it yet. I’m not surprised that I am occasionally concerned about inbox anxiety. Once you have completed your inbox list, review my simplification principles and check which ones apply to you. Once you have completed your list review my simplification principles and check which ones apply to you. Can you think of other principles for simplification you wish to share?

2 – Develop Your Simplification Principles

Here are examples of your simplification principles.

  • People over Robots! Any personal message is better than an automated response.
  • Move from DIGITAL to ANALOGUE on purpose. Use paper or handwriting strategically.
  • Delete unused apps from your smartphone at least quarterly.
  • Turn your phone off from 9 PM to 6 AM. Give it a space for the night outside of the bedroom. (You will still hear the alarm!)
  • Have a physical vision board with everything you need to make progress on. Use Post-its for visualizing goals. Paint ideas and sketch your vision of what you want. 
  • Say “No, thank you…” or “yes, if…” to any proposal for meetings, work, and tasks right away. Commit fast and decline fast. Don’t ponder on decisions forever.
  • When asked for meetings give two timeslot options only.
  • Always set a deadline for when another person should come back to you.
  • If you don’t know what to wear because you don’t know if the occasion is formal or not, wear a black suit or a black dress. Ask the organizer if you need more clarity, especially if you are new to the cultural environment.

3 – Write your “Accomplishment List”

Go through the RockMeApp archive and review all that you have accomplished this year. For those who are not on our RockMeApp, go through your daily planner or your journal: I’m sure you have accomplished more than you realize in your professional, as well as in your personal life. You should go through your accomplishments before you go through your annual review with your line manager.

4 – Start Working With the “Ideal Week Planner”

I have developed a template for my coaching clients which should help them to define what their ideal week would look like. Use this planner to make more “Yes/No” decisions and if you feel that you are missing a central point in your life because you are generally only working for other people and supporting their needs you might want to work with your “inner child” more. 

5 – Cut Yourself Some Slack

Allow yourself a weekend in another city or in a hotel in your city. Celebrate yourself and that you are working hard and that you are contributing your part in the world. Speak to your inner child and write a wish list to Santa Clause even if you first think this is ridiculous. Remember what kind of activities you most enjoyed as a child and teenager. Plan a such activity in your weekly planner.

 

References and Further Reading

7 Books That Will Help You Heal Your Inner Child | by PatrĂ­cia Williams | The Conscious Way | Medium

Susan Krauss Withbourne Ph.D., Ten Ways to Make it Through Your Life’s Transitions:

10 Ways to Make It Through Your Life’s Transitions | Psychology Today 

Nichols, Lisa, Find your authentic self and your voice with this mirror exercise | Lisa Nichols. 

7 Books To Help You Begin To Heal From Inner Child Trauma – Defying Resistance

Reparenting & Healing Your Inner Child (11 books)

Robbins, T n.d., Where Focus Goes, Energy Flows, Create a Vision for Your Business and Your Life, viewed on 19 November 2021, <https://essaypro.com/blog/harvard-style-citation>