Author Archives: 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.

by Caitlin Krause

I must admit, I initially went to see Spectre in the theater for one prime reason: eye candy. Yes, my motivation was all about the external appeal: I wanted to dive into a light panoplied spectacle that’s equal parts engaging and artificial; to lose myself in iconic imagery, and to revel in watching easy-on-the-eyes Daniel Craig as James Bond in the flesh.

SE_Seamaster300_Spectre_videoPreview_1600x900

Why is Bond so palatable, across generations, sexes, cultures and creeds? Bond is as familiar as he is idolized; men want to be him; women want to date him. Or, women want to be him and men want to date him — it actually doesn’t matter how you slice it; he’s an archetype for the ages; a brand’s dream. Now, with everything from 007 drinks to anti-perspirant, there’s a whole range of products catering to those who want to “be Bond” (or, at least, smell like him).

So, what’s the secret that makes Bond stick? It’s an appeal that’s much deeper than skin. Yes, he’s the quintessential sexy Brit — yet, he also represents something universally appealing to our core sensibility as humans.

[tweetthis twitter_handles=”@MindWise_CK”] What I soon realized brought a smile: in several major ways, Bond epitomizes a mindful demeanor. [/tweetthis]

Spy and agent activity aside, the following five aspects of Bond’s behavior are mindful hallmarks:

1 — He’s self-directed. James Bond understands the bigger picture, and he usually knows the next steps he needs to take, without always waiting for direction and instruction from authority figures. In this way, he exhibits modern leadership traits of self-reliance and strength. His superiors (Ralph Fiennes among them, as the new “M”) learn to give him a certain amount of autonomy, promoting modern teamwork models of self-management and mutual trust.

2 — He’s radically honest. Bond rarely (if ever) feigns friendship. He’s true to his allies, and his opponents know where he stands. He usually gives others the benefit of the doubt, until his trust is compromised. He even sometimes puts himself in vulnerable positions (such as visiting enemy lairs and hangouts) in the hopes of gaining knowledge and forming alliances. He’s cautious, yet open, which often gives him a hidden advantage… and, heightens the drama.

3 — He’s patient. Strategic and contemplative, Bond knows how to wait for the opportune moment. He’s not impulsive — rather, he’s direct and deliberate. He plans, without over-thinking to the point of rumination. Impressive in his own circumspect manner, he also delays/denies his own fun… if he’s pushed to sacrifice it, that is. The opening scene of Spectre is case-in-point: is Bond’s female companion from the festival in Mexico City still waiting for him to return to their hotel room? In a classic comic scene, she asks him where he’s going, he disappears out the window, telling her that he’ll “be right back”… yet, way leads unto way, and it seems there are more important matters at hand.

4 — He knows how to focus. Along with the above point, Bond knows how to be fully engaged in the present moment, without fixating on past and future. This doesn’t mean that he can’t learn from his experiences, yet he doesn’t let them distract him from his goals. In fact, we see any fixation on ghosts from the past revealed as a weakness, which is part of the theme of Spectre. What might haunt him instead becomes an advantage when he learns how to apply his knowledge and focus to the present moment.

5 — He can kick off his shoes and have a good time. Basically, Bond would be a fun date. I’m not certain if he’s much of a conversationalist, yet he seems to appreciate the moments of joy (ahem!) along the way. He can joke around a bit, and he often pauses between the high-stress moments in order to appreciate the finer details. He likes his martinis shaken, not stirred, and he loves the thrill of the ride (after all, it’s all about the journey, right?). Fineries aside, I could certainly imagine Bond appreciating the beauty in a reflective moment… fleeting as it might be.

Yes, while I could point out all of the mindful aspects of his personality and behavior, certainly Bond’s propensity for fisticuffs would discredit him from becoming the mindful poster-boy. Still, for me, it’s compelling to consider that much of the Bond attraction could be due to his cool, calm, collected persona. Developing a life of his own seems to be his next mission… This just might be the ultimate mindful message: in the end, Bond chooses personal love over his agent identity. Could this be his moment of mindful redemption? If so, love really does conquer all.

Giving back

Guest post by Brooke Faulkner

Whether on a short or long-term assignment, expatriates should take advantage of all that Global Mobility has to offer. Being appointed to new locations can further your professional development, help bring the best professional practices to new places, and help your company expand its global network. This is all not to mention that on a personal fulfilment note, Global Mobility is a perfect opportunity to experience new cultures, meet new people, and learn new languages.

Businesses who appoint expats may know of the business advantages, and they may even know of the benefits of global mobility. However, there are side effects of global mobility, and a significant drawback of an appointed expat is that they may become lonely in their selected location.

An expat can alleviate this sense of loneliness by giving back to their new local community. An expat is in a very unique position to experience not only new cultures intimately, but potentially better business operations for their company. Giving back to your new community can make an expat feel less like a tourist and more of local.

Volunteer


Being an expat can be especially tough on families. Sometimes, duty stations will require you to leave your family behind and as a result, expats can become very lonely. However, things such as Skype and other video conferencing apps can alleviate some of these feelings of loneliness. In instances of an expat feeling isolated in a new region, volunteering can help you connect to your new community while helping to improve it.

Especially if you are an expat in a developing nation, there are many nonprofit organizations and social enterprises you can sign up with to make a difference in your area. While volunteering, you will meet new people, and may even make new friends from another culture. In fact, just by spending your downtime toward something productive and alongside other like-minded people, you can root yourself in the community and become more sociable — removing that sense of reclusiveness.

Not sure where to start? Many hospitals may be looking for help to facilitate their population-based health services, and if you live in a region where people are suffering from noncommunicable diseases, you can lend your services to make a difference in your new community. Volunteering is not only a great way of encouraging a positive global community, but you will meet new people and make new friends.

Spend Money in the Community


You may understand that small mom-and-pop stores benefit enormously from your business. Especially in developing nations, a vendor will appreciate you purchasing from them, as your money will go directly to them and their family. Buying locally not only supports local vendors, but will improve the local economy overall. It is essential in these instances to remember that no matter what amount of money you spend in your area, it will make a profound impact — especially to those in developing nations.

It is not hard to imagine that you will be a welcomed face if you have a reputation for spending money and time with local vendors and businesses. Spending locally is also an opportunity to make new friends, as local vendors and shops provide a more personalized service, and these businessmen and women will likely set aside time to converse with someone they appreciate. Get to know the local vendors in your new community and become a friendly face around town.

Help Your Fellow Expats


As an expat — now hopefully treated as a local resident as a result of your community contributions — you have the opportunity to help other expats feel at home in their new location. You know that a new expat may feel isolated just as you may have when starting out, so wouldn’t you want to make them feel included?

Show an expat who is new to the area the ropes and pay it forward by including them in your volunteer efforts. Make sure they understand the importance of local spending, and introduce them to vendors who you have become friends with by doing the same. With more and more people volunteering and spending locally, you’ll see improvements in the surrounding community.

It is easy to feel like you stick out like a sore thumb as an expat. You can also feel like you don’t belong in your new community — but local spending and volunteering can quickly take you from feeling like an outsider to being a friendly neighborhood face.

Airport

by Brooke Faulkner

Retraining into a different career or opening a small business isn’t easy under the best of circumstances. When you’ve decided to start over completely in a new country, the circumstances are rarely ideal. The pressure is on for so many reasons — moving is expensive, and you may only have one chance to make it. There may not be family and friends close by to pick you up if you fall. You’re likely being inundated with new experiences and culture shock, and maybe learning new skills is the last thing on your mind.

If you’re looking to take a new step in your career, however, or at starting a business in a new place, spending extra time on acquiring a business degree could be well worth it. Let’s go over the pros and cons.

As so many other people have proven, it’s very possible to thrive in a new country, and all that pressure might just be the motivation you need to start on a path that truly makes you happy.

The big questions are:

Should You Retrain With a Degree?

The short answer to this question is: it depends. In countries like America, where student debt is skyrocketing, it can be a difficult question and dependent on the resources available. In other countries like Germany, where tuition fees are subsidized, it’s a much easier proposition.

It’s impossible to say “yes, absolutely” or “no, definitely not,” because the world is full of different types of success. Some college dropouts go on to become extremely successful, while many jobs with high salaries won’t consider candidates without relevant degrees. Especially in the business world, roles and job titles are becoming more specialized, and companies hiring for management, finance, and other demanding roles like to see a strong background like a business degree.

As someone new to the country, you won’t have a local job history, and so a degree can provide the proof that you’re knowledgeable and skilled enough for the job.

Does the Type of Degree and Location Matter?

In a word, yes. One of the big questions to ask is where to get a degree to support a career transition. If you’re moving to somewhere where education is cheaper, you may want to wait. If you’re moving to somewhere that education is more expensive, it might be better to plan ahead and work on evening classes or online courses before you move.

Another angle to consider is how the country you’re moving to views the schools in the country you’re moving from. Some degrees are transferable from country to country, but many are not. If that’s the case, you might be wasting your time investing in higher education before you move, only to find out it’s not usable! Different countries will have different professional standards, and different demands in the job market. It may very well be that the country you’re moving from has more prestigious institutions. If the country you’re moving to doesn’t offer courses in a language you’re familiar with, that’s another reason to seek higher education before you move.

Online courses are a potential solution to this problem. You may be able to start studying abroad before you move. Or it might be in your best interests just to wait and plan on deciding what kind of new skills and education you need after you move.

Financing Options

Financial aid differs from country to country. The availability and amount of financial aid, and whether you qualify, should have a large impact on your decision. The amount of financial aid from government programs might be better in your home country, or the country you’re moving to might have specific grants and loans for immigrants or international students. Going to a country on a student visa first can often be a stepping stone toward future residence. Germany, for example, has abolished all tuition fees — even for international students.

Starting a Business in Another Country?

Some countries, such as Canada give preference to immigrants who are looking to start a business. Merit-based visa applications can be helped along greatly if you can prove that you’re going to create jobs. Do you need a business degree for that? Not necessarily! Canada, for example, just requires that you acquire support from designated Canadian investors. But you might need a degree to convince investors in your capabilities.

Bill Gates famously dropped out of school. He went on to build one of the biggest companies in the world. Steve Jobs dropped out too. In fact, there are plenty of stories of dropouts who made it big. As inspiring as it is, though, don’t let the hype cloud your judgement. For every famous dropout, there are so many more dropouts who don’t make it. Since we see the famous ones talked about a lot, it’s easy to buy into the dropout myth — that higher education is not necessary.

While it’s absolutely possible to succeed as a business owner without a business degree, getting the right degree can help reduce the risk of failure immensely — and in the business world, the risk of failure is very high. According to Investopedia: “The SBA states that only 30% of new businesses fail during the first two years of being open, 50% during the first five years and 66% during the first 10. The SBA goes on to state that only 25% make it to 15 years or more.”

Getting the right education gives you the knowledge to start up successfully and future-proof your business against mistakes made early on, that become disastrous later. You’ll learn a lot of the details about running a small business that you might otherwise not know or learn without training and mentorship. You’ll learn lessons the easy way, in a safe environment, instead of learning them during business failure.

So, is a business degree worth it? Honestly, that’s up to you. Like everything in life, a degree’s worth is in how it’s used. The wrong degree could be a waste or a hindrance, but the right one could set you up for success in a way nothing else can.

In many cases what you’ll want is good information. That could come in the form of a career or academic advisor based in the country you’re interested in moving to.

Need further guidance?

Check out Angie Weinberger’s Global Career Workbook or sign up to our website as a Reader of the Global People Club Sandwich.

Degrees in Global Mobility:

Please mention AngieWeinberger as a reference and contact her if you want any advice on the Master Course. Angie has gone through it herself too and is a lecturer in the course.

You can find her Master Thesis here.


Brooke Faulkner

Brooke Faulkner is a writer in the Pacific Northwest who has conducted business all over the world. You can find more of her writing on Twitter via @faulknercreek

#digitalnomads #knowledgeworkers #globalmobility

 

In the series “Seven Principles of Intercultural Effectiveness” I would like to introduce you to seven way of being more effective in intercultural communication. We have covered principles 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, and 6 in previous posts. Principle 7 is called
12751934_1059869640722311_1118567354_o

I speak slow and use simple language.

English is a global language. However, if we are speaking as non-native speakers to other non-native speakers there could be a lot of misunderstanding. Even if English native speakers with different accents speak to each other there are miscommunications. In order to become more effective across cultures it is important to speak slow and use simple language. There is no point in showing off your rich, academic vocabulary or your eloquence in inventing words if no one understands you. You can use your eloquence in communication addressed to native speakers but even then you want to be understood. Check in with your counterparts and make sure that your language is appropriate.