Author Archives: Angie Weinberger
Darth Vader

Do you know Darth Vader, the dark force of many of the Star Wars movies? Did you know that we all have a bit of Darth Vader in us? We are driven by our fears. The Star Wars movies are full of allusions to deep psychology and how our attachments and fears form our behaviors and life. With this post, I would like to give you an understanding of how we are influenced by our fears and how you can change to become a Jedi. 

Fritz Riemann, a deep psychologist established a theory based on four basic forms of fear (“Grundformen der Angst”). The four basic forms of angst are formed in our early childhood and determine to a large extent how we behave when we are grown up. In the extreme form these fears turn into psychological illnesses.

For Riemann, the Sith are schizoid, depressed, obsessive and hysterical people. You have to be aware that even though these terms have found their way into our everyday language the clinical spectrum of these illnesses is serious and needs treatment through therapy.

Carl Gustav Jung, another deep psychologist discovered the “shadow”. Jung assumed that all of our relationships with other people are based on unconscious projections of our own wishes and expectations into their behavior.

According to Jung, the shadow is the part of us that we have driven into the unconscious as it was unwanted (for example behavior as a child) as opposed to our “Persona” which was the desired (performing) part of us.

Did you ever notice that you don’t like traits in another person and later someone told you that you have this trait too?

To speak in Star Wars terminology: You might have a bit of Darth Vader within you even though you might be a Jedi most of the time.

Like Darth Vader, we were not always bad. Some of us had negative experiences. Other lost trust in the world because of a traumatic experience. Our education system did not help either. We were ruled by authority and we had to perform. If you did not have your homework back in the 70-ies and 80-ies you were punished.

No one told us that we are great because we are creative, or even because we are who we are. We were taught to perform for making it in life. My parents had a different approach to education, but they also were young and idealistic and sometimes forgot their own children over the ones they took care of.

Today when you watch TV or check an ad statement you will see that what is often shown to us is a world full of existential angst or full of gold-coated “happy families”.

We are torn between a world to be afraid in and a world where everyone is on happy pills all the time. It’s like a world where the dark forces rule and were the Sith have won. Everywhere.

Could you still become a Jedi?

What if you decided that you did not want to be ruled by fear and anxiety?

What if you wanted to be the light and show others to stay “good” or to stay on their mission?

What if you could be Luke Skywalker or Princess Leia Organa?

You see that the Jedis confront their fears all the time. They deal with it. They do what they are afraid to do and they fight evil step-by-step. They don’t stop. They sometimes take a break to train or to collect the force. They retreat to be able to focus on their mission again.

Real change happens only through taking action. You start by confronting what you are afraid of. You go into the dark tunnel and the abyss of your soul. You dive deep into the black sea of concern and unconscious. There, you will find the monsters, the Sith, the evil you need to handle. You need to work through those with a light-saber. You tackle one relationship after the next relationship. You go through them all. All your fears, projections, shadows. I’ll stay by your side like Obi Wan Kenobi.

Cherish the people who criticize you, but don’t let their criticism stop you from what you think is right.

Stay on your path.

One day you will look back and only see Jedis around you.

Sign up to our HireMeExpress list in the pink box to learn more.

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

Guest post by Oyindamola Adedokun

It is no gainsaying that globalization has truly changed the modalities of doing business in the 21st century. The increased rate of interconnectedness and global interdependence has generated the need for many companies to spread their tentacles abroad if they must have a competitive advantage and wield global relevance in today’s fast-changing global economy. The development and geographical expansion of international corporations are however not usually a walk in the park. 

There’s a wide array of expatriation processes that must be networked in order to manage a subsidiary or branch in a geographical territory or culture that is different from the headquarters. 

Before we explore the factors that determine whether or not an international assignment is successful, it is only relevant to examine some of the other reasons why international corporations send assignees abroad. 

The first reason is position filling (SHRM, 2017). Expats are sent on international assignment mostly if there is a position that no local could fill. This is mostly due to a lack of sufficient skills and expertise that allows one to function optimally in a given role. At this juncture, suitable expats are sent from the headquarters or sourced externally to fill an existing gap. This is mostly a common occurrence in the construction sector. 

The second reason expatriates are sent on international assignments is to have them develop their managerial skills by gaining access to an international context of doing business, thereby fostering career growth (UKEssays, 2018). Many multinational companies (MNCs) use expatriate assignments as a leadership development tool. These MNCs often send their managers and executives internationally in an attempt to develop their knowledge of the international economic environment and their ability to work and manage effectively across national borders (Tung, 1998). 

Repatriates, who have completed a global assignment, can help establish and expand an MNC’s international business because they possess first-hand knowledge of particular cultural contexts, including information about specific markets and customers. Repatriates understand how the company is perceived in another country and are part of a global social network that can advance the company’s business.

Another reason why multinationals send expats on international assignments is to enter a new market. Expats are sent on assignment to a new territory to analyze the market to see whether the company’s products or services will attract clients and users. 

The last reason is to control and coordinate the global activities of a company (Bonache et al., 2001; Harvey and Novicevic, 2001) as it is in the company’s interest to integrate its transnational activities. Through their expatriates, the companies seek to replicate the values and objectives of their home offices in the culture of the branch where the international assignment is taking place. 

Having discussed some of the reasons why companies send expats on international assignments, I will now examine five important factors that determine success in international assignments for expats. 

The factors that contribute to the success of expats on international assignment can be classified into 5 categories: job knowledge and motivation; relational skills; flexibility and adaptability; extra-cultural openness; family situation (Arthur, Bennet; 1995, cited by Weber; 2004).

    • Job knowledge and expertise. The importance of possessing the technical skills relevant to a role cannot be overemphasized. This is one of the major factors that guarantee optimal work delivery in an international assignment. As already mentioned, one of the reasons multinational enterprises send expats on a foreign assignment is to transfer skills and knowledge to a branch. Suffice it to say that one can only transfer the skills and expertise one possesses. 
    • Relational skills. Accepting to go on an international assignment is invariably accepting to leave the people you are already familiar with to interact with a new set of unfamiliar people and colleagues. Relational skills go beyond the knowledge of the business model and professional experience to include personal traits such as patience, trustworthiness and honesty, empathy and understanding, reliability and dependability, influence, and persuasiveness. 
    • Flexibility and adaptability. These refer to one’s ability and willingness to respond and adjust to changes by balancing your core beliefs to accommodate the norms in one’s current environment. An expat would only be successful to the degree he or she is able to adapt to new processes, methodology, and procedures. 
    • Extra-cultural openness. The concept of cultural intelligence captures an individual’s capacity for successful adaptation to new and unfamiliar cultural settings and ability to function easily and effectively in cultural environments worldwide including situations characterized by cultural diversity (Earley & Ang, 2003; Earley & Mosakowski, 2004). It is an individual’s capability to deal effectively with people from a different cultural background and understanding (Earley & Ang, 2003). International assignments involve going to a country with an array of different cultural preferences. In order to avoid stress and frustration, an expatriate must possess some level of global competency. 
    • Family situation. The family situation is a key factor that determines whether or not an assignment is successful. Organizations have the responsibility to cater to their employees during an international assignment. However, does this care and concern extend to the expat family? After all, the success of an international assignment cannot be taken into account separately from family support. As a matter of fact, people would choose to leave their international assignments in order to save their marriages (Weinberger; 2020). 

Getting a coaching session with Angie Weinberger could already be a step in the right direction of making an international assignment successful.  You can so sign up here to receive offers for free online workshops and updates on the upcoming HireMeExpress program.

OYIN
OYIN

About the Author

Oyindamola Adedokun is an experienced Mobility Professional with expertise in talent mobility across Africa. He is experienced in engaging proven measures to provide both SME (Small and Mid-size enterprises) and Large-size multinationals end-to-end support in on-boarding expatriates in Nigeria.

With his practical experience, Oyindamola manages a broad range of Immigration facilities such as STR visa, Temporary Working Permit, CERPAC, Quota Approval from the Nigerian Federal Ministry of Interior. He also consults potential foreign investors who are trying to explore the many untapped opportunities present in the Nigerian market on the legalities of establishing a foreign enterprise in Nigeria. 

With a demonstrated history in the oil and energy sector, Oyin currently manages the immigration facilities of well over 100 expats in one of the leading oil servicing companies in West Africa. 

References

Earley, P.C., & Ang, S. (2003). Cultural intelligence: Individual interactions across cultures. Palo Alto: Stanford University Press.

Earley, P.C., & Mosakowski, E. (2004). Cultural intelligence. Harvard Business Review, 82, 139-153. 

SHRM. ( May 2017). Managing International Assignment https://www.shrm.org/resourcesandtools/tools-and-samples/toolkits/pages/cms_010358.aspx 

UKEssays. (November 2018). Motive For Sending Managers Abroad As Expatriates. Retrieved from

https://www.ukessays.com/essays/management/motive-for-sending-managers-abroad-as-expatriates-management-essay.php?vref=1 

Weber, T. (2004). What Are The Critical Success Factors In Expatriate Assignments?, Munich, GRIN Verlag, https://www.grin.com/document/34588

Weinberger, A. (2020). Assignment Failure on the Rise? The Solution is to Prevent Family Separation – Part 1 https://globalpeopletransitions.com/avoiding-assignment-failure-through-family-issues-seven-key-provisions-for-your-global-mobility-guidelines-part-2/

Family Separation

We talked about how family challenges and marital issues greatly impact the outcome of international assignments. We also saw that a large number of companies list the Expat Spouse’s unhappiness as the primary cause of “Expatriate Failure”, highlighting the importance of the Expat Spouse and Partner career support programs.

This week, we will talk more extensively about the kind of support you can give to Dual-Career Expat Couples and why that matters if you work in HR and Global Mobility.

I have always advocated for Global Mobility Managers to be more proactive about involving Expat Spouses. Sometimes I sound like a broken record though. Anyway, it’s 2021 so I reiterate what I’ve been repeating for years.

We want to be proactive!

The days of the passive “trailing spouse”, when they were marginally involved in any decision of moving abroad, are definitely gone. Today, according to the 2018 Relocating Partner Survey, 97% of mobile employees actively involve their partners in the discussion before accepting an assignment, so why shouldn’t you?

We want to be inclusive!

Employers cite a variety of reasons for supporting Dual-Career Expat Couples via policy and practice. The primary reason is to increase staff mobility. Some employers also do it to reduce the costs of assignment refusal or early return and promote family-friendly policies. Others want to support diversity or gender initiatives.

One figure, in particular, stands out in the latest KPMG report: 39%. This indicates the percentage of surveyed companies pointing out that sexual orientation is the main demographic reason leading an employee to refuse an assignment. But 39% is also the percentage of companies indicating that the employees’ dependents impact their decisions to accept an assignment. Perhaps, in your career as GMM, you too have witnessed these scenarios and you aim now at broadening the pool of talent by making it more diverse and inclusive. 

Here is how you can still help your company achieve its Diversity and Inclusion goals, improving brand, reputation, and global market competitiveness.

  • Review the demographics of your global mobility team based on diversity and change policies accordingly.
  • Diversify international assignment terms. 
  • Adjust policies for selecting candidates.
  • Broaden communication about opportunities.
  • Offer training to reduce unconscious bias.

We want to bring back the Human Touch!

What you can do to help Expats and Expat Spouses is to ease the external stressors to their relationship caused by the international assignment. Most importantly, take the Expat Spouse seriously!

Here are seven provisions you can take up in your guidelines.

1 – Review all your Global Mobility Guidelines

Today’s mobile employees are no longer interested exclusively in the financial aspect of their international assignment package. They are also very concerned about the impact of the move on their spouses’ careers while abroad. This is a consequence of the increased levels of equality within the couple: 77% of Expat Spouses work before the assignment and 82% of them secure a bachelor’s, master’s, or Ph.D. degree (2018 Relocating Partner Survey). In short, the current mobile population won’t accept being treated like their predecessors. 

Even if 62% of employers wish to encourage employee acceptance of an assignment by offering support to Expat Spouses, most employees are still frustrated by what employers are offering today.

An increasing number of Dual-Career Expat Couples depend on the income of their spouses during international transfers. Today, dividing Expat Spouses into the “working” and the “non-working” categories is too simplified. 

Employers should therefore ensure that their partner policies support these choices equally for working and non-working partners to avoid any form of discrimination.

According to a report published by Permits Foundations in 2012, only 33% of the companies surveyed provided career support to Expat Spouses under a formal written policy. Another 11% had informal guidelines, while 27% of them assisted on a case-by-case basis. 29% provided no support at all. 

With an Expat Spouse and Partner Support Guideline in place, you will more easily become a more attractive employer.

2 – Involve the Expat Spouse and Partner in the Pre-Assignment Phase

During this phase, there are probably lots of questions going on in the Expat Spouse’s head, and feelings of euphoria and anxiety often alternate with each other. They might be wondering what impact the move will have on their children and whether they will be able to find employment in the new country. It is part of your role as Global Mobility Manager to offer early career assessment for the Expat Spouse as well as information on international schooling options. Additionally, since Expat Spouses are often in charge of the logistics behind the move, you must be able to connect them with relocation services and immigration providers ahead of the move.

3 – Help with the Work Permit

Nowadays, Expat Spouses are allowed to work on a dependent work permit in the vast majority of the top host locations accounting for 80% of today’s global mobility (2018 Relocating Partner Survey). This huge achievement is the fruit of the Permits Foundation, which fights for the rights of relocating partners to be able to work on their dependent permit. 

However, some countries present exceptions and subtleties linked to marital status. Non-married partners from opposite sexes, as well as same-sex couples, face more challenges accessing work permits. In countries that do not allow Expat Spouses to work, securing a work permit is almost impossible.

It is therefore your duty to help Expat Spouses navigate the world of bureaucracy specific to each assignment. 

4 – Research Work Opportunities for Expat Spouses

Career stagnation is a major stressor to any relationship. Therefore, as one way to avoid putting the success of assignments in jeopardy, your employer could provide work opportunities to the Expat Spouse if they work in a similar field or area. What I’m also doing is to check with other companies if they have availability for the Expat Spouse especially when they work in a related field.

In this initial exploratory phase, it is also important to verify that the Expat Spouse’s degree is in line with what recruiters expect to see in the host country: qualifications obtained in one country are not necessarily recognized in another.

The 2018 Relocating Partner surveys highlight how career and job search support is now offered by 71% of employers, a sharp increase in comparison to previous data.

5 – Provide Transition Coaching For The Expat Couple

Coaching for the Expat Couple is also an option. In my experience, it is also helpful if one person of the couple is going through a coaching program. Your company should take over the cost within the Global Mobility guidelines. Companies offer Expat Spouse Career and Life Support programs to assist Expat Spouses. Most Swiss-based companies provide up to 7’000 CHF in services. This is a lot of money!

Transition coaching for Expats and Expat Spouses is becoming a more and more prominent concept in companies around the world. As a Global Mobility Manager, you already probably know that supporting Expats and Expat Spouses through each different adjustment stage they experience leads to a higher satisfaction rate with the assignment and the service of Global Mobility in general. 

The sad part is that Expat Couples often don’t claim support as they haven’t seen the GM policy and have not been involved in the decision-making process.

6 – Offer Host Language Course

The most common forms of assistance already in place addressing spouse career concerns are language training, provided by almost two-thirds of employers (Permits Foundation, 2012). If there is a business need, companies generally pay for a 60-hour course.

7 – Pay for Support for Children and Teenagers

Not only Expats and Expat Spouses, but their children too, need support during the assignment. After all, children are the most critical asset in the expatriation process. One of the tools you can offer them is intercultural training, especially if the children are in local schools. Giving training to Expat Children has a lot of value, and you will see that once you make the children happy, you will have a higher ROI, higher retention rate, and a better satisfaction rate in your KPIs.

When Family Separation is the Best Option

Sometimes, things just don’t work out and the result of that international assignment is family separation. There are also instances where the Expat Spouse and potential children should stay in the home country. One reason could be schooling, another reason health and safety. Consult with me if you have any questions about how can bring the #HumanTouch back into your Global Mobility Program and Team.

Kind Regards,

Angie.

PS: We open HireMeExpress for Sale

We developed the HireMeExpress program to support more Expat Spouses and Partners to find a job in a new country. All of the twelve modules and more than 36 worksheets can be used for other expat hubs from Berlin to Bombay. However, our best network is in Zurich, Zug, and Basel, Switzerland. Hence, we can help best here. If you need help in other locations, contact us anyway, as we have contacts globally.

References:

KPMG. (2018a). „Inclusion and Diversity: How Global Mobility can help move the Needle”, KPMG. Retrieved May 13, 2020, from https://assets.kpmg//content/dam/kpmg/xx/pdf/2018/06/global-mobility-inclusion-and-diversity-how-gms-can-help-move-the-needle-FINAL.pdf

KPMG. (2018b). „Inclusion and Diversity in Global Mobility”, KPMG. Retrieved May 13, 2020, from https://assets.kpmg//content/dam/kpmg/xx/pdf/2018/06/global-mobility-inclusion-and-diversity-how-gms-can-help-move-the-needle.pdf

NetExpat & EY. (2018). Relocating Partner Survey Report. https://www.ey.com/Publication/vwLUAssets/ey-2018-relocating-partner-survey-final-report/$File/ey-2018-relocating-partner-survey-final-report.pdf

Permits Foundation. (2012). International Mobility and Dual-Career Survey of International Employers. https://www.permitsfoundation.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/06/Permits+Global+Survey+2012nw.pdf