Author Archives: Angie Weinberger

 

London 2011Would you have thought that I write poetry?

1 January 2011 was the day I started my first blog. At that time I hardly knew what blogging meant I knew I liked poetry. So I put myself out there for the first time and a few of my lovely Twitter friends commented and liked it.

I told my coach that I really enjoyed writing and working with words. She gave me a book about the therapeutical effects of writing (“Schreib es Dir von der Seele”) which also contained writing assignments. One of the writing assignments lead me to my first short story. It was in German and did not really have a good structure. More like a diary written from different Point of Views (PoV). In my last year at my former employer I asked my manager for an English coach. One of the main reasons was that I wanted to work on my writing skills, improve email communications and learn new words. The sessions with Ian were delightful. He motived me to plunge back into grammar and vocabulary building. (I thought I did not have to study English grammar anymore after my university but reality is that English as a foreign language is tough. The devil as always is in the detail.). Once again, I started a new blog. This time with topics related to my work. It was the beginning of the Global People Transitions blog (different format, but similar style).

In 2012 I quit my job as a Global Mobility Leader and started my company. I went to India for six weeks to celebrate the transition into my new entrepreneurial life and to see a part of the world that I had not visited since my work assignment in 2006. It was a fantastic journey and very different from my former life.

A lot of friends had asked me if I would blog about my India experience but this journey was a very personal one and full of small stories that I can only share with Nadja L., my roommate of four weeks North and South India. I started to write down a few incidents in the style of a story. I intended a short story but the short story ended up having the size of a novella and the people who read it thought the end could not be the end. So I continued writing as a hobby, when I was traveling or on a boring Sunday afternoon. I felt like back in the days when I was a teenager full of dreams, full of the thought that I could make the world a better place if people would just start fighting for it…

(to be continued)

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Nothing excites me more than working with clients who have a vision. It makes me sad when I see that the spark in their eyes got lost somewhere along the way but then it is even more heart-touching when I can see them pulling themselves together again.

As a professional career and executive coach (and in personal experience) I know that you have to walk through a valley of tears, embarrassment and shame before you can really shine. It is almost like to story of a butterfly. When we are in the cocoon phase it is better if no one sees us. My clients report of depressed feelings, shame that they are not productive, feeling fat, feeling old and a general loss of identity. “I do not really know who I am anymore.” is a sentence I hear regularly. I admire companies who understood that the expat spouse (life partner, “trailing spouse”) is a major stake in the international assignment experience of an expat. Still, many companies pretend that this is a “personal issue” and the employer is not to interfere in the personal life.

Hello???

(Me to company: “Can you please take off that corporate policy hat and look at what you have in front of you: A real human being in flesh and blood.”)

Your employers are interfering BIG time when they send you from one country to another. It is even more of a life-changing situation when they offer you a local contract. Think of it this way:

  1. You move from one country to another take on a job in an environment you hardly know.
  2. Often you do not even know the host country language.
  3. Your work and residence status often depends on the company providing the job. Often your spouse is not even allowed to work. (If you’re not legally married or homosexual you might not even get a residence permit in many countries.)
  4. Your support structure (extended family, close friends, household helpers, childcare, dog sitters) breaks down.
  5. Your spouse/ partner not only leaves this support structure but also their career and professional network.

While the employer cannot replace everything the expat family had at home, the least a company could do is provide host language tuition and job search assistance for the partner. Believe me, the days when an expat club membership or a lump sum solved everything are long gone. I want you to be excited about going abroad on an adventure with your spouse, so negotiate for these two items if nothing else.

Should you need assistance please contact us via email or contact form.

Angie Weinberger

PS: If you are a GM Professional and have any questions on work and residence permits in Switzerland do not hesitate to contact us.