Last week, we published Part I of an article written by our 121 Coach, Archana, on the frustrations of having to move regularly as our partners are offered bigger and better opportunities in foreign places.
In Part II, we cover specific emotional and cultural issues you may face and how to begin to overcome them. If you missed Part I, you can find it right here.
Over to you, Archana:
"Last week we ran through the 'right' questions to ask yourself and what you can do to proactively tackle a new situation and market. Here are several more tips and action points that I've learnt to help keep you on the right path:
Swallow your pride
One of my closest friends is a successful financial professional from a top management institute in India. She worked in a leading Indian bank for the first 15 years of her career in a senior role. Imagine her consternation when she moved to a new country where people were unaware of her institute and had only vaguely heard of the bank she had worked with. She did what was best in that situation – she swallowed her pride and explained her qualification and experience by drawing on references that her new employers and colleagues would understand.
Anticipating the restlessness
Moving to a new country is so exciting – new home, new friends, new cuisine – it’s easy to get swept away by all that excitement and before you realize, you are restless and ready to be employed. But this is hard work and a time-consuming process. So here you are, looking for employment while the romance of the new place has worn off! You didn’t look forward. I always recommend a “soft” launch of your-self within a month of relocating instead of waiting till you are completely settled. Connect with people for informational meetings, keep your eyes and ears open to market changes, gather intelligence on industries that are recruiting, companies with women friendly policies etc.
One of the most joyful aspects of relocating is going through the trials and tribulations of understanding a new culture. It is particularly exhilarating to realize that often people are more similar than different. That said, in a professional context, it is useful to understand some of the cultural norms (these maybe mostly informal) to be followed in a job search process.
- Should you make clear that you are looking for a job or should you show a willingness to meet for the purpose of making a connection and exploring possibilities?
- When you meet someone at a networking event, is it culturally appropriate to exchange business cards and send an email soon after that seeking a meeting?
- How many follow up emails/ calls are acceptable?
- How quickly are decisions made i.e. from initial discussions to signing the contract? This can be excruciating as the client/ organization is blissfully unaware of the toll their indecision is taking on you!
This subject is a minefield and one which I will address in a separate post.
This is a very individual journey and each trailing spouse – one of my friends calls it “trailing talent” - will chart their own path. What we all do have in common is the burning desire to retain our “professional selves” while experiencing the highs and lows of relocating – and that surely is reasonable and do-able!".
You can get in touch with Archana for help with your next career move, CV or any of the difficulties and issues faced when job hunting. Simply email her here - firstname.lastname@example.org.