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Telling stories about your experiences in a new culture are often appreciated more when delivered with a sense of humour and perhaps a touch of self-deprecation as well.Making everyday challenges seem more human also make them seem less daunting.This is especially true for a non-working partner who is unable to obtain a work visa in their own right and may find employment options very limited.
Working overseas is not a bed of roses and is fraught with difficulties – not only for the assignee but also for their family and colleagues.
In an article published in the Wall Street Journal, the question of what makes a good international assignee was explored.
Let us show you how an assignment in a foreign country can kick-start your career!
A typical international assignment does not only provide you with professional experience: It also helps you acquire valuable soft skills and broaden your horizon.
In today’s globalized world, it is essential to work with people – be they colleagues, clients, or business partners – from all kinds of national, cultural, and ethnic backgrounds.
International work experience will therefore make you a real asset for every employer and pave your way towards further international assignments.It’s also a good way to understand not only behaviours but the underpinning values for these cultural differences. Blog Writing about your expat experiences is not only a good record of your experience. Addressing difficulties and challenges on paper can also provide more clarity.With the right attitude – blogs should not be dedicated to whinging and moaning if they are to remain healthy – these experiences can also help others who may be about to face similar challenges. Don’t Lose Your Sense of Humour Telling those stories in a blog doesn’t need to become dry, factual, educational tomes.This may be as simple as understanding how the rhythm of business is different in their new country and starting work earlier or later. The WSJ article gives a good example of an expat who liked working from home in the evening needing to change this practice when power cuts made evening working impractical.Instead of looking at the challenge as a frustration, the evenings were used for quality family time that improved their experience in their new country. Seek New Experiences Expatriates who wallow in their bubble or choose to stay close to home may feed their misery by not even giving their new assignment a chance.Expats may also choose to import an activity from their home country that may be of interest to their new friends.Asking for help and giving help and support are also excellent ways to get to know new people, increasing the pleasure and success of the new assignment. Going Local Going one step further beyond the expatriate bubble usually means going local.Recognise There is No One Way How Things Ought to Be Many expats try to adapt their environment to their routine, which often leads to feelings of frustration.Successful international assignees learn to adapt their routine to their environment.Far from living in an expat bubble, most “good” expats are defined as understanding how to appreciate their new environment and learn from the new cultural experiences that experience in their new country.Five Steps to a Successful International Assignment 1.