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Challenges Facing the Executive Expat

· Expat,Personal Development

Many people find that, once they have reached a certain stage in their career, they still aren't quite satisfied.

It's common to discover that, even in a senior role, many executives still want new challenges and new opportunities, and they begin to wonder where else their work can take them.

If you are an executive with an appetite for exploration, it's possible that you have considered looking for work abroad. Working in another country opens up a wide range of new professional opportunities that weren't available before, as well as giving you the chance to live, work, eat, and travel in a way that tourists simply can't experience.

However, the job search can be daunting. Looking for work in another country brings a host of questions and challenges. Common problems include:

  • Finding the right opportunity. Hiring an expat presents additional challenges in terms of visas and permits, and incurs additional administrative and legal expenses on the part of the employer. Most countries encourage employers to hire locally when they can. If employers are new to the process, it can seem cumbersome. For job seekers, it can sometimes feel as though there's a bias against hiring from abroad, and that it's another hurdle to overcome.
  • Cultural differences. However advanced you are in your career, cultural expectations are different in other countries. Your CV, the interview, workplace conduct, and many other factors may be assessed differently, in ways that you weren't prepared for. In order to be a strong candidate, you may need to adjust to a different set of norms and expectations.
  • Relocation. The purely practical issues of relocation are often a challenge as well. Finding a place to live, assessing schools, transport, taxes, utilities, and quality of life, as well as moving or storing your belongings, can all add up to be stressful and time-consuming.

However, with the right information and coaching, these challenges shouldn't deter you. It may seem like a lot to deal with, but they are temporary stressors, and the rewards far outweigh the difficulties. Here are some tips to help simplify and streamline the process:

  • Clarify and prioritize your goals. Whether your goal is to advance your career and personal brand, experience personal growth and new experiences, or be on the cutting edge of your industry where all the action is, start by identifying your priorities. Narrowing your options will simplify your choices.
  • Do your research. If you are looking at a particular region or country, read about that place. Learn about the language, culture, cuisine, and lifestyle. Visit if you can. If you are interested in a particular industry or job field, research it. Find out where the global hotspots are and why.
  • Take your time. While no opportunity will be absolutely perfect, it's worth taking your time to find the place and the position that are right for you. Don't jump at the first opportunity if it isn't right, and don't give up too soon.
  • Consult with experts. Here at U Diverse, we support executive expats every day. Whether you want to identify your strengths and next steps, help in polishing your job materials and finding the right opportunities, or learning about how to fit in to your new home abroad, we have the skills and experience to help. 

Working abroad creates unique work and personal experiences that will forever change how you live, work, and perceive the world. And the right executive job abroad can open up whole new areas of career opportunities and advancement that simply aren't possible if you keep doing the same old thing. If you are ready to begin your next chapter, contact us and let's get started today.

We support global organizations holistically who want to achieve their goals of working internationally by hiring and developing global talents, leaders and multicultural teams. We offer not only customized, top-quality international talent acquisition strategy, global leadership, teams, cross-cultural and diversity consulting and training programs, but we also provide in-depth coaching from ICF-certified coaches and trainers who speak French, English, Dutch, Spanish and German. Take action and schedule a free strategy session with us today.

About U Diverse’s founder:

Magali Toussaint is the founder of U Diverse. She is a certified talent acquisition strategist, an ICF-certified leadership and career coach, cross-cultural trainer and job search strategist with an extensive career in recruitment, HR, diversity, and education. She has lived and worked in over four countries and speaks French, English and Dutch.

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