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Tips for expats

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1 Tips for expats on 6th November 2009, 4:17 pm

I found some tips for expats new and old on the internet Very Happy

1. See The Value

If you understand that your ability to network could either make or break your assignment success, you will network, because you personally see it as important. This applies equally to both working and non-working expats. Expat executives need to network primarily to facilitate business and to gain local credibility. Non-working expats, such as trailing spouses and free-spirited solo expats, need to network because they do not enjoy the luxury of walking into an employer’s ready-made office support network. They need to create their own networks from scratch



2. Do Your Research

Get online to research as many local clubs, associations, sports activities, interest groups and support systems as you can. Then when you arrive, physically visit these groups and ask about where to find more groups.


3. Be Proactive

Take responsibility for your own success. Before you arrive, make calls to others in your company who are already based in your destination. Introduce yourself. Ask for advice – most expats have plenty. Upon arrival, visit the groups that you are interested in and remember to write down all of the names and contact numbers of the people that you meet and would like to keep in touch with


4. Don’t Judge A Book By Its Cover

Every expat that you meet can offer you more than their current position title suggests. Dig deep. Find out what other international assignments they have been on and ask them about their experiences. There is bound to be at least one thing that you can learn from every person that you meet. This applies also when you meet non-working expats, who you should only dismiss at your own detriment. Not only do these expats typically have a great skill set and a valuable list of connections back home, but the long-termers have usually built up fabulous local networks that would turn expat executives green with envy. Never underestimate what a non-working expat might bring to the table.



5. Mentor

In addition to friends, seek mentors. These are people that can offer priceless experience, wisdom and guidance. For the expat executive, mentors might be the heads of local business associations, colleagues, local or locally-based business owners, expat executive coaches and so on. For the non-worker, mentors might consist of the presidents of local expat clubs, Community Liaison Officers (CLOs) in your organization, independent entrepreneurs – who might provide the necessary inspiration for you to start a business abroad, and expat life coaches – who are typically longer-term, very well-connected expats who have also become experts on the local culture, expectations and challenges.


6. Mould Your Own Identity

Everybody needs to be ‘somebody’. If you arrive in a country and you do not have a job to go to and a box of business cards waiting for you, then go straight to the print shop and design some. At first, you just need cards showing your name and basic contact details. Then down the track, go back and order cards that also describe what you do or would like to do, to help spark meaningful conversation with the people that you meet and to give them some reason to remember you. If you were, or would like to be, an editor, then your card confidently displays ‘Editorial Advisor’. If you would like to get into photography, pronounce yourself a ‘Photographic Consultant’. If you are proud to be a stay-at-home mother, write ‘Maternal Empress’, ‘Chief Arbitrator’, ‘24/7 Educator’ – or anything else that gives you your own sense of identity, boosts your self-esteem plus conveys a message to new acquaintances.

7. Give, Give, Give

The number one rule in networking is to give without expecting anything in return. Whenever someone asks you for something, give with a smile on your face and go out of your way to help them. This will not only make both of you feel good, but it will build up your piggy bank of potential reciprocal favours. Even better, become a ‘go-to’ person in your local community and people will start introducing themselves to you. At that point, your network will grow by itself and when you need to call someone for help at 2am, rather than be scrambling for names, your Blackberry will be literally full of numbers to call.

And that, I can assure you, is a wonderful feeling.

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2 Re: Tips for expats on 14th November 2009, 1:07 am

lovely, thanks clare.

i notice that you post a lot of great info on this forum thanklessly!

Thanks!
Rachel

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3 Re: Tips for expats on 14th November 2009, 12:08 pm

rkabruzzo wrote:lovely, thanks clare.

i notice that you post a lot of great info on this forum thanklessly!

Thanks!
Rachel

it's so true, and I am even known for pulling her leg about some of the stuff. But we do appreciate it Clare!

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4 Re: Tips for expats on 14th November 2009, 12:15 pm

Thats ok lol i just find this random stuff and think its good to share for everyone one even those who just read and never comment lol lol!

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