A CEO who runs her company from Paris during weekdays but spends weekends at her home in the Alps. A journalist based in Paris who commutes to London every two weeks. A media trainer and consultant shuttling between Amsterdam and South Asia who’s chosen Chamonix, France, as his home base. A French project manager targeting the Brazilian job market for her next career. An American entrepreneur developing solar energy in Senegal from his base in southern France. A Paris-based software specialist actively targeting Dubai-based companies in his quest to move to his dream location. The list can go on. What is common among the people above is that they all have chosen to make the geography work for them. They chose global mobility.
Today’s career world is all about mobility and technology – so different from the professional world of our parents’ generation.
National borders are no longer barriers. They are only barriers to the extent you see them as such. The world today is a place where the brightest talents are prepared to follow their own agenda and opportunities wherever they may be and irrespective who is offering them. It’s a place where the strongest and most sustainable supply of talent and opportunities is in the East, not the West. Businesses and organizations are required to manage their global talents efficiently if they are to succeed.
Employees’ global mobility has increased by 25 percent in the last decade, and it’s expected to increase by further 50 percent by 2020.
The top four reasons why people choose a career abroad are a) opportunity to broaden experience and start an international career, b) better career opportunities, c) an opportunity to get to know different cultures, d) having a better standard of living.
If you feel global at heart, you probably have a longing for your career’s further geographic expansion. If this is the case, congratulations! Today is the best moment to start making baby steps in that direction. Below are some criteria to consider, to get more clarity over what you’d be willing to do and what is not your cup of tea:
1. How many days per month are you willing to be away from home? Parents of small children are likely to choose a smaller number, whereas unattached single professionals will feel more adventurous. Age is an important factor, too: energy levels and enthusiasm for regular travel of someone who is in their late 20s and of a person in their late 30s will differ a lot.
2. Are you fine with flying? What distances are acceptable for you? For instance, I will readily jump on Eurostar and go to London on an assignment but I’ll think twice before accepting a project in a location which requires a flight longer than 2 hours. Only you will know what is your threshold and what is acceptable or pleasurable to you and your family.
3. If you’d like to change your home base, consider taking on a mid-term project or an assignment in that location, so you could test it out and get to know the place first-hand. Going there on holidays, although not the same, will also help you get an idea. Discuss your plans with your partner and talk to relocation specialists. Once you’re sure, prepare an effective job search strategy that takes into account your core work values and your lifestyle expectations.
You don’t have to move or get to your dream location overnight. Just take one baby step at a time and new opportunities will start appearing before you know!