Taking on a work assignment in another country can be both, exciting and daunting. Aside from the logistics of moving themselves (and perhaps their loved ones), expatriates also have to get used to a different work environment. Depending on the width of the cultural gap between the home and the host culture there will be a new way of doing business at the new location. A different way of managing and leading, of being managed and led.
If you are planning to further your career by changing jobs between Germany and the United States (or vice versa), you may want to know how well prepared you are for this transition. One way to improve your cultural competency is, of course, to attend and actively participate in a professional training (and/or coaching) program, designed for expats and their specific challenges in the culture they are moving to.
These programs can last anywhere from one to three days for trainings and up to several months for coaching.
Prior to taking part in such a training it may be helpful to self-assess your knowledge about life and work in the new country. For years the Germany-USA Career Center has been connecting job applicants and employers on both sides of the Atlantic. Their team also assembled a series of online quizzes which can be a good start to find out about your strengths and weaknesses. Some of these multiple choice tests don’t take themselves too seriously. So, answering them is actually fun.
This one was created by me. Hope you enjoy it:
Working in Germany – As an American in Germany, would you know how to navigate the German office culture? Do you have the right stuff?
Christian is a cultural trainer, coach, and consultant with extensive experience in working with multinational companies and especially in developing global leaders. He is the President and CEO of The Culture Mastery, LLC, where he leads a team of dedicated training, destination services, and expat support specialists. Christian works with global organizations (or those who are going global) to help their employees overcome cultural differences. Typically he only uses the word “normal” in quotation marks and he is an advocate for helping people understand the why of behaviors – not just the dos & don’ts. Most just call him “The Culture Guy”. Find out more about Christian here and follow him on Twitter. You can also see him, listen to him, and experience his work – just invite him!