Interview with Angie Weinberger
of Global People Transitions
Angie Weinberger runs Global People Transitions, a company which aims to help international professionals who have been assigned abroad to develop their careers. She also runs a program called ‘HireMe’, designed to help people find work in markets they are not familiar with. She has recently written a book about transitioning employment, called ‘The Global Career Workbook’. NewInZurich had the opportunity to interview Angela recently and were given insight to how her company began, and why career transitioning can be so difficult.
What are the key goals of Global People Transitions?
We help expats, international professionals, and managers to develop better careers across the globe. Our goal to help them further their careers.
What inspired you to begin this company?
I would say my work in international assignment management and HR for the last almost 20 years, where I perceived that there was a gap between what companies provide to international assignees, and their personal career aspirations. I’m trying to find a way to fill that gap.
Why do you think people find career transitions to be so difficult? Is there a common issue people face?
First of all, there is the aspect of career couples; couples where one partner is asked to move to Basel or Zurich, and the other partner suddenly doesn’t have a job any more. It’s kind of difficult as a foreigner to find a job without having a functioning network. Even if you’re highly qualified and even if you have a work permit, most of the expat partners who come here completely underestimate that challenge.
Another challenge is that companies look at international mobility through their own interest. For example, if a company wants to develop a new market say for example in West Africa, what might be important for you as a company might not be the same as what’s important for the assignee and their family. The company might not really care how you get your children educated in such an environment, but for you as an individual, this might be the most important thing in your life. So of course there is a gap between what the companies perceive to be to be important for their assignees, and what the assignees perceive to be important for their lives.
What piece of advice would you give to people looking for new jobs abroad?
The most important thing is to develop a strong network, and to develop it as fast as possible.
You’ve recently written a book called, ‘The Global Career Workbook’. How long did this project take you & what ideas does it promote?
It took me two and half years from start to completion and print. I’m currently offering a coaching program for expat partners and international professionals coming to Zurich, called ‘HireMe’. The main idea of my book is to give other people the chance to work on similar practices and exercises, and to help them find a job in Switzerland in a more effective way. For people who cannot afford a coach, this book contains most of the content of our program.
Are you planning to take on any more similar projects in the future?
Yeah, why not? It depends on time and creative inspiration, but I have ideas. I have an idea for a similar workbook for international managers. But I haven’t even started to work on it, it’s a very basic idea right now.
How do you see the future for expat job markets?
That’s a very difficult question. I would say in general, I’m optimistic at the moment, that job market will improve. I also see that more people are being hired now. However, Switzerland is quite a high cost country, and some of the advantages of Switzerland might not remain in the future.
There is a very good report from the world economic forum, it’s a productivity report, and Switzerland has been ranked 1 for the last couple years. However in the last report, they gave some cautious warnings, some areas where Switzerland has to be careful, such as not to scare away international corporations. For example, the immigration law is making it harder for some international companies to work in Switzerland. You probably know about the initiative against mass immigration, because it triggered a lot of changes in the immigration process. Now it’s harder for international companies to hire the staff that they would like to hire. When costs go up, the question is, do we really need to have all these staff in Switzerland? So that’s where I am a bit cautious.
If you would like to read more about Angie Weinberger’s company or are interested in a meeting with her, please visit the Global People Transitions website.
Global People Transitions
Hedwigsteig 6, 8032 Zürich
If you would like to get a copy of The Global Career Workbook why not pop down to your favourite bookstore.
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