Thursday, April 30, 2009

Expats & Repatriates: More Creative?

Hi Everyone, Here is an article on Fast Company that might interest you, regarding whether expatriates and repatriates are more creative: Looking To Hire The Most Creative Employees? Find The Candidates Who Lived Abroad.

The Fast Company article quotes a new study whose findings were in the May issue of the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, published by the American Psychological Association (APA).

The article was "Cultural Borders and Mental Barriers: The Relationship Between Living Abroad and Creativity," William W. Maddux, PhD, INSEAD; Adam D. Galinsky, PhD, Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University; Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, Vol. 96, No. 5.

Here was the APA's Press Release on the article: Living outside the box: New evidence shows going abroad linked to creativity.

Here are some key quotes:

"This shows us that there is some sort of psychological transformation that needs to occur when people are living in a foreign country in order to enhance creativity. This may happen when people work to adapt themselves to a new culture," said Galinsky.

"This research may have something to say about the increasing impact of globalization on the world, a fact that has been hammered home by the recent financial crisis," said Maddux. "Knowing that experiences abroad are critical for creative output makes study abroad programs and job assignments in other countries that much more important, especially for people and companies that put a premium on creativity and innovation to stay competitive."

Maybe print a copy of this article and take it along to your next recruitment interview. ;-)

US$1000 Competition - Ends Tonight - Last-Minute Amendment

Hi Everyone, Our Win US$1000 for your Expat Club/Association or International School closes tonight (midnight, US Pacific time (PST), Thursday 30 April 2009), so if you have not entered, but have a club/association/school newsletter that went out with a promo of in it, please send it to us urgently.

Last-Minute Amendment:

We would like to officially advise that we are amending this paragraph in our competition's terms and conditions:

3. All expat clubs/associations (or international schools) that enter the competition, and are judged to be suitable, will be listed on a spreadsheet, starting at number one, in the order in which the entries are received. The winning number, which will correspond to the winning entrant, will be chosen at random by Expat Expert, Robin Pascoe, who is independent of and who will not have access to the list.

The amendment will read as follows:

3. All expat clubs/associations (or international schools) that enter the competition, and are judged to be suitable, will be listed on a spreadsheet, starting at number one, in the order in which the entries are received. Once all entries are received, an ExpatWomen representative will re-order the spreadsheet in a random order, to remove any potential bias when the winning number is selected (in terms of choosing a number based on the order in which it was received) . The winning number on the new, randomly-ordered spreadsheet, which will correspond to the winning entrant, will be chosen at random by Expat Expert, Robin Pascoe, who is independent of and who will not have access to the list.

The winner will be announced on Tuesday 5 May 2009, US Pacific time (PST).

Thanks and good luck Everyone!

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Measuring Expat ROI - New Report From Yvonne McNulty

Hi Everyone, Our friend Yvonne McNulty in Singapore released last week her new industry report: Measuring Expatriate Return On Investment In Global Firms, which is a great read for anyone working or interested in the field of expatriate management, talent recruitment and/or human resources.

To gather data for the report, Yvonne surveyed 51 expatriates from five global firms. The combined total employee population represented by those firms was 653,000.

Two key findings in the report:

  • 36% of expatriates seek external job opportunities during their assignments - which infers that HR needs to focus not just on retention at the end of international assignments, but throughout employee assignments abroad; and

  • Expat ROI is not formally measured. Companies rely instead on the employee performance appraisal process - however, how effective is this process of measurement, when the expats surveyed believed the performance appraisal process measured the wrong things?

Yvonne, perhaps best known for her Trailing Spouse Survey four years ago, is a PhD candidate in the Department of Management, Faculty of Business and Economics, Monash University, Australia. She is a sought-after speaker on the topic of expat return on investment (ROI) and can be contacted here.

Well done, Yvonne, and happy reading everyone!

Monday, April 27, 2009

Does Yes Really Mean Yes? Trying To Interpret Cultural Behaviour

Hi Everyone, Simone Costa Eriksson of InterculturalPlus sent us a link to her new article on Brazil's that might interest you: The Brazilian way of saying ‘No‘.

"As a Brazilian working for the international community, I am very often asked ‘why can Brazilians not be trusted?‘. In general, when attempting to interpret any cultural behavior, the first and most advisable approach would be to avoid generalization, but what if it happens too often, especially, through the eyes of foreigners? In that case, the safest explanation must be based on well-known intercultural theories: the concepts of contextualization and communication style as well as the cultural meaning of trust..."

A good article if you are an interculturalist always needing new material.

A good, quick read for expats who struggle with the collectivist-culture-influenced response "yes... which really means no".

Thanks Simone.

Work Permits For Expatriate Partners

Hi Everyone, Items of note in today's Permits Foundation newsletter:

(1) Ireland: Employment Permit Regulations for Spouse and Dependants Tightened

"The Irish Department of Enterprise,Trade and Employment has announced new tighter measures for green card and work permit workers. They have also announced that with effect from 1st June, spouses of intra-company transferees and work permit holders will no longer be eligible for the special arrangements that previously allowed them to apply for a work permit for all occupations without a labour market test and application fee. The spouses of Green Card holders are not affected by the change. This means that it is worth using the Green Card scheme where possible (employee salary over euro 60,000 or shortage occupations with salary euro 30,000-59,999). Full details of the changes are published
here. Details of the revised spouse and dependant regulations are given here. We are disappointed to report this change particularly in the light of the current review in the UK."

(2) Ireland: De Facto Partners Recognised

"On a positive note, the DETE recently announced that recognised facto partners may apply for an Employment Permit. Details here and here."

(3) Japan: Permits Foundation Steering Group Makes Initial Proposals to Cabinet Committee on “promoting highly skilled foreign nationals in Japan.’’

"We are pleased to report that our Japanese steering group has met with a high level committee of the Prime Minister’s Cabinet, which is conducting an investigation into “promoting highly skilled foreign nationals into Japan.”

This was an excellent first step to advocate a relaxation of spouse work permit regulations in Japan and was followed up by a brief written submission to the committee, which will conclude its investigations in June. (Prime Minister’s Cabinet Office in English) (Permits Foundation submission in Japanese.)"


On a side note, the following is a great resource on the Permits Foundation site: Work Permits for Expatriate Partners - Country Summary (last updated January 2009) if you would like to know the current stance on this issue by each of the following entities:

  • Argentina
  • Australia
  • Belgium
  • Canada
  • Denmark
  • European Union
  • Finland
  • France
  • Germany
  • Hong Kong
  • Ireland
  • Japan
  • Malaysia
  • The Netherlands
  • Sweden
  • United Kingdom
  • United States

Thanks go to the Permits Foundation for all of their ongoing lobbying for expatriate partners!

Settling-In Abroad With Children... Mistakes Made, Lessons Learned

Hi Everyone, You might be interested in this new article on The Telegraph UK site: In Africa 'settling in' can be very traumatic: An expat tells of the unexpected effects that moving to the continent had on her children.

This well-written, anonymously-published article touches again on the issues of grief and reconciliation - which I talked about here as themes that emerged from the recent Families in Global Transition conference in Houston.

An interesting read and, I am sure, not an unfamiliar scenario to many globally-mobile families out there. Best wishes, Andrea.

Living in Dubai? Can You Sing?

Hi Everyone, Forget American Idol... start your singing career in Dubai. :-)

This (European) Summer, Mindset-Impresario are producing a show that would require 14 singers who would be performing various musical and pop songs at key locations in Dubai. If you would like to get involved, read on...

"Inviting both professional and amateur singers of all nationalities for a chance to be a part of an extravagant summer production held in Dubai. Performances will be held between 14th of June and 14th of August, only on weekends. Auditions are currently on. To be a part of this production kindly call Bryan Furtado on 04-294-5988 (+9714-294-5988) or send him an email with your details today. Thanks!"

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

InterNations Re-launched

Hi Everyone, Congratulations go out today to the guys (Philipp von Plato, Christian Leifeld and Malte Zeeck) over at InterNations, who have both:

  • grown their expat/global minds social networking site from zero to over 100,000 members in just over 18 months; and
  • recently graduated from a beta site to a new and improved second version of their site.
Philipp got in touch today and shared the following:

"Our members represent 180 different nationalities and cultural backgrounds. The average InterNations member is in his or her thirties, well-educated, career-oriented, dynamic and internationally-mobile. Their status as expats, trailing spouses, former expatriates or global minds with a huge interest in foreign affairs and transnational business also distinguishes them from the more sedentary executives and employees in other professional networks."

"InterNations Events are also run in more than 100 cities worldwide, by our InterNations Ambassadors – i.e. committed volunteers with a fondness of networking. The biggest of these get-togethers at chic venues attract 150-300 people per month. There may also be additional special interest events from a guided city tour in Bogotá over a beach party in Muscat to a skiing vacation in the Swiss Alps or an exclusive dive cruise in the Bahamas. "

InterNations is an invitation-only network, but if you would like an invitation, just click here and join in!

WIN Conference Registration Opened Today - Special Prices Until 10 May

Hi Everyone, If you are looking for a great women's networking event, consider attending this year's WIN (Women's International Networking) conference in Prague, Czech Republic, 8-10 October.

I attended the 1997 WIN conference in Oslo, Norway, and thoroughly enjoyed it. At that conference, I also met many women who had attended previous WIN conferences and I only ever heard good reports - which is a great sign of a consistently valuable conference.

If you are interested, registration opened today and special pricing applies until 10 May, so be quick!

Best wishes, Andrea.

New Lifestyle Magazine In The UAE

Hi Everyone, Our friends at Explorer Publishing have just launched a new UAE lifestyle magazine Live Work Explore, to complement their invaluable UAE living and exploring guides.

"An informative read with up-to-the-minute insider information on making the most out of life in the UAE, as well as exploring exciting destinations around the world. The bi-monthly magazine is available free in more than 200 outlets in Dubai and Abu Dhabi, with the debut April-May issue out now."

If you live in the United Arab Emirates, check it out.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Visiting Hong Kong?

Hi Everyone, My apologies for the quiet blog as late... I confess... I took a vacation... and loved it. We went as a family to Hong Kong and had a sensational time. If you get the chance to go - take it - there is just so much to see and do in that vibrant city.

If you do plan to visit Hong Kong, I can highly recommend the Salisbury YMCA Hotel. Our suite was great and the hotel boasts amazing views overlooking the harbour. A wonderful experience.

Warmest wishes, Andrea.

Can You Help With A Story?

Hi Everyone, We are always looking for stories from your expat experiences, for our Your Stories section. Can you help?

To get an idea of what we are seeking, please read some of the 200+ stories on our site and/or take a look at our Story Guidelines.

We are especially looking for stories that would make a reader think:

  • “I’m so glad that terrible experience did not happen to me”;
  • “I cannot believe they do that in that country”;
  • “They were so lucky to survive that”;
  • “I wish I could do that”; and/or
  • “She has inspired me!”
So come on, share a few of your stories... we bet you have plenty.

Many thanks!

Time Is Running Out...

Hi Everyone, Time is running out to enter our Win US$1000 for Your Expat Club/Association or International School competition.

If your group has not entered yet, please encourage them to do so, in order to both help us spread the word about Expat Women, and more importantly, to go in the running to win US$1000.

A special thanks go out to those of you who have already supported us by getting us promoted in your group's newsletter. We really appreciate your support and wish your group all the best. Thanks!

Monday, April 6, 2009

WebAwards Now Open

Hi Everyone, Loyal Expat Women followers might recall that we received a WebAward from the Web Marketing Association (US) in our first year (2007), in the Online Community category.

Well, those same awards are now open for 2009 and whilst they do not seem to have the Online Community category any more, they do have a "Blog" category (which might appeal to some of you, whose fabulous blogs appear in our Expat Women Blog Directory) and 96 other industry categories for you to consider entering... plus, the good news is that they give out multiple awards for each category (meaning that depending on your industry and web site quality, you might have a very good chance of winning something)!

Entry costs US$195 (or US$99 for non-profits). If you manage to score an award, the feedback they give can be highly-detailed and valuable. To learn more, just click here.

Entries close May 29, 2009. Good luck. :-)

Know Any Expat Groups In Montenegro?

Hi Everyone, We have had an enquiry that we are struggling to answer, which is in regard to expat groups in Montenegro.

If you know of any, please drop us a line and we will put anything valuable that you send us on our country page for Montenegro, so any future audience members can also find useful resource(s) for Montenegro.

Many thanks!

Moscow Charity Ball - April 25

Hi Everyone, We do not usually promote the gala events of local clubs (only because there are so many across the globe), but we are making an exception today for the International Women's Club of Moscow (IWC) because:

  • Their attendee list really does like a who's who of celebrity Moscow;
  • All proceeds from the Ball will go directly to help amputee kids and victims of severe burns;
  • They supported us by entering our Win US$1000 For Your Club competition; and
  • They voluntarily put one of our Expat Women banners on their club's site (thanks IWC Moscow!).
If you live in Moscow and are interested in attending the Charity Ball, please click here for further details. Thanks.

Living around Portofino or Amalfi? Italy

Hi Everyone, One of our Expat Women advertisers, Janice Briggs of La Dolce Vita Retreats, is looking for women in the Health and Wellness profession, such as nutritionists, alternative medicine practitioners, life coaches and so on, who live in or around Portofino or Amalfi.

Janice would like to talk about collaborating on some workshops for two women's retreats - one of which will take place in Portofino, the other in Ravello. If you are interested, please email Janice or call her on in the US on (949) 752-0652. Thanks.

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