First of all, this certainty: despite two complex years and still uncertain context, living and working outside our borders remains an exciting and enriching experience. For 95% of French living abroad, expatriation is still considered a massive skills accelerator, according to the 2021 summary of barometer surveys by Expat Communication, a Paris agency that specializes in supporting expatriates. and their families.
It is also a great soft skills booster, which in mind, is not surprisingly situational, the capacity for stability or even “the management of uncertainty and ignorance” (for 76% of respondents) that “skills that companies seek to promote within teams, because the way any type of work is done is changing more and more often”, underlined, in the report, Vincent Teurcq, deputy HRD recruitment and careers at the Bank of France.
Personal balance first
Optimism is therefore for anyone wondering about the professional potential of international mobility. Career development should still be the main driving force, which seems to be the case gradually. “The pandemic has accelerated the mental change that has been taking place ever since: alone, as a couple or as a family, we leave more and more for personal reasons, for ourselves, while before, we leave. for the job, explains Alix Carnot, associate director of Expat Communication.
This is for me a phenomenon as valuable as the industrial revolution. Today, we no longer leave the “farm” to live as close as possible to those who create wealth and jobs. Instead, the destination country is chosen according to the balance and the individual and family fulfillment that one intends. The work will come then, especially since it is now possible to “take it with you”. Good news, in terms of personal success as well, the feedback has been good: 67% of expatriates say they enjoy a better overall quality of life than their country of origin (HSBC Expat Explorer 2021 study).
The remote, new “game-changer”?
The crisis also caused another major upheaval: the normalization of telework. Considered a “disaster” (Barometer Expat Communication, March 2022) by most expatriates during incarceration, because experienced as a brake on their social and professional integration, distance learning would otherwise have opened up new horizons for many workers. French. Some may take advantage of its retention, in whole or in part, to move abroad. “In the sectors concerned, those where the location of the worker is no longer very important such as IT, consulting, coaching and training, but also engineering where training is evolving, will probably initially be a big bang,” he said. said Alix Carnot. If employers and employees see this in their interest, international telework could bring out a new generation of expatriates. In addition to providing the opportunity to tread (perhaps) on greener grass elsewhere, the distanciel facilitates departure as a couple, a huge advantage because of the difficulties couples typically experience at work.
- 95% of expatriates consider expatriation as a skills accelerator.
- 76% learned to better manage uncertainty and the unknown over the years.
- 67% enjoy a better overall quality of life than their country of origin.
“Qatar is the dream destination if it is competitive”
Sandrine Lescaroux, 43, general manager of CCI France Qatar
From Breton, Sandrine Lescaroux followed her husband to Doha in 2012. Formerly a “businessman in the world of luxury”, she now promotes exchanges between Qatar and France with the head of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry while “living a little [son] dream “.
Personal side. “We discovered a city and a country that is extremely rich in multiculturalism and great modernity. A woman and mother of four children, I feel respected and safe there.”
On the professional side. “If English is needed, Qatar is a Francophile country that values our art of living. In business, trust is an important value. You also need to know how to read between the lines: for example, a Qatari rarely objects to a clear rejection of his interlocutor so that he does not lose face.
His advice. “The energy and circular sectors of the economy are in demand for talent. But, given the strong competition in Asia, you need to have real added value to attract local companies.”
“I founded my company by traveling the world”
Marie-Caroline Heydenreich, 41, founder of Mi casa es tu casa
Leaving for Angola in 2009 with her husband, Marie-Caroline Heydenreich now lives in Vietnam, after settling in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Colombia, England and Gabon. He has fully realized since creating his company, a vacation rental platform based on referrals.
Personal side. “Wife of an expatriate, I had to fight to free myself from the image of‘ wife of ’, then‘ mother of ’, after the birth of my children. I got there thanks to my husband’s support and to making my box. Now, I have found what I was looking for, exoticism and a good life balance.
On the professional side. “The successful launch of my start-up in London in 2017 gave me confidence. Since then, I have worked a lot, but, with my DRC-based partner and with the help of professionals in France and Spain, I managed and built the company remotely at my own pace. It was very pleasant. “
His advice. “If you feel like it, leave … you know there is always a chance to come back. If you are a woman, get involved in local community life and try to have your own activity.
“If you have the skills and motivation, everything is possible in Canada”
Joris Grail, 27, coordinator at an HIV -resistant GBTQ+ association
A multi-graduate in the social aid and action sector, Joris Grail has been fine-tuning his training in Canada since December 2020. He left as part of a working holiday program (PVT), a perfect device for “ discovering a different culture and being out of place while working. “
Personal side. “I took advantage of being teleworked during the health crisis to travel to Vancouver, and I was amazed. I didn’t think, on the other hand, that it would be so hard to weave a network of friends, but it was important, because I was far from everything.
On the professional side. “If you have the skills and motivation, everything is possible. The employer-employee trust relationship is ahead of diplomas. I manage a team of six people for the first time in my career, an opportunity and opportunity that would not have been possible. I was offered France at this stage.
His advice. “Montreal is a great city, but there is more to Canada than that! To soak up the culture and spirit of the country, take action, go to Toronto, Vancouver… ”
“Norway promotes a better balance of life”
Thomas Bassetto, 34, senior engineer at DNV and adviser to French people abroad
In 2013, Thomas Bassetto and his wife left France for Norway, because “they’ve had enough of Paris”. A life change facilitated by the fact of having both gone to a job in Oslo before leaving, “an opportunity that is very good to ignore”.
Personal side. “In Oslo, nature is everywhere, everything is accessible by public transport. And, according to its social model, Norway is actually very high in the ranking of countries promoting family development. On the other hand , networking hasn’t been easy. Here, we no longer invite ourselves to dinner. “
On the professional side. “We have found a better life balance and a better salary. On the management side, it’s more horizontal and more consultative, more consensus building and less confrontation, which requires adaptation when you’re French.
His advice. “Whether you work in catering, IT, healthcare or research, there are opportunities available. Be careful, the salary is higher, but so is the cost of living.
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