What are the expectations and hopes of international professionals coming to Germany?
What do they know about the labour market, their employment opportunities and the expectations of German employers? And what do German employers know about the expectations of their new employees and about the multi-layered challenges of everyone involved? Intercultural coaching and counselling make it easier for foreign employees and their employers to get started in Germany.
Let me share one of my intercultural coaching cases with you:
Ms Wolf (I’ve changed her name) is an ambitious and successful manager who has had an impressive career as head of product development in an Asian corporation. She is 42 years old, Vietnamese and would like to continue her career in a comparable position in Germany. Why in Germany? Her husband is German. They recently got married and are planning their future together in Düsseldorf.
Of course, with the help of her husband, Ms Wolf had informed herself about living habits in Germany before moving. She absolutely wants to return to her profession. She wants to continue her career and maintain her independence.
So, immediately after her arrival in Germany, she threw herself into language training and came to me for coaching. She was highly motivated and had the clear aim of applying for jobs in Germany as soon as possible.
She was aiming at companies with global operations where she could soon take on a management position again. After all, she is fluent in English. In Germany, one of the world’s leading economies, English at the workplace and women in management positions are a matter of course, aren’t they?’ These kinds of expectations seems rather common among international academics seeking employment in Germany. In reality though, job requirements in their home countries often differ greatly from those in Germany.
How my client has discovered her future path through intercultural coaching
Ms Wolf identified the steps she needed to take to find a comparable job by learning about the German job market and job requirements as well as changing perspective and analysising her potential. As a first step, she applied for recognition of her qualification in Germany, thus creating the basis for a suitable job in Germany. Secondly, she became aware of the need to become highly proficient in German before she would find the kind of job she was looking for. This meant another one or two years of intensive language training.
In the meantime, Ms Wolf has managed to work freelance for a Vietnamese organisation that maintains business relationships with German companies. At the same time, she continues learning German in order to find a permanent job in the long term.
What does this example mean for companies aiming at recruiting international professionals?
In my experience, it seems almost inevitable that high mutual expectations of German employers and the foreign employees alike are at least partly disappointed in view of different underlying conditions and cultural backgrounds.
In these cases, intercultural coaching and counselling can be valuable companions as early as in the preparation phase, guiding and supporting both parties to prepare for differences in expectations and for numerous challenges. During the predeparture phase and especially during onboarding, intercultural coaching and counselling give international professionals guidance and ensure a good start in an entirely new environment. At the same time, they are an invaluable resource for employers in ensuring the full integration of their international employees in their positions and in their organisations.
Find out more about what I can do for you here.
Conclusion: Intercultural coaching and counselling provide personalised support and guidance to ensure the the sustainable integration of international professionals in Germany.