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Strategies for a Smoother Cross-Cultural Relocation

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  • Slide 1
  • Strategies for a Smoother Cross-Cultural Relocation
  • Slide 2
  • Six Best Settlement Strategies Culture Shock - what is it and how to recognise the symptoms Australian culture - understanding the basics Job hunting - ways to find the work you want (despite your international background) Information sources - the most reliable options Finding the networks you need
  • Slide 3
  • 1. Find a friend 1.Good at languages, sport, music & solid stomach (ex: Salsa, tennis) 2.Critical level, residual level, expert level (10,000 hours) 3.Look for a friend like you were looking for a job 4.Pub culture VS restaurant culture 5.Ask how long they intend to stay (>6 months) and how long they have been here (>3 years) 6.Dont expect friendship at first sight. Ex: Coconut versus peach 27-Aug-153
  • Slide 4
  • 1. Find a friend 7.A friend is another network of friends 8.Publicis CEO 10% return at start, 10 year experience: Maximum return is 40% 9.Small people VS big people (quality over quantity i.e 50 ppl min) 10.Integrating an existing group of friends Clique attitude 11.Human limitation to social networking* (Indiana Uni 2011. Dunbar Number) is avg. 150 ppl Quantity VS Quality 12.List of websites on NN / Hard copy at LWN / Welcome to Sydney drinks (Attention : we dont disclose attendees contact details for confidentiality purposes) * 27-Aug-154
  • Slide 5
  • 2. Expect it to be challenging 1.Six first months are the hardest 2.Three years plateau where expats decide to stay (i.e length of usual expat contract is expiring, become a permanent resident) 3. Develop new routines 1.Be consistent with the activities you choose (i.e weekly basis for six months at least) 4. Be curious - ask question 1.Asking questions doesnt mean you are stupid 2.Expand your knowledge of social skills 1.How to make friends and influence people from Dale Carnegie 2.The Game & The rules of the Game by Neil Strauss 27-Aug-155
  • Slide 6
  • 5. Collect local information 1.Council (mothers group) 2.City of Sydney ( for festival newsletters...) 3.TimeOut 4.Entertainment Book 5.SMH Good Food Guide 6.Culture Shock! Australia: A Survival Guide to Customs and Etiquette from Ilsa Sharp, Penguin Books Australia 7.Why You Are Australian: A Letter to My Children by Nikki Gemmell, Happers Collins 8.Strange Country: Travels In A Very Different Australia by Mark Dapin 9.Other travel books written by Anglo on your country. Ex : Shantaram is a 2003 novel by Gregory David Roberts, Australian expat in Inda. Almost French by Sarah Turnbull, ATLP by Bryce Corbett 10.Expat Returned Meet-up 27-Aug-156
  • Slide 7
  • 6. Start new activities 1.Pro actively follow-up 2.Be the organizer 1.Leads to be invited back 2.Small list (less than 30) VS Big list 3.Always consider 20% drop-out 4.The bigger the list, the less the reliability of presence 5.Reliability of social network RSVPs 6.Formal VS informal settings 7.Have a regular (monthly, fornightly, weekly) event you organize so you have an excuse to invite people over without too much pressure and get people to mix around 27-Aug-157 Six Best Settlement Strategies (5/5)
  • Slide 8
  • 27-Aug-158 StageLengthDescriptionExamples Stage 1 Day 1 > 3 months Excitement and fascination with the new culture honeymoon Fantasy about the new place/life Stage 2 1 month > 12 months Crisis period particularly challenging Hero to Zero Syndrome, depression Ex: Compare everything to home country Stage 3 6 months > 18 months Adjustment phase transition When are you home? Ex: Change minds about staying or leaving Stage 4 12 months > 10 years Acceptance and adaptation phase - secure Same situation, different issues Ex: Work law in FR (very strong but market is very hard) VS AU (none but flexible and reactive) Stage 5 Returning to home Re-entry - Reverse culture shock - repatriation Home is where are the people you love Homesick never leaves you wherever you go You are a foreigner in own country Ex: Hay Fever allergic to France
  • Slide 9
  • Mateship (group/individual society, public/private property) Tall Poppy Syndrome Low power hierarchy Ask questions !! Follow the rule Low risk aversion Short term Aboriginal > NT/Kakadu/Darwin
  • Slide 10
  • Conflict management (annual review, neg feedback w/o neg words) High school, university & alumni network Immigration, multiculturalism & identity (Asian denial) Motherhood and fem/masculine culture Children education (praise VS criticism) > Impact as an adult (sales skills) Tax, superannuation and investments Medicare and health insurance Work life balance
  • Slide 11
  • Dating (liberal VS conservative), incl. money symbols Public Display of Affection (the way he looks at me) Money management (low risk aversion) Pub/Boozy culture Third Culture Kid TCK / Adult Third Culture Kid ATCK Australian vocabulary (no worries, fair enough, Ta, arvo, barbie, telly, lolly any shorties) Avoid conflictual subjects i.e sex/politics/religion. Different opinions might impact relationships Appraisal culture Australian Culture What else? (2/2)
  • Slide 12
  • Australian resume standards 3 page long, no picture ( recruitment agencies do not usually correct resumes. Ask for feedback and face to face meetings) Experience over 10 years, just put one line. Dont leave gaps. Precise work experience location (city, country) Look for templates on Indicate objectives, key competencies, key achievements Check your references will give you actual good references Keyword software screening Adapt your resume as you submit applications, based on job descriptions of your ideal job on Obtain recognition of local standards for your education in your industry or consider taking them (ex: CA, CPA for Accountants...) Consider taking classes (ex: TAFE...) Anglo Saxon Name VS Foreigner Name. Consider adopting nicknames (ex: Ella, JF) & indicating nationality (ex: Sanaz UK): 65% less to be contacted for an interview if your name is Indian, Chinese... 27-Aug-1512
  • Slide 13
  • How you apply is important too Your Resume Filename is Resume (i.e put your name!!!) Your Email Makes No Reference to the Open Position Your Email Has no Text, no message, nothing You Tell Me You Have All of the Right Qualifications When You Dont Have a Single One Follow up and Say Thank You (ex: Card, ref Edwina...) Interview tips Ask about the company (search Google is a minimum) Why this job wasnt fulfilled some internal resources? What is a typical day? Do you like working for this company? Why? What are the companys objectives in the next 3 years? What does the jod/department brings to this objectives? 27-Aug-1513
  • Slide 14
  • First Australian work experience (> 6 months) Travel further to get experience Graduate Program / Internship Voluntary work / Non paid work ( 457 and PR can break the low if there are under a certain threshold) Other experience in your industry even if it is non-related to your usual occupation Create a public profile on, Join professional groups on Consider a reconversion (i.e studies) Hospitality experience Pass the Responsible Service of Alcohol (RSA) Agencies :,,,, 27-Aug-1514 * **
  • Slide 15
  • Salary surveys (ex: Free annual salary surveys from HAYS*, Temporary Skilled Migration Income Threshold currently $47 480 per annum**). Do not encourage lower paid jobs. Level of English (ex: IETLS > 7.0) First test is the recruiter phone call Recruiters will tell you to come back in six months Get hands-on (i.e stop inferiority complex, avoid rambling) Find a buddy for swap language (ex:, British Council... Attention to notion of standard English US/UK/AU) Attend a language school or Better appreciated by Universities Better than TAFE (?) With Nativas, can bargain prices if there is a cheaper language school i.e $350 instead $396/week if you go through one of their agents ( [email protected] ) [email protected] * **
  • Slide 16
  • Co-optation Preferred channel for companies (i.e. employees network) Do not hesitate to contact operational people directly (ex: They obtain significant bonuses when they place someone even if they dont pass the probation period. Coaching/Career Development Career Development Association of Australia Find a mentor, someone more experienced than you Career Development Center LinkedIn Add everyone from your previous companies, universities

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