Corporate culture is another factor in the transplantation of an employee who once was familiar with one way of performing and now is confronted with a whole new set of rules when posted abroad within the same company. This can be seen when a satellite company is managed, structured and based upon a different hierarchy or cultural norms unfamiliar to both the expat and foreign firm which may a cause a great deal of frustration and angst among both parties.

In this information age, it has been observed on various blogs, forums and expat community resources that the family is often the last to know what is really going on or how to prepare themselves for the new move abroad. When dealing with Europe it may not be such a difficult task to find international or American schools, the local leisure activities and welcoming committee for the spouse and family. China is emerging as an international, interconnected community but still has long way to go to
develop its daily migration of foreign staff who are arriving daily at its shores.

With respect to the family of an engineer it can have a dramatic impact on the spouse’s career and children. Will the spouse or mother be able to continue a career even remotely similar to the one that she is leaving? Will the children be able to find proper schooling, an international bachelorette program or something similar to the education that they left behind? Are they prepared to make new friends, learn a new culture, language possibly and go without some of the creature comforts left back in their home country. China has opened its doors greatly and is on a path of great economic growth but may lack the little things like easy access to Facebook, Youtube or other favourite social networking sites that may be a very important tool, the spouse and children may need to forgo. A bit of due diligence is highly recommended.  It’s the little things matter, things like excellent communication skills, the ability to prepare to go on short notice. It has been discovered that most firms give only 3 months to
prepare with at times, unclear objectives.

Who is most responsible for the success for the placement and transition of the candidate abroad?
There is no easy answer. Both corporations and their expat workers are responsible. First, there should be clearly marked objectives and timelines for completion.  However, time spent figuring out the lay of the new land in Asia takes more time than most allot.   The expat needs significant time to understand the differences in values, interpersonal communication and behaviour in the workplace.

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