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Cross-cultural Career Transition

BPI logo"I used to think that anyone doing something weird was weird. Now I know that it is the people who call others weird who are weird."
Paul McCartney.

BPI  group (for whom we are the UK partner) is a French-based global consulting business, with offices throughout France. Internationally, it operates through a network of wholly-owned businesses, franchisees and partners. Its footprint is extensive, covering most countries in Europe, a large business in the US, as well as significant coverage in the Far East.

As a result of its global presence, we are often called upon to provide assistance to individuals wishing to relocate and find work in the UK. This can either be part of a personal desire to move, or the result of a partner or spouse relocation. These situations call for careful handling.  Supportive yet strong, realistic advice to manage expectations is necessary for those who are proactively choosing to job search in the UK.  Often there are two or more people involved in the move, as the job searcher or relocated employee may come with a family. For the ‘trailing spouses’ we offer a programme that is customised to address the bewildering array of enforced options and choices confronting them. In all these situations the individuals typically need tailored support to become acclimatised, and confident, in a different or unfamiliar country and job search market.

Small differences in cultural norms - for example the use of photographs on CVs (considered best practice in mainland Europe) - can create unnecessary and limiting hurdles. Another example; the UK/US emphasis on achievements can seem overly salesy to those more accustomed to an emphasis upon job titles, company names and educational qualifications. Trailing spouses face an additional challenge, as they may be unable to find employment at a similar level in the new country, yet need to maintain a career path should they wish to return to their home country in the future. To address these challenges, we apply career management techniques including capitalising on the use of social media networks (eg LinkedIn, Viadeo in France, and Xing in Germany) to maintain vital links and connections for the future.

BPI group and their clients value the insights and support that we bring in helping them navigate the cultural differences and complexities of the UK job market.