Expat Homesickness – 3 Ways to Deal with it and Heal from it

Homesickness

You hear the term ex-pat a lot.

I’ll be honest. I never really knew what it meant until I started teaching ESL. I associated the term with retirees sipping piña coladas on islands in the Caribbean. Just in case you are like me and don’t know the definition, the Oxford Dictionary defines an ex-pat as a person temporarily or permanently residing in a country other than their native country.

Come to find out, the term actually applied to me. Who knew? My guess is that it might apply to you, too. You see, I’ve lived in Germany twice in my life. I lived their temporarily while studying and later while doing an internship. And, let me tell you…

I did not make a good expat. There was neither piña colada drinking nor much enjoyment at all for that matter. In fact, I was terribly homesick both times.

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How to succeed in the international workplace when English is not your first language

You are outgoing, confident, and witty. Your colleagues always compliment you on your speaking abilities and presentation skills.

But now that you’re working in an English language environment, everything feels off.

You’re less enthusiastic about speaking up during meetings or volunteering for presentations. In fact, you’ve become the opposite of the social person you used to be and you’re worried about your accent or self-conscious about pronunciation. When a big part of your job is about interpersonal skills this is a problem.

A few workplace communication challenges you probably face include:

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Performance Issue or Language Barrier? How to Know.

language barrier

Recruiting or managing international talent is an important component of today’s global workforce. Large multinational corporations that have a strong base of employees and managers that are local to their region also tend to have less turnover and higher morale. However, when fitting all the disparate people and teams together, the issue of language skills inevitably comes up. While English may be the lingua franca of many large corporations, managers will find varying degrees of proficiency that may or may not be masking larger issues.

This makes employee evaluations one of the more difficult aspects of the job because it can often be difficult to tell whether the issues holding a person back are performance-related or simply due to a language barrier. In this article we’ll look at ways to discern between the two.

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5 Good Reasons Why We Should All Care About Employee Engagement

Employee engagement has been a hot topic among HR experts for at least a decade now, yet Gallup reports that about 70 percent of employees are still not fully engaged in the workplace. The Society for Human Resource Management found that 55 percent of employees are not engaged or are apathetic about their work, and another 26 percent are actively disengaged. Forty-eight percent of employees are actively seeking new jobs and careers.

Does this mean it does not matter if managers treat employee engagement as a higher or lower priority?

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4 Important Pieces of the Employee Experience Puzzle

No, technology will not kill HR, but it will force HR to evolve.

Traditionally, organizations tasked HR departments with a few key functions – compliance, recruiting, training, payroll, benefits – but many of these responsibilities are being automated by new technology. This may look like a grim picture, but it actually means that HR jobs will get a touch more interesting in several ways.

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