Education

Once again: Act local, think global

The current employment situation has made many individuals' career plans obsolete. The new choices, says executive coach John M McKee, come down to your career or your lifestyle.
Item 1: My eldest son is an IT consultant based in Palos Verdes, California.  Like most pros who work in this sector; he is very comfortable using the best resources and tools available for the particular project.  Wherever created, and as long as it was developed legitimately and honestly, if a new tool can do job in a better manner, he will use it.  Son #2 lives in Japan.  The organization he's with thought that Japan was where he'd make the best contribution to their goals.  Although he doesn't yet speak Japanese fluently, my son is studying it, adapting to life in a country with very different attitudes and customs. Item 2: Over the past months my client list has included a woman who moved from New York to Hong Kong to get a new job doing what she loves and another client in New Jersey who quit one company to join another at a more senior level based in Vancouver, Canada.  I was asked to help an executive based in London as he decided to relocate to Sydney, Australia.  Another client, this time in the TV broadcast sector, decided it was time to move forward in her career.  To do so, she's linking up with a new organization based in Florence, Italy.

Can you smell a trend?

These people represent, to a large degree, the way the world is evolving.  A recent article in The New York Times, described this career shift,  and evolution, particularly well.  Called, "Shut Out at Home, American Graduates Find Work in China", the piece describes the new reality for careerists who want upward mobility and employment that meets all their needs.

Item 3: I was recently contacted by a project manager who was seeking a move. She wanted to stay within the IT sector but had been unsuccessful for about six months.  Every job she went after was being flooded with applications.  Feeling unable to score a new job on her own, she asked if I could give her any advice, tips or tactics.

Based in Montana, she said her current assignment was boring, low paying, and likely to disappear after the next department budget was finalized.  I asked about her background.  It was clear that the woman had a good education, competent and conscientious.  She seemed clear-headed about her job prospects in the western states, noting that she was prepared to move anywhere to get into a role that energized her, increased her compensation, and moved her into a more senior, challenging role.

This lady also represents, to a large degree, the way the world is evolving - but seen from another side.

Item 4: A guy I've known for decades recently relocated from Winnipeg, Canada to Cairo.  Nearing retirement, he wanted one last great adventure before he left the company.  He doesn't speak the language, hadn't traveled a lot in his life, and knew very little about life in the Middle East.

But he knows the company and how it works.  And that was all the brass needed to offer him the opportunity to spearhead a new initiative overseas for two years.  In their opinion, someone with a solid understanding of "how they do things," their systems and procedures was exactly what was required to get things started.  They'd deal with hiring locally once business was up and running.  The near-retirement guy gets a great challenge and an adventure to cap off his career.  He'll be a strong mentor for the local hires.

Baby boomers aren't moving aside as fast as was forecasted just a few years ago.

Regardless of industry, if one is in the IT world, they are going to feel this change increasingly as time passes.  If you're serious about a career, and "young" (physically or mentally), it's time to broaden your horizons.  If not, you may end up stuck in a job which is neither fulfilling or well paid.  You can do better.

john

Leadership Coach

About

John M. McKee is the founder and CEO of BusinessSuccessCoach.net, an international consulting and coaching practice with subscribers in 43 countries. One of the founding senior executives of DIRECTV, his hands-on experience includes leading billion d...

19 comments
gregorio_pvk
gregorio_pvk

I'm ready for the journey. BORN 1960 = baby boomer, BUT born in Spain, IN WHICH country after 35 you're too old for the job. BEEN IN IT for > 25 years. COBOL, 370, CICS, IMS DB/DC, ASM370, JCL, TSO ... + so many many things ... BUT CONSIDERING AGE + Mainframe-Base Shrinkig = ZERO AND ALTHOUGH I was working for Micro Focus (Yes!) for 10 years & having a Univeristy of Houston endorsed EMBA THEN: I'm ready to flee to the US or Australia, or wherever for the salary of a newbie. ... and I guess it's a WW situation: like in cavitation, everybody relocates to fill a gap. Every particular as a result lives better. The trouble is for companies: Vacancies, new people ... BUT let?s thik of it as a positive circumstance ...

JohnMcGrew
JohnMcGrew

It almost seems like America is no longer seen as the land of opportunity. Yes, my wife and I discuss this every so often. She has worked overseas, and is willing to do so again.

capodieci
capodieci

As per subject. Not my case tho: I moved 1000 miles away, THEN I got a job! :)

larrie_jr
larrie_jr

How does one find these types of opportunities? How does one complete the 'interview' process? Where do I sign up??? This friggin' economy is killing me. I went into consulting and contracting to gain experience in many differnet skills (soft and technical) and at the time, it was a sound decision. Now that I've gained the experience, and am tired of working for myself in this feast or famine field, I too am looking for work. I am sooo tired of being in the top five (out of 1500 applicants) and not getting the top spot... it's happened more than once now and is becoming quite demoralizing. My youngest child has just turned 21 and my wife and I are ready to travel the world. It would be cool to do it in a working situatuion; Ireland comes to the forefront... so if anyone knows of the resources neccesary to achieve this type of thing, PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE... post a link?

trapper
trapper

o Yes, even for less money, if the locale met my/our lifestyle choices.

PMPsicle
PMPsicle

Having travelled I would love to do it again. And the chance to introduce my family to another country would be wonderful. However ... The chance to change jobs, to introduce a new set of issues, problems and solutions would be just as wonderful. To do both? Certainly would be interesting. And, in fact, I'm trying to make that a possibility for the near future. The point is that, in today's world, either type of change should be embraced. However, with family comes responsibility and sometimes it's just easier to switch careers. And sometimes, changing careers is a desirable choice. The final choice really should have been "No, I'll just starve if I have to". Glen Ford, PMP http://www.trainingnow.ca http://www.learningcreators.com/blog

EnterpriseITGuy
EnterpriseITGuy

I've had the priviledge of living and developing my career in several countries after leaving my home country in '96. Working abroad has been a defining experience both personally and for my career. It has helped me to develop, and opened up opportunities I would never have seen had I remained in Canada. My latest post is great, and I'm enjoying my job here, but I'm always looking forward to starting the expat process again and moving to another country. There remains so much more to see and experience. For those with families and kids, most companies will help your spouse find a job in the new country (or you can negotiate for this), and most countries also have great international schools. Living and working abroad is an excellent experience that only broadens your horizons and will return to you far more than you thought possible. For those that have tried it, you know what I mean. For those of you who havent yet - what are you waiting for?

rickerg
rickerg

My family has recently considered a move to Europe. But at 50 I wonder what chance I have of landing a job. While I am up to date with all of the latest IT trends many companies in the U.S. prefer younger employees.

clipvst
clipvst

Have you ever considered a position with the government? I am currently in the process of getting just such a job with the US State Department. You can go anywhere, move every few years to another post, GREAT benefits, job security. I could go on, but I'm not on the payroll YET (the process IS a bit painful & drawn out). If you are interested in what the author proposes, give their web site a look. They are always looking for qualified people from a wide variety of backgrounds. Good luck!

santeewelding
santeewelding

Be getting too real. Don't you know this is all digital? Of no real import?

schneider1a
schneider1a

Would be interesting to know what percentage out of those have done it already. For me better job opportunities should not be the main driver for relocation. It is much better to do it because you are interested in the new location and lifestyle. The job should follow your personal interest. Remember there is a live outside your job.

larrie_jr
larrie_jr

You got any connections? Links? Advice on how to accomplish this feat? I can't find these positions on CraigsList I'll send my resume... Serious

larrie_jr
larrie_jr

Yet you offer no context to the "local actions" one might take to achieve this...

Justin James
Justin James

I have *dreamed* of doing just this for ages. For a while, I was looking at becoming an English teacher in Japan. Now, however, this dream has been set aside. The woman I married has her entire family (except her brother) within a 90 minute drive of where we live. And she is extremely tied to her family. I know that if she could no longer see them 2 - 4 times a week like she does now (we see her niece and sister even more than that), she would be absolutely devasted. So I am tied to the town that I spent years trying to get out of once I arrived here, and I'm making the most of it. Just bought a house (which I swore I'd never do, since it severely reduces your ability to take advantage of opportunities), too. Maybe in 10 - 20 years, when many of her relatives pass away (most of them are in the 60's) the situation will be different, but until then, I've learned to say "ma'am", "ain't", and "y'all". :) J.Ja

boxfiddler
boxfiddler

That makes us all (here) a bunch of phonies? Doomed, I'm doomed. etu

Forum Surfer
Forum Surfer

I have a child and an ex-wife. If one of us moves we deprive our child of a parent. We both agreed that is unfair to either of us or our child, and not to move out of a set radius long ago.

JamesRL
JamesRL

But I'm in the same place, with three kids to boot. I do have a niece and nephew who are teaching English in Seoul. James

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