28 Nov Intel Group Names 2 Types of Expats — Future Immigrants and World Conquerors
They sign the contract, do their time (and spectacularly at that), and then return home to rediscover their roots until their international employer calls on them again. That essentially defines the work cycle that Global Mobility Managers have come to associate with their talents from all over the world.
Most assignees recognize that their posts are temporary if lucrative, and will use it to enhance their portfolio and leverage on their new international experience to find equally prestigious executive positions once they are back in their home country. One of our previous blogs had touched on this latter phenomenon, and described the growing ranks of patriot-returning assignees as Sea Turtles.
But these are not the only professional categories that assignees are evolving into, thanks to the expansion of international opportunities and their own abilities to immerse into a different culture. The Intelligence Group names two more that Global Mobility Managers should recognize among their ranks — and respond to in the most effective manner if they want to harness the gifts and ambitions of these talents in the most productive way. One group is called the Future Immigrants, while another has been called the World Conquerors.
Future immigrants choose to stay
The Future Immigrants are exactly what their name describes: assignees who, probably over the course of their time in their adopted country, realize that they do not want to return home but instead live permanently in it as a legal immigrant. In time, they might want to become citizens.There are various triggers that bring about this response. Some of these assignees do discover that they are valued in their country of employment and can work and live in it for a very long time. As contract renewals become regular, they become more at home in their new environment and start adapting its cultural practices, beliefs, and way of life as their own.
Marriage or a long-term, committed relationship with a partner who is a native of that country can reinforce that behavior. So do the birth and growth of kids, as transplanting them later on to the assignee’s home country may mean exposing them to major cultural adjustments. Another factor that makes the assignee feel welcome and more open of his new home is the presence of very friendly communities that are ethnically, racially, and religiously diverse. Examples of these enclaves can be found in the cities in Northern California.
World conquerors prefer to move around
The second new category which assignees can fall under is the so-called World Conquerors. Unlike the Sea Turtles, they have no plans of returning home after the completion of their current assignment. And unlike the Future Immigrants, they harbor no dreams of permanently residing in their country of employment. What they look forward to is an endless stream of assignments in other countries or regions. As one contract ends, they are gearing up to sign for another — preferably in a location different from their last one. And if they lasted a couple of years in the former, they would like to prolong that with another in the latter.
World Conquerors are not seeking to settle any time soon. They are driven, career-motivated, and want to add as many notches under their international belt as possible. They hunger to be exposed to global cities, soaking up the culture and the corporate practices, while expanding their skill set.
They may not have one motivation behind all this, but several. Professional advancement certainly is top of the mind, and executive leadership in an international post is another. Or like most millennials, they are fueled by the sheer excitement of expanding their knowledge and basking in travel experiences only a few can dream of.
With the emergence of these two types of assignees, it is important that Global Mobility Managers exercise more wisdom and discretion in discovering their motivations and dealing with them accordingly. The earlier they can understand these assignees and “identify” their category, the better.
For example, if an assignee shows hints of wanting to immigrate in the future, then the Global Mobility Manager should do the proper research quickly and see as to its feasibility, especially if there are current challenges like the current administration’s stricter policies on visas of foreign nationals. On the other hand, if the assignee is more of a World Conqueror, then the Global Mobility Manager can start creating a career plan that will nurture their talents while making them long-term assets of the company.
Ultimately, whether an assignee is a Future Immigrant or a World Conqueror, the best person to guide them on their path is the Global Mobility Manager. Recognizing where they fit and planning a productive professional ladder can benefit everyone in the long run.