Moving to the U.S. as an Expatriate? 10 Expatriation Challenges and Ways to manage

Caterpillar SpiritMoving abroad as an expatriate can have multiple challenges. We have focused on 10 common challenges for expatriates as well as challenging questions to get you to think about how you can change and improve your perspective to better make for a successful expatriation in the USA, professionally and personally. Good Luck!

Challenging Question
1. Unclear objectives of the assignment. Why am/are I/we doing this?
2. Unclear and/or unrealistic expectations. What do I expect of myself? Is this realistic? If not, what is?
3. Small world mentality Am I frustrated due to a minimization of the differences?
4. Boredom How can I create routine for myself?
5. Reduced productivity First, see #1. Second, ask yourself, how can I better manage my personal and professional goals during this transition? (Hint: It typically takes the normal expat at least 6 months to reach productivity levels of their home country, so don’t be so hard on yourself!)
6. Mental and/or physical problems How can I take better care of myself?
7. Overwhelmed and pulled priorities How can I place boundaries on my time?
8. A loss of support network What resources exist? Remember to include virtual resources!
9. Not learning the language fast enough What will I do so I speak/hear/read the host language everyday? Also, see #2.
10. Negative attitude toward host nationals How can I increase my empathy? What else is going on that I am unaware of?

Written by Jamie Müller for The American Dream, July 2011

Caterpillar Spirit’s expatriate training and coaching programs provide valuable strategies, tips and support to manage the challenges mentioned above. If you’re experiencing some of these challenges and looking for support, contact us to learn more. We look forward to hearing from you.

Caterpillar Spirit
Developing Cultural Fluency and Intelligence
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