May 14, 2015 Finally I am ready to tell the world – starting with you, my dearest blog audience – about my new endeavours. When we took the decision to move to Japan, I felt that this would be the opportunity to make some changes in my career. I was absolutely certain that I would not want to work in yet another communications role. But the new job needed to be “transferable” to any country in the world. It needed to be a company that only requires me and my laptop and is thus easy to relocate.
In my previous roles I realised that I am much more fascinated by the facilitation of the inter-cultural communication (within the team or with the clients) than by the task itself. I found it much more challenging – and interesting – to manage the project communication across cultural differences, to make each team member understand what we were trying to achieve and what they were supposed to do than working on the actual campaign message. Whether I was adapting to a Belgian work environment, a Swiss or a French one, I always tried to “fit in”, be respectful towards the differences, but true to myself.
Now I am drawing from these experiences to set up my own cross-cultural training company. With Beyond – Global Mindset and Cross-cultural Competence, I am focussing mainly on Japanese employees who have to face Western colleagues and supervisors. Please take a look at my website: http://www.beyondglobalmindset.com to learn more.
This morning I held the first training session on cultural awareness with 6 Asian women at our house and it went really well. I truly enjoyed the session with them as we shared a lot of experiences and they do have – of course – a very different view on a lot of things. I am very happy with the feedback they provided which will help me improve future sessions. I plan to do one more pro bono training at home beginning of June and then I hope to get started with the “real” business after the summer break in September.
And of course I do have one of the most important things ready as well: the meishi – the business cards. You cannot live without them in Japan. Now I am doing my best to get my large print run distributed and to do a little word-of-mouth advertising. The real work will start later this year with hopefully not too much canvassing before I can get my foot into some doors.