"...and your phone, and computer, and a list of phone numbers and e-mail addresses for people you'll be working with. Let me know if you need anything else."
If, like many of my clients and former colleagues, you transferred to a U.S. office of your company from a different country, you may remember receiving a similar welcome on your first day in your new workplace. If this sounds familiar to you or, in contrast, if you were fortunate enough to be greeted with a more comprehensive, helpful orientation to the U.S., I would love to hear your story. What was helpful to you? What do you wish someone would have done or said to make your transition to the U.S. workplace easier?
For the ninth year in a row I'll be working with a group of clients from several countries in Asia next month, as they settle in to a U.S. workplace for a 7-month assignment. Next week I get to work with their U.S.-based mentors, to help them prepare to welcome their new colleagues.
As usual, we'll review feedback from previous groups of transferees and integrate some of their suggestions into our plans. We'll read (or re-read) Cornelius Grove and Willa Hallowell's article, Expats from Abroad in the U.S.A.: Six Steps for Effective Integration. We'll talk about the differences and similarities in cultural values, work styles, and communication styles and work together to create some simple strategies to make those first days and weeks go more smoothly for everyone.
If you have suggestions or stories of your own that you think would help us, please let me know. You can leave a comment here, or send me an e-mail privately at: email@example.com.
I'll share the best ideas here in a few weeks, and let you know what else we come up with that you might find helpful. Thanks!