The Secret Diary of a Global Mobility Manager – Merry Christmas to All

by Gina Tonic

Expat Academy The Secret Diary of a Global Mobility Manager - Merry Christmas to All

Dear Diary,

As I look back on 2019, and all that the team have achieved this year, it gives me a feeling of wonderment. Had you told me in January all the things that would cross my desk this year, I might well have turned around and left the building severely questioning my career choice in life!

However, Global Mobility doesn’t work like that. The year always starts optimistically with plans for a thoroughly smooth pay review (we won’t go into how the new Reward colleague managed to upload incorrect salaries for the entire assignee population – all I can say is thank goodness for IT and system back-ups), an RFP or two, technology implementation or updates etc etc. What you can never plan for, and I don’t think you would really want to know upfront, are the curveballs that will cross your desk, sap hours of the team’s time and leave you wondering how you can try and find more than 24 hours in a day.

What a year…

This year, we have had more than our fair share of jaw dropping moments. There were ungrateful graduates, dual career disasters, emotional roller-coaster, vanishing shipments, injured cats, plenty of line manager’s over promises to unpick, unusual parties in serviced accommodation, and much more.

What a team effort

What never ceases to amaze me is the patience and resilience that the team have when these issues appear. Admittedly, by the coffee machine and in the team meeting there may be the shaking of heads, sympathetic eye rolling or the need for an expletive laden vent but, when dealing with the assignee, the vendors, the line managers and other stakeholders, the team’s professionalism, ingenuity and determination to get the matter resolved as fairly as is humanly possible, is awesome.

In addition, the support from our vendors has massively reduced the assignee noise this year. The time spent in building the relationships between their organisations and ours has definitely paid off and certainly got us out of some of the most difficult situations.

Would I change a thing?

Probably, in fact……. definitely. I’d change the line managers thought process that makes them look at Global Mobility updates and emails from my team and remember nothing of them!!! A big ask I know, but if I had £1 for every time I had to bite my tongue when speaking to a line manager and refrain from saying ‘I told you so’, I would have enough money to go to Barbados………. by Easter……. first class!!

But the rest of it?……… I probably wouldn’t change much. At the end of the day we are dealing with people, their families and their lives. If every employee and every situation was the same it would be very dull. I might as well hand my entire role over to AI and Robotics. There would be no challenges and no need for creative inspiration (that sometimes emerge from the most unlikely of places). It’s the very fact that some of the challenges don’t fit into standard processes and procedures that makes the day to day engaging. Time flies, the adrenaline rushes through the veins and at the end, the satisfaction of a job well done makes the grey hairs that are beginning to emerge, all worth it!!

So, with a Christmas G&T (and a Barbados holiday brochure) to hand, here’s wishing all Global Mobility professionals a Merry Christmas and the most peaceful, happy contented assignees in the New Year!

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