The Secret Diary of a Global Mobility Manager: What animal would I be?

by Gina Tonic

Expat Academy The Secret Diary of a Global Mobility Manager: What animal would I be?

Dear Diary,

If you were an animal, what would you be?

Don’t you just love icebreaker questions – as if I wasn’t nervous enough meeting people I have never met before, now I need to think about our natural kingdom. I can’t say cat as people will think I’m lazy. I’d like to tell the truth and say elephant because I never forget, but that might not come across well either. What on earth can I say? What is it that makes me stand out as a Global Mobility (GM) expert?

I’ve got it! So many years of working in GM, and I’ve finally figured out the most prized attribute a person needs to excel at working in this crazy industry:

Discernment – defined as ‘the ability to judge well’

How do I know if a day in the office is going to need bucket loads of discernment, or will I conclude that I have an astonishing lack of it? Well, let me see……..

‘Dear Gina. Thanks for the cost summary. It’s expensive. How can we be legally creative to reduce tax and immigration costs?’

‘Dear Gina. We want two employees to swap jobs and work in each other’s countries. Very talented Line Manager has done something similar in their previous company and said it’s just a small cost for visas. Make this happen!’

‘Dear Gina. I need childcare so FYI, my darling little one’s nanny is moving with us. But it’s fine, they won’t be officially working, just watching the kids while I work full time’

‘Dear Gina. An employee in my team wants to know how Brexit will impact them. This is my third polite chaser to you, why are you not responding?’

‘Dear Gina. Thanks for responding to all my extensive and unreasonable requests for data over the past 24 hours. I made lots of mistakes and everything has changed – why didn’t you know this? Please re-do and send to me NOW. Be great to meet you one day!’

‘Dear Gina. The world’s most exceptional employee works in my team and ten years ago I informally agreed to let them work in another continent. What are your concerns?’

‘Dear Gina. We have a crucial external hire who will be joining immediately. Here is scarcely any information on them, but please reply to me urgently with an in-depth cost analysis and step by step process for relocating them. We’ve promised to move their 4 rare breed dogs by the way.’

Quite enough for one day. Do I have an ability to judge well? Too right! I know you legally creative types, you well educated managers that have little common sense, you business partners that think my job is easy except for a little effort required here and there, and you excited candidates that will no doubt smuggle your 4 dogs into the office as if it’s normal. I love it that you stretch my intelligence and that I’m required to be discerning in all my interactions.

And guess what, I work in Global Mobility, so it’s obvious…….. I’d be a wise old owl!


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