Foreign Talent

You are working just nicely in your company, probably made up of mostly local colleagues that share your interests and once in a while, you’ll hang out with them in a pub across the road especially on Fridays when everyone wind down and bitch about work or talk about the upcoming games over beer.
Screen Shot 2015-10-13 at 1.19.37 amSuddenly out of nowhere, your boss introduce the new kid in town, literally a new kid in town called Jane. And Jane is not from your country, in fact, this might be her first time in the country and your boss says she is now working in the office as part of the management team. She is what we called the foreign talent. She filled up a seat that most of the senior staff have been eyeing for months ever since the good old Heath retired. She doesn’t hang out with you all for a beer because she needs to get home early for her kids. You felt that she is a hinder to your ideas because she is talking about international standards when you are targeting local audience.

A week later, you notice a swanky new car parked at the office carpark and joked ‘who has won the lottery?’, then at the end of the day, you are told its Jane’s and it’s part of her expatriate package. In fact, the house she lives in is part of the package.

At work, she called for endless meetings and asked everyone to pitch in ideas. No longer a smirk and a grunt will do at the table. She wants presentations and reports. She wants changes!

Jane is making your work life a living hell, now you just wish you can call in sick every single day. And guess what? You are not alone, many of your coworkers had the changes she is bringing into the company.

Welcome the foreign talents! That’s not a nice impression of introducing foreign talents. However, they are definitely here to stay. I have just listed the extreme circumstances surrounding foreign talents invading your local company but WAIT, it is not all bad.
business-696076_640First, you need to understand why your company is bringing someone foreign into the company. It usually because a certain lack of attributes in your workplace that your company needs to have in order to move forward. For example, exploring a new market or expanding globally. I’m not talking about the low wage workers here because I would have called them foreign skilled employees. They comes with skills that could possibly assist the company invade or conquer the areas yet to be explore.

Secondly, if your management is a responsible one, they would have taken time to explain why they are doing this. Just by planting someone from a foreign country on already well established environment without explanation will cause confusion and speculations. So if your boss haven’t taken time to talk to you about the change, it’s time for you to ask. Ask about the direction the company is heading.

Thirdly, it is not all bad. I would know because I have been one myself. And all you know, the incumbent needs help too. More than you know. They need you to show them the culture of your workplace, they need help in going through the procedures and process already in place with your company.

file6061311866135Ultimately, everyone just want to do their job right. The pressure is for the foreign talent to prove their worth to the company especially since the company has paid a substantial amount to move him here and it’s not all about the money too, it’s also about achieving their worth equivalent to what they are being paid.

Instead of being defensive and rounding up your colleagues who don’t like Jane and to gather enough signatures to push her out of the company. Think deeply… If a company could hire or train someone who has her exposure and experience, why would the company want to spend more money to hire a foreign talent? Companies are all for money pinching and cost saving (psst.. That’s why nobody replace the coffee machine in the pantry for half a year..).

Now second thoughts, can you identify what are the attributes that Jane has and you don’t? What does she has to bring on the table? What’s her unique selling point? Don’t be so quick to judge others before looking inside you. What do you have?

And then, some final thoughts… Are there attributes you can adopt or improve on or learn outside of your work? If Jane speak Chinese and your company wants to expand its business to China, wouldn’t you want to pick up that language to give you an edge for the next promotion? Heck, you might even be the foreign talent that get sent to China branch.

Have you encounter any foreign talent in your company? What do you think of them? Share your views below with us!

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29 comments

  1. Kally, it’s really helpful to see the such corporate perspective from management circle. As you put correctly, employees may not be aware of the business directives and hence develop grudge towards such talents. lovely article again.

    Liked by 3 people

  2. This is good to read, we had a new management team in and every body left, except my colleague and me. It was extremely hard with so many changes (still is sometimes) but I can see lots of improvement as a whole!

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Love this. Some great points and if someone from another country comes to work at one place who knows where the talent pool foreign exchange will place employees? It’s not an alien concept we even the stick in the muds do learn to adapt and with that attitude comes amazing once in a lifetime opportunities.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I’m certainly not a businessman or entrepreneur, as you know, but your article reminds me very much of my parents’ philosophy and practice in life: Exposure, new experiences, and different perspectives are always good. I believe your article conveys (at least in part) the same idea. My father always encouraged me to read different types of literature, from different time periods and cultures; we travelled (as much as we could afford); we had foreign guests in our home; my father even rented foreign films for us to watch (w/subtitles, of course) because he said it was good to see movies made outside of Hollywood! At any rate, I hope my comment is not “off-topic;” this particular article just happen to really bring back some powerful (and dear) memories of childhood … good experiences, which have made me the person I am today! (So … I probably would not be one of those disgruntled employees, who hate “Jane,” the newly-hired foreign talent! In fact, I’d probably be one of the first to introduce myself and welcome her aboard!)

    Liked by 2 people

  5. What is important? A good question. Drink a beer with colleagues with them, pay his tour … A ritual to relax before heading home. It is indeed a good question. This is usually only one is witness, invited to an upcoming wedding, or to a rack, a retirement … What do I know? For lots of reasons. That is what being in a band with its own rules and traditions. Cohesion, it unites the team is strengthened by sharing it.
    Kally want, it’s mine, what do you drink? The same thing, and you, and you?

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Very well written. Sometimes even people from a different part of the same country are treated like this….speaking from my experiences too. I think maturity is the missing ingredient but articles like yours can only help so well done 👍😊

    Liked by 2 people

  7. Well I’ve never had the experience of a foreign talent on a job, but It sounds alot like an experience I had with a foreign exchange student, who came to my school from India. She became a favorite of all the teachers and was incredibly intelligent, however because she had an accent, most of the kids were terribly cruel, some assumed she was arrogant. When I took the time to actually get to know her, suddenly she wasn’t that kid from India any more, she became one of the best friends I ever had. I’m pretty sure if the story had been reversed and I had moved to India, people would have said my accent was funny too lol. always put yourself in the other persons shoes 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Well said!! I’m so glad you took the opportunity to get close to her and know her. You definitely learned a lot more from her being her from a different culture and background. Thanks for sharing this, very inspiring. 😊

      Liked by 1 person

      • If i wanted to be friends with someone who was exactly like me, then I would just scientifically clone myself but how boring would that be? haha This is a big beautiful world, with many wonderful people and each one I think makes all of our lives that much richer. When we open our hearts and minds to other experiences 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  8. Here in UAE, most people who work in the higher position are from overseas. Expats with some perks the same as what you mentioned and more. It is acceptable as it has been like this for so many many years.
    It is not the Company who needs them but also the Country needs them. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Only in the UAE, haha! I find that expat packages no longer offering or pretty rare in Asia countries unlike previous years. Even in China and India, a lot more expats are willing to work there for an exchange of culture instead of the luxurious packages.

      Like

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