Global Mobility in Global Workforce
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By Beth Warner, Associate Director, Deloitte
If you are like me and have worked in mobility for over 11 years, you will be fairly comfortable with explaining what “mobility” means, especially in the small professional circles that we operate in. Even if a family member or, dare I say, a friend of a friend who has the ultimate dream-job of ice cream tasting, asks “So… what do you do for a living?” I will casually explain that we support organisations with their expat population. Everyone, or at least most, will have heard the term “expat”. And we move the conversation on to their thoughts on the latest Love Island episode, knowing at least they have a small idea of what we spend our working time doing.
With the changing nature of work and the rise of disruptive technologies, it is becoming increasingly clear that organisations need to be smarter about how they use their talent. No longer is it the norm for employees to be doing the same role day-in day-out for the lifetime of their career (25% of current roles are predicted to be replaced by automation in the next 20 years1 and the half-life of any particular skill is between 2.5 and 5 years). Instead, employees are finding that they need to continually reinvent themselves and, with the ease at which they can find new roles, job-hopping is fast becoming the new norm in a quest to find new challenges and develop new skills.
When I was younger I distinctly recall my father giving me two pieces of advice; “if you don’t ask you don’t get” and “never disclose your salary to anyone, especially to work colleagues”.
In my role at Deloitte I often hear from Mobility professionals how assignment allowances are often a negotiation, with assignees asking for more than the policy allows or complaining when they hear a colleague got a better relocation package than them. This led me to think about how, in part, assignees usually follow the first of my father’s advice to the extreme and the latter not at all!
Four months into my second pregnancy, I informed my boss in the Tokyo office of the fact that I would soon need to go on maternity leave. The natural course of conversation continued, with a discussion around the timing of my leave and how and when I would transition my client accounts. The unexpected, and perhaps unconventional part of this meeting was when I requested to go on an international assignment immediately after my maternity leave, and started to brief him on the reasons for the request and why I believed the business should let me go.