I worked for 10 years as finance manager in big industrial groups, internationally and in France. 3 years ago, my husband was offered a job in Mexico. Having positioned myself as internationally mobile but without a positive response from my company, we jointly decided to accept that offer. I left my job in France. As I was used to working in multicultural environments, I was confident I would quickly adapt and find a job in Mexico. Once there, I signed up for Spanish lessons. I had always dreamt of speaking the language: I would finally understand the Latino songs I had been dancing salsa to for years!
In spite of all this, my need to work was not fulfilled. I was faced with two new challenges:
- Being without work, from one day to the next, when I had always been very busy professionally:a radical chance of pace,
- Having to fit in totally foreign Mexico, assimilate its culture and values (completely new to me), and finding new bearings.
It turns out that I was not prepared for our move abroad at all.
I then put myself into frantic job search mode. At first, nobody would get back to me. Then, no interviews were offered to me. This went on for weeks. It finally paid off and I got some interviews lined up. When I had interviews, I would go and the process was started. Was that enough to boost my ego? In fact, it was the beginning of a long pernicious spiral. Weeks went by between each call back, when I was lucky enough to get one. And when I had the feeling that a job offer was within my reach at last, nothing happened! It was emotionally the hardest time of my life. I ended up losing all confidence in myself. I was so desperate as to accept any job, as long as I felt useful! As an expat’s wife, I was very uncomfortable explaining my career path in Mexico. And as a consequence, I was giving a negative and impatient image of myself. The feeling of failure grew even bigger. It took me a great deal of time to figure out that I needed to understand the codes of Mexican culture and distance myself from the expat’s wife tag if I was to ever get a job in Mexico. And that new strategy paid off: I was adjusting! And I was finally offered two assignments. Both in Mexican companies, in finance, and in my activity sector, aeronautics. For my first assignment, I was in charge of federating Mexican personnel around the financial processes, of explaining how the rise of financial data works so as to help them understand its importance along with the necessity on their part to be punctual in the process. My second assignment consisted of putting in place management controls in different Latin American entities. I trained the local finance teams on the financial processes of the firm. I was the point person between those teams and the firm’s CFO. Those work experiences were very enriching, both culturally and professionally. It was the equivalent of an intensive training and the guarantee for a successful integration! But not without many efforts, a radical change of mentality, and letting go of all prejudices. Once I got over the recruitment hardship, I also had to adapt to the Mexican work habits and local managerial practices. You no doubt know how difficult and seemingly never-ending those steps are. The most difficult step is taking the time to assimilate Mexican cultural codes, particularly in terms of work habits, while being in a rush to start working. If you are about to move, or recently have, what do you need to maximize your job search efforts in Mexico? Already working in Mexico – how can you efficiently integrate yourself, both professionally and culturally? Convinced that my experience can benefit you, I created the program Working in Mexico as an expat , to help you in your Mexican career ambitions. If you are interested, please contact me for a 30-minute Skype meeting, free and without commitment. Together, we will analyze your career situation and objectives.