A home away from home
When I thought about England, I immediately pictured Piccadilly Circus in London, red double-decker buses and the Queen. But of course, London is not like the rest of England and it is much more than the images popping up in my mind. England is my new home for the next four months. How exciting!
It is a dream coming true – working in a foreign country. I have always wanted to go abroad and now I am able to realise my dream within the TGW expatriation programme. I am going to work at TGW Limited in Market Harborough, UK for four months. Of course, it was a stressful time during the last days at work in Austria, and yes, I am a bit sad to leave my colleagues behind, but what lays ahead of me is the adventure I have been looking forward to for months.
I have been working at TGW’s Marketing department in Austria for three and a half years now. The next four months will be a whole new TGW experience with a new team, new insights into the Marketing of TGW Limited, into their communication strategies and how we could learn from each other to optimise our methods across the Group. I left the office in Wels with great expectations – both on the working and the personal level.
On Sunday, March 1st, I arrived at Market Harborough and saw my new home for the first time: a redbrick house in the middle of England. Very British! I settled in very quickly, not only due to my TGW roommates I will share the house with. But also due to the warm welcome of HR Manager Lisa Haggar and my Marketing colleague Angie Dawkins, whom I had worked with for more than three years without meeting in person. When I was introduced to the UK office, it almost seemed as if I was just switching desks. The same familiarity with my colleagues, the same TGW spirit and TGW’s projects on my schedule. And even though it feels very similar to home, it is different. It is special.
Colleagues are called “Darling” and “Love” in the office, coffee, tea, chocolate and other snacks are available for free there , shops are open until 10 pm and offer a huge range of everything your heart desires, you have to drive your car on the other side of the street … well that’s already quite a difference … it’s just another country I am living in right now, it is different to home. And that’s good, as it is something I have always wanted to experience. Still I don’t feel like a stranger at all … leaving aside the driving aspect, which makes me a bit nervous every time I buckle the seatbelt.
I am sure the next four months will be extremely rewarding on a personal as well as on the business level. The first meetings have already been arranged, the to-do list is long but as the saying goes “The journey is its own reward”, I am highly convinced of the value of spending some time in a foreign country. It is indeed a home away from home …