A job to call my own!

When you think about your job, or the job you are looking for, what factors do you take into account?

The name of the company? The salary you will receive? Perhaps the environment and the direct and indirect benefits?

This is important information that can help you see your purpose within a job opportunity, as well as help you choose a position or company.

However, one of the points that contributes to your development, usually left in second or third place, only being considered when you ask if you will need more than one car to get to work, is Geography.

Yes, it is possible that we forget that “where” we will work – and/or, in a more current context, where we will work from – really impacts our purpose. It is common to answer “where will I work?” with a simple “at x company”.

But what does Geography, from the point of view of Work, effectively mean?

It still doesn’t mean, necessarily, how many buses you will have to take to get to your workplace. But this is still a very good indication of how much Geography impacts your work, and therefore your purpose.

In a direct way, geography is nothing more than the location from which you will perform your activities. It is not the work environment, but the city or country in which you will work.

This concept is ably validated by author Dick Bolles, who skillfully describes in his book “What color is your parachute?” (get this book on Amazon, it’s worth it!) seven important points that, interconnected, give purpose to Work:
People / People;
Working Conditions;
Salary; and,
This concept, called the Flower Exercise, is about seven points, or six petals and a center, that present seven facets of you – seven ways of describing who you are.

This concept is replicated by the anti-cancer Joseph Teperman, who drank from Bolles’ source in his (great) book Anticarrier (get access to his book by clicking here!), where he describes the Flower with the following petals:

Salary and Degree of Responsibility;
Knowledge; and,
Both authors, Bolle and Teperman, describe the Flower Exercise as an important tool about Work. In other words to understand the Work, and thereby make an important analysis about its current state and a possible desired state (a new opportunity, for example).

Both bring Geography at different moments of their flowers (Bolles brings it as the last petal, Teperman as the first), but this doesn’t change the value of it from one author to the other.

So what is Geography?

In the dictionary, the concept is comprehensive:

GE-O-GRA-FI-A: A science that describes in detail the surface of the Earth, studying its physical and biological aspects and the relationships between the natural environment and human groups.

For Bolles, Geography is a form of personal description, that is, it is how you describe yourself: through your preferences regarding your surroundings. The author asks: “In which place would you be happiest, do your best work, and love life most, all year round? Whether now, five years from now, or in your retirement”. He brings up items that make us think in various points of view; such as, do you prefer the heat or the cold? Mountains or the beach? City or countryside? And, here or in another country?

Teperman is already prophetic when he says that “the city or country where you work can influence your career paths and your sense of life satisfaction. He concludes by saying that we need to know if we are living in the right place.

And that’s where Global Mobility comes in: as an enabler of your purpose.

The possibility of moving to another city or country can, and should, be discussed from the point of view of career growth, with its due exceptions. Looking at yourself, and figuring out the next step – or even being sure that you would like to be in another country, is an important and essential part of your professional and personal development.

Discussing your possibilities, within your company, with the professionals who are dedicated to moving people around the world, brings you the answers you are looking for to that feeling of being in the wrong place. Or rather, in the wrong country. Bringing important results in your career, and exposure for opportunities outside your home country.

And, in case your company does not have a professional focused on this, talk to a specialized consultant, precisely to study the best options for you and your family (I borrow here the words of one of my first clients: “I always had the feeling that I was not in the right country for me”).

In times of COVID-19, making assertive decisions about your current status is essential. It is also important to be ready for new assignment modalities, and with barriers that were not part of the previous plan – such as migration restrictions, for example.

It is undeniable that geography is an integral part of your purpose.

So make a personal assessment, and make sure you are in the city or country where you should be.

If the answer is no, the good news is that you can count on good partners for your Global Mobility. After all, Geography is about the relationship “between the natural environment and human groups”, and the Global Mobility professional is an expert in this.