Self-Initiated Expatriates (SIE), do you want to become one?

We receive more and more requests to support so-called Self-Initiated Expatriates (SIE), but who are they? And do you want to become one?

We all know more or less what an expat is, a person who is send abroad by an organisation for different reasons depending on the needs of the organisation.

Who are these Self-Initiated Expatriates?……..A SIE is a person who undertakes an international work experience without the help of an organization. The decision of employment is made by an organisation in the host country. This could be an organisation they already work for, or a new organisation.

Self Development and cultural experience often motivate the SIE to take the important decision to move abroad. Repatriation is not a major intension, whereas an Expat would expect this as part of his/her mission abroad.

SIE’s are responsible for their own job search and relocation as they are not supported financially. They are a growing part of the global workforce,  young, less committed to organisations and they tend to switch jobs easily.

What is interesting is that research shows this group is developing better cross-cultural skills and improve their language proficiency more than traditional Expats. Though they need to be challenged, developed and given freedom. If not, they will move on to other opportunities.

Why are companies still sending Expats abroad, as SIE’s are so ready to move ,are performing well and are less expensive?

A lack of familiarity with the values and culture of the company and even company specific business skills are main reasons for still sending Expats abroad. Potentially when the expat is send back, the job can be taken over by a SIE or local native employee.

It is a pleasure for us to support both Expats and SIE’s with accomplishing their specific Career & Integration goals. Should you consider any type of assignment abroad, call or email us , maybe we can help you with your decision or with building your business skills to be ready.