After moving from India to Europe, Royal Philips expat partner Vijayashree Mahadevan (Vijee) was ‘desperate’ to restart her career as quickly as possible but she discovered a little patience goes a long way.
“I was born and raised in Chennai. I went to university there and I started my career as a finance professional there. I’d travelled overseas as a tourist but I’d never had an international work experience,” says Vijee. “So I was pretty nervous about moving to Europe. I didn’t know what to expect. I just knew that I wanted to find a job.”
“The conversations I had with my Global Connection consultant Sybille Kenny helped me settle some nerves. When I told her that I wanted to start working immediately, she told me: ‘You don’t need to rush this.’ I came to realise that it’s better not to be working when you’re adjusting to relocation. I have a five-year-old daughter. Moving to Eindhoven was a big change for her and I needed to be there for her. I also found even menial tasks like going to the supermarket required more time and energy. It’s easy to feel overwhelmed when you are in a completely new environment. Starting a new job on top of that would have been too much stress.”
After taking some time to adjust, Vijee received support from career coach Heidi Los: “Heidi was meticulous in her role. Obviously she helped me rework my CV and LinkedIn profile for the local job market. But she also gave me very sound advice. For example, she urged me to narrow my search. I was applying for too many jobs, some of which weren’t completely suited to me. I would then get a rejection letter and be upset about that. Heidi urged me to be more selective.”
Starting with confidence
“Looking back now, I realise it’s much better to have waited for six months and land the right job rather than to straightaway be offered a job that wasn’t right for me and made me unhappy. It’s against my nature to be patient but slowing down helped me and I found an ideal role with Booking.com. Before the interview, I got very nervous and Heidi also helped me to prepare. Thanks to the cultural guidance and career coaching I received, I not only landed the job but I also started work with more confidence.”
Photo: Vijayashree Mahadevan