- In May 2018, after two years on home leave in Daikin Netherlands, I went for two years on an assignment as a Finance and planning manager in Daikin Portugal together with my wife Lore and our dog Zulu.
- During this time, our daughter Nola was born in Portugal. The whole assignment was an exciting experience, both personally and professionally.
- Paperwork: It seems simple, moving to another country, though it is unbelievable how much paperwork is required (one tip, do not try to import a car from Belgium to Portugal). I learned that the general rule of thumb is that the first 6 months as an expat, the paperwork will haunt you (unless you try to import a car, it will take more than a year).
- Life in Portugal: Portuguese are extremely friendly, the weather is amazing and the country is beautiful. We were lucky that we found a nice house with garden, and Lore found a very nice job in a creche.Life’s good in Portugal, and it is a pleasure exploring new places, meeting new people and eating and drinking amazing food and wine.
- My development: Professionally, it is a great experience. I got a lot of responsibility in my new function, which was a great challenge. The Portuguese Daikin team was very supportive and I believe that we achieved some great things together. This in turn led to a steep learning curve where I personally developed in several ways (like people centred management, always looking for the consensus, change management, …) Being in an affiliate, being close to the market opens up a new perspective on the Daikin Business. Meeting with actual customers, understanding the everyday struggles of sales engineers, accountants or any other department gives you new insights in how Daikin operates. These insights are a big added value when working in the headquarter as it gives you additional insights.
Living and working as an expat in another country is an unique experience in different ways, and we are very glad that we have taken this undertaking.