I have had multiple experiences:
- DAB (Daikin Belgium) – semi expat for 2 years
Role/Mission : Consulting Sales Engineer for Wallonia in the Dvpt Wallonia Department
- DAME (Daikin Middle east - Dubai) – 5 years
Role/Mission: Consulting Sales Manager MEA / Management of 6 CS Engineers for UAE and Distribution Network
- DAKSA (Daikin Saudi Arabia) – 3 years
Role/Mission: Sales Director / Sales / Sales Planning - Consulting Sales & Marketing / Set up of Sales Organisation & Sales Dvpt
- Daikin France (DAF) – 4 years
Role/Mission : Sr Manager Sales – Paris IDF Branch Office (Largest Branch in Europe)
What was your motivation to take up an international assignment?
There are different aspects & I had several motivations:
- I needed field experience, to strengthen my sales engineer competences and make things concrete.
- As a professional, an international assignment means “to take up more responsibilities”. The expression “think out of the box” is more than true during an international assignment.
- Definitely, your skills & domain of competence are growing rapidly. As a person, it was a great opportunity to discover new countries, cultures, habbits… to learn multicultural aspects. You learn about others but also about yourself! A lot!
What were the main challenges during your assignment?
The main challenges for me were:
- To get to know the Business environment and market trends rapidly in order to be efficient in your role.
- To adapt yourself to different cultures - especially in the Middle East because it is a crossroad of cultures/nationalities.
- To implement Daikin Philosophy within your new office since as an expat, you are the link between the Head office and local office or local employees.
What have your learned from this international experience?
A lot! Difficult to highlight it all … For me there are 3 main aspects: multicultural approach and adaptation, thinking “out of the box” and being creative since you have a clear mission or frame but you can really implement your own actions/ideas.
Why would you advise colleagues to go on an international assignment?
I feel like it is a real opportunity offered by Daikin Europe. International assignments are not only for single colleagues but also for colleagues having a family! I believe it is also an opportunity to raise children abroad and for them to learn different cultures. Personally, I always had a good private life abroad with a lot of friends & activities. I also believe it is a career boost for those who have clear ambitions, it was my case. And last but not least, the HR International Mobility team is doing a great job to support you anywhere you could be on the globe! I always felt supported and secure wherever I went.
In what way did this experience help you with your development?
As a professional, it is clear that my international assignment allowed me to grow in my career within Daikin Europe. I became Department Manager during my assignment in DAF. My aim was always to end my mission with real value added to the local company. As a person, it is also clear that 14 years of international assignment, meeting with several cultures, markets… gave me the strengths to really adapt myself to any environment. Believe me, if you succeed in Middle East (professionally and personally) you can succeed anywhere :)