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GenXpat: The Young Professional’s Guide to Making a Successful Life Abroad

Posted by Dreamer

For any young expat heading abroad to work or even considering doing so, GenXpat: The Young Professional’s Guide to Making a Successful Life Abroad by Canadian GenXpat Margaret Malewski is an essential text for building a successful personal and professional life abroad. From negotiating contracts and dating abroad to working with people from other cultures and relocating without the logistical support of a spouse, GenXpat takes a balanced approach in helping you think through all your options and getting the most out of your time abroad.

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GenXpat’s ideal target audience is young, unmarried, well-educated, well-paid, white-collar managers who are considering working abroad. In other words, someone with options. GenXpat can help that someone to think rationally through all the possible options and scenarios, including a clear-headed look at the motivations, advantages, and consequences for one’s personal and professional life when going to work abroad. But that’s not exactly the full story here. In fact, the book ends up transcending its target audience a bit.

Yes, Malewski devotes a chapter to negotiating your corporate contract and deciphering the various combinations of corporate packages: expat/relocation, local, short-term, and long-term. While that chapter might convince those not already working for multinational corporations to start sending out their CVs and resumes ASAP (hello, generous expat package!), GenXpat contains good, solid information that any young, college-educated person looking to work abroad should take to heart.

Yes, GenXpat is a highly practical book, but it’s not going to tell you what forms you need to fill out or what you need to pack in your suitcase. Instead, it’ll help you figure out your life. Yet this is no touchy-feely book. Malewski steers a calcuated neutral path without indulging in the emotional traps of her subject matter (no giddiness at considering exotic locales or ice-cold reality checks here) and shows us what good, non-fiction writing actually looks like.

GenXpat can help you consider whether or not you should move abroad at all, and then if you decide to move abroad, everything that will entail for your personal and professional life, including keeping in touch with people at home, dating, long-term relationships, and moving a partner abroad. Yes, it’s kind of like a 200-page checklist for organizing your life. From my personal experience, I’d say that if you’re going to work abroad, you should carefully consider the information in this book (whether you buy it outright or borrow it from a friend) or you may regret it later. I myself am not entirely in the book’s target market (no multinationals beating down my door as of yet), but on the personal front I found myself wishing I had read this book before I moved to Spain to work.

The chapters on keeping in touch (including expectations, realities, and how distance affects relationships) and building social networks abroad are especially valuable, as they are topics of primary importance which are often neglected in other expat books. The chapters on dating abroad, long-distance relationships, and moving abroad with your unmarried partner include particularly relevant information for any young expat.

In the end, Malewski makes it plain that she’s our guide and she’ll take us as far as she can, but only us – the readers – can walk ourselves through the front door. But that’s okay because by the end of the book, you’ll be ready to.

GenXpat: The Young Professional’s Guide to Making a Successful Life Abroad by Margaret Malewski. Yarmouth, Maine: Intercultural Press, 2005. 219 pages. Buy the book in Europe or buy the book in North America.

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image Above, GenXpat author Margaret Malewski

For any young expat heading abroad to work or even considering doing so, GenXpat: The Young Professional’s Guide to Making a Successful Life Abroad by Canadian GenXpat Margaret Malewski is an essential text for building a successful personal and professional life abroad. From negotiating contracts and dating abroad to working with people from other cultures and relocating without the logistical support of a spouse, GenXpat takes a balanced approach in helping you think through all your options and getting the most out of your time abroad.

GenXpat: The Young Professional’s Guide to Making a Successful Life Abroad

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