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Destination Services: Avoiding Cultural Blunders when Moving Internationally

By definition, international moves are more daunting than simply moving to a different city or state. Most likely there’s a new language to master and services like banks and public utilities to navigate. But when relocating internationally for work, there’s also another set of skills to understand, more subtle than how to get a driver’s license, for example, but potentially more important to ensure a smooth transition with the new job. These are the soft skills like appropriate business attire or proper greetings that dictate the business environment in your new country.

To help our emigrating business customers, one of the services offered through Hilldrup’s partner Unigroup Worldwide is access to its Destination Data® website. The exclusive service offers detailed cultural orientation packets for virtually every country in the world. Each packet includes general interpersonal information like social etiquette practices to more business-focused matters such as management styles, business protocols and meeting standards.

For example, if you were moving to China, Destination Data® advises you to address people by their last name and title in business settings.

This is extremely beneficial for both you and your foreign business associates, as it keeps your business expectations in check with the social norms and makes your transition more fluid for them since you’re more likely to make fewer cultural missteps. The service also includes lists of national holidays, key phrases and local news outlets that will be useful for an accompanying spouse or children.

Failure to get acclimated with the new culture is a leading reason why international relocation assignments fall through, so we understand the importance of helping our customers avoid the common pitfalls that lead to those frustrations. If your next move requires a passport, we recommend giving Hilldrup a call to take advantage of services like Destination Data® to make sure your international experience is as smooth as possible.