International Lawyer Coach Blog

Working Abroad is Reminding Me to Be Patient

Filed under: Communicate across Cultures,General — Janet Moore, June 30, 2007

It’s one thing to go abroad on a business trip for a week or so, and quite another to work abroad for over a month. A prolonged but temporary stint abroad requires significant office capability–enough to get a lot accomplished, but not enough to merit a full scale office move.  So, what’s the answer?  Make your office as portable as you can, bringing along as much as possible with access to the rest, and then, be flexible.  Expect hiccups.

This summer I am spending a good deal of time working from Ireland and Holland. Thanks to the internet, Skype and laptops, most of my office capabilities are available–most, but not all.  Technological glitches have arisen, and my chosen tech support has not been quite as tech-savvy as promised. Any European (or other non-US) lawyer practicing in the US temporarily could easily encounter the same challenges; as a visitor, connecting with the requisite business resources takes time.  

Whenever I have spent time working abroad–whether in Rome or Rio–I have encountered office glitches.  Cultural and communication differences always compounded the problem. Whether the glitch proved major or minor, I always found a solution (albeit not always a timely one). However, the calmer I became, the easier it was to resolve the problem.     

And so, working abroad this summer reminds me of the traditional adage: patience is a virtue.  It is indeed.

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