In her second blog article our international "high mobility pool" member, Irene Coughlin from Canada, talks about her last stations and reveals how you can learn from every challenge.
In the High Mobility Pool, uncertainty and instability is something we face every day. Every five to six months we move, not only to a new apartment or nearby city but often to a new country or a new continent. With this move, we start a new job in a role we are not familiar with and with colleagues we often do not know. We establish ourselves in a community time and time again. As we lack the comfort of home and we are only stable for short periods of time, friends and family are cherished from a distance and making new friends is often difficult and limited.
Changing Locations, Companies and Roles
My first project brought me from Europe to Cartersville, Georgia, USA. Here, I worked with voestalpine Automotive Body Parts Inc. which is part of the Metal Forming Division. I helped to develop the Human Resource framework. This project was a tremendous success for me as I was able to contribute to a Greenfield operation and experience many different elements of starting a new company.
"It was a very valuable project for me as I worked closely to several products and with individuals from many different locations and departments."
The second project was located in Vienna, Austria where I worked with voestalpine Böhler Welding Group which is part of the Metal Engineering Division. The main focus was to further develop the product launch process.
My third and current project is located in Linz, Austria. Here, I am working on the Global Supply Project for the Steel Division. My main focus is to do market analysis in Mexico and Brazil. Part of the project will take place in both of these countries where I will conduct a field analysis, meet many customers and industry experts and experience firsthand what it is like doing business in these two countries. It will be an enriching experience.
Every Challenge is an opportunity to learn
I take every challenge as an opportunity to learn. In the last year, the anxiety of not knowing has decreased significantly and I have learnt to just let things be. I have learnt to hold onto small routines that do not rely on specific locations. I am now an expert mover and my processions are limited to only things I truly need. In the end, I do not know where I will find my ‘permanent job’ or what career path I will take.
"Yes, it is sometimes stressful and I am sometimes frustrated, homesick and craving something familiar but it is also in this type of instability where I think we can learn the most, create character and depth both professionally and personally. I wouldn’t change a thing."