Words of Wisdom From A Relocation Professional

When I started my journey into the world of global mobility, I had no idea what relocation was all about. In fact, I had absolutely zero exposure to moving at all when I started. I had never owned a home, I had never been relocated, and I definitely didn’t know what mobility was.

Thanks to a handful of VERY patient mentors, I’ve grown my career from a relocation coordinator into a business development role and have had the opportunity to not only learn from some of the industry’s best minds, but now share my knowledge with others, too. 

When ERC approached me and asked if I could offer a few words of advice to those just entering the field, I knew exactly what I wanted to share.

  1. Keep an Open Mind and Be Flexible – I can promise you that regardless of what sector of the relocation industry you’re in, you will never have two days that are exactly alike. Studies suggest that you need approximately five years to be an EXPERT at something. Truth of the matter is, in this industry EXPERTS don’t emerge until about year ten. You will need to be both adaptable and firm in interpreting the relocation policy; proactive to situations that you can predetermine, and reactive to those situations that catch you off guard.  It’s a balancing act and you’re not always going to have all the answers.
     
  2. Forget The Word “NO” – In my first few years, I don’t think I ever said “No” or “Can’t”.  I was determined to learn everything—even when I was asked to get involved in hard projects, I always jumped in with an open mind and was committed to completing the task. Sticking to just your job description is not only impossible and unrealistic, but it is also a sure fire way to lose out on opportunities to grow your career.
     
  3. Get Involved – Volunteer for local and regional ERC chapters on their committees and boards, be seen, be heard, and interact with others. My most valuable learning has come from working with these dedicated professionals who want to share their knowledge with others. I’ve gained project management skills, budgeting skills, networking opportunities, and so much more from putting myself out there; moreover, it has been the best way to grow and learn.
     
  4. Ask This Question – Whether to your manager, your manager’s manager, the owner, or the person just across the desk from you… Ask, “What should keep me up at night?” Understanding what keeps your boss awake at night or what your boss’s boss sends the most emails about is important to decoding what it is that makes your job critical to the team’s success. What is it that will matter most if it is missed and how does it impact the big picture and others? That question is probably one of the most valuable questions that I’ve learned to ask early on, because if it keeps your boss or your mentor awake at night, then you should be worried about it too.

Submitted by Christina Seskey - Director, Business Development, Arpin Group