PGAs of EuropeWorking Abroad – PGAs of Europe http://www.pgae.com Home of the PGAE Thu, 23 Nov 2017 23:35:13 +0000 en-gb hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.9 What Are Intercultural Skills? http://www.pgae.com/ask/what-are-intercultural-skills/ Sun, 08 Oct 2017 15:44:03 +0000 PGAs of Europe http://www.pgae.com/?p=20019 Broadly speaking, intercultural skills are those that describe your ability to effectively communicate with people from different cultural backgrounds...]]>

Broadly speaking, intercultural skills are those that describe your ability to effectively communicate with people from different cultural backgrounds.

On the one hand this pertains to language, i.e. whether or not you speak a second or maybe even a third language. More importantly though, it’s about understanding and accepting that customs, standards, and values differ between cultures, and being willing to learn and adapt to them.

Research undertaken by the British Council showed that employers value intercultural skills just as much as they do formal qualifications. The Council surveyed employers from nine different countries operating within the public, private and non-profit sectors. When asked about their reasons for valuing intercultural skills, they stated that employees who successfully display these skills were more likely to secure new projects, worked better within diverse teams and were more successful in representing the company brand and reputation.

In fact, a lack of intercultural skills was perceived as a risk to the company, possessing the potential to seriously damage client relations, team productivity and ultimately the company’s reputation.

While there might not be a straightforward way for employers to test your intercultural skills in an interview, they might ask you questions like: have you ever worked abroad? Do you have experience working in a diverse team? Do you speak any foreign languages?

They can also learn a great deal from how you communicate throughout the application process and during the interview: are you easy to talk to? Are you able to see things from someone else’s perspective? Are you willing to learn from them?

Ultimately, intercultural skills are something you show. Simply listing it on your CV won’t do; you’ll have to convince people you possess the eagerness to learn and the ability to adapt. So start doing: read, travel, learn a new language, talk to different people and, most importantly, be curious.


This content appears courtesy of Abintegro, experts in career management, transition technology & e-learning for today’s modern, mobile and technology-savvy workforce – Find out more at www.abintegro.com

Credit: British Council; Skills You Need

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What Are Intercultural Skills?
8 Top Tips For Working Abroad http://www.pgae.com/ask/8-top-tips-for-working-abroad/ Mon, 13 Feb 2017 09:26:05 +0000 Golf Retailing http://www.pgae.com/?p=14964 Want to work in a different country? Here are some top tips to help you before taking the plunge and then when you are on the ground…]]>

Taking the plunge and working outside of your native country can be a nerve-wracking thing, but with the right planning and preparation it could end up being the best move of your life.

Here are some top tips on what to think about before taking the plunge and then when you are on the ground…

1. Put Yourself Out There

If you are looking for a position then put yourself out there – many successful candidates for jobs in other countries have taken the plunge and gone out to the country first to either look for positions, connect and network with people, or perhaps even for a face-to-face interview rather than over Skype or the telephone.  Maybe even take an extended holiday and rent an apartment to get a taste of life there.

2. Research, Research, Research

Research the country, its history, culture and traditions.  You might be going somewhere quite similar to where you currently live but it is almost a certainty that they will do things differently and you should do your best to learn about these and adapt yourself to their country.

3. Understand the Golf Market

Just like everyday culture, the golf market has its intricacies and nuances in every country. We can see this at the PGAs of Europe quite easily on a day-to-day basis as each and every one of our 37 Member PGAs operates in their own unique way.

Locate some local golfing ‘experts’, journalists, PGAs, their PGA Professionals and the amateur Federation and simply send them an email or ask to meet to discuss how golf works in that country.

4. Get your documents In Order

Speak to your country’s foreign/international office and your national embassy in the destination country to make sure you are doing all the right things.  It’s great if your new employer is going to help sort a lot of it out but you need to ensure you understand everything you should yourself.

Make sure you understand the country’s employment regulations for international workers, what visa requirements there might be, travel documentation require, insurance, and of course any associated costs.

5. Find a Mentor

PGA of Germany Professional, Craig West, moved from South Africa to Germany and suggests having someone with you, at least at first, who can help you translate if required and understands what you need to do to get off on the right foot.  Plus they can be the link between you and other local people, fellow staff members and in the local golfing industry.

6. Learn the Language

The local language is one of the most important tools you can have when working in a different country.  It makes every day-to-day task easier and can allow you to understand and operate more effectively.  It also means locals will not have to adjust themselves to you as much which is great for building relationships with all walks of life.  Even a few words here and there to begin with can be very beneficial!

(And if they speak your native language there already then learn a new language anyway – it will always come in useful!)

7. Don’t expect it to be easy!

Working in a different country can potentially be the most difficult thing you ever do in your career – not only do you have to do the job effectively, but you also have to adapt yourself into a different environment at the same time. But with well thought-out preparation and commitment then you will be able to do your best in your new position.

8. Go With It!

Lastly, go with the flow and enjoy it!  Your day-to-day working experience and the enjoyment and benefits you get from working abroad is directly related to how you approach it, so do your best to be outgoing, meet new people, try new foods and experience new cultural aspects to ingratiate yourself into the local life.

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Post your job vacancy for FREE and get expert careers advice at the PGAs of Europe JobZone – visit www.pgae.com/careers-and-jobs to find out more.

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8 Top Tips For Working Abroad
Leading by Example – Working in the Asian Market http://www.pgae.com/ask/leading-by-example-working-in-the-asian-market/ Tue, 30 Aug 2016 08:47:05 +0000 PGA of Great Britain & Ireland http://www.pgae.com/?p=10865 PGA professionals have been pioneers in developing the game of golf worldwide ever since the first Association was formed in 1901. Recently, an increasing numbe]]>

PGA professionals have been pioneers in developing the game of golf worldwide ever since the first Association was formed in 1901. Recently, an increasing number have opted to work in Asia, a band that includes PGA of Great Britain & Ireland Professional at Singha Elite Golf Performance Centre, Andrew Knott.

Here he tells the PGA of Great Britain & Ireland’s International Development Manager – PGA Project China, Matthew Davies, about his experiences of working in Thailand and some of the key differences he sees between the role of a PGA professional in the UK, Europe and Asia.

MD: What key differences do you see between the golf markets in the UK and Asia?

AK: One of them is the business relationship between the golf club and the professional and my circumstances are a case in point. I am not employed by the golf club and I have to pay a monthly rental fee to use the facilities and advertise.

Golf in Thailand is run much more on a commercial basis. As a result I have set up myown businesses, www.singhaelitegolf.com, www.perfectswingasia.com and www.protourgolfcollege-thailand.com.

MD: What was your reason for moving to Asia?

AK: My move to Asia was fuelled by other passions in life: travel and an interest in different cultures and religions. I actually came to Thailand and Asia working as a tour leader for a travel company and got paid to travel all around South East Asia!

MD: What would you say are the main obstacles you face working in Asia?

AK: The two biggest obstacles we face as PGA professionals in Asia could be seen to be intertwined. Firstly, the main issue is a lack of understanding throughout all levels of the golfing community, certainly here in Thailand anyway, in what it means to be a PGA member and the training involved.

Secondly, at higher levels of golf establishments our value is not seen. Therefore there are times when you may feel under-utilised. In my opinion the main thing the PGA can do, and Is doing, is work towards raising awareness of what it means to have the words PGA Professional Member after your name.

Having said that, members have to be prepared to help themselves and drive it too. Getting this message across to my clients, and potential clients, is something I have tried to emphasise heavily on my website.

MD: What three pieces of advice would you give to PGA professionals who are thinking about working In Asia?

AK: 1 – Don’t believe everything you read or hear from people who have only scratched the surface – nothing is ever quite what it seems at face value in Asia, so you must dig deeper and experience it first-hand for yourself.

2 – Don’t think or have the attitude that you are going to arrive and make a big splash or have an instant success. Be humble and patient and you will endear yourself to the locals. They don’t work with the same attitudes as you.

3 – Be prepared to work hard for everything you will get, nothing will be handed on a plate to you.

Do these THREE things and you can expect some great golfing facilities, some wonderful culture, and a fantastic experience to cherish.

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Leading by Example – Working in the Asian Market
4 Tips for Working Across Time Zones http://www.pgae.com/ask/4-tips-for-working-across-time-zones/ Wed, 24 Aug 2016 12:17:03 +0000 Coaching4Careers http://www.pgae.com/?p=11837 With all the recent technological advances society has to offer, working across different time zones has become a relatively accepted and manageable practice.]]>

With all the recent technological advances society has to offer, working across different time zones has become a relatively accepted and manageable practice.

This doesn’t mean there isn’t potential for confusion and dissatisfaction, however, and so excellent project management is needed. Here are our top tips for making all those disparate circadian rhythms work in unison.

1. Plan accordingly

Clear communication is one of the pillars of successful teamwork, but what happens when opportunity for regular discussion is limited? One solution is to try to have individuals or teams in separate locations work on self-contained activities. This means assigning clearly defined responsibilities prior to the project’s get-go.

2. Have a common clock

Switching between different time zones in your correspondence is a sure-fire path to confusion. Agree on a master time zone for everyone to work from (e.g. Central European Time) and stick to it. Some people still like to note their colleague’s local time alongside the master, which is fine as long as you get the time difference right. Use a reliable site like timeanddate.com to avoid slip-ups.

3. Be reasonable

5 a.m. briefings or midnight emails are likely to grate if experienced repeatedly so make sure communication and deadlines are organised on a fair and/or alternating basis. If a meeting or call needs to be at a set time each week, make sure it’s arranged for a time that’s mutually acceptable, even if that means some people having to divert from their usual routine.

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4. Use it to your advantage

If managed well, dovetailing between different time zones can be an effective strategy for stretching out the workday. For example a team working on a draft or project outline in London are well placed to hand over to someone five hours behind in New York for reviewing or final touches. Again, it all rests on strong planning and organisation.

While splitting teams or organisation between time zones may feel like a challenge at times, remember there is help at hand. From DropBox, to Google Plus, Skype and various project management tools, there is technology out there designed specifically for this type of work environment, so don’t be afraid to use it.


This content appears courtesy of Abintegro, experts in career management, transition technology & e-learning for today’s modern, mobile and technology-savvy workforce – Find out more at www.abintegro.com

Credit: Forbes; The Guardian; LinkedIn

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4 Tips for Working Across Time Zones
Research and critically analyse your WHY – Working Abroad the Smart Way http://www.pgae.com/ask/research-and-critically-analyse-your-why-working-abroad-the-smart-way/ Sun, 03 Apr 2016 15:51:08 +0000 Tony Bennett http://www.pgae.com/?p=14992 Why do you want to work abroad? What do you want to achieve? What do you want to experience? Your reason WHY is far more important than the how.]]>

Why do you want to work abroad? What do you want to achieve? What do you want to experience? Your reason WHY is far more important than the how.

Background check.

Do your homework when preparing to work abroad. Get a good understanding of the market that you are intending to enter. Research the internet, ask questions of people who have already made the move to find out what pitfalls are waiting for the unsuspecting and above all make sure that you, and those closest to you, know exactly what you hope to achieve by making the move. Get a feel for what that market really wants and then check that you are able to satisfy that demand.

Emerse yourself.

Visit the area to get a feel for the culture. Many people make the mistake of thinking that living in a new country is all great. Be assured that if you visit and stay in anything from a B&B to a five star hotel, it is nothing like living there. Of course it is great when your breakfast is served and you can go about your day like a tourist. No cooking or dishes to do, no beds to make, no forms to complete, (in another language) no tax, immigration or financial offices to visit and best of all a new exciting place to explore every day.

Avoid getting sucked into purely expat communities. Sure it is good to have people who have had a similar experience and have some inside knowledge of your newly adopted country. But guess what? Locals who were born and bred in the area know their way around even better. Enjoy the process of making friends with people who are not like you. After years of travel, I have friends of many nationalities and I have adopted some customs and traditions which are now my own.

A few words of the local language can really help. We all like to meet people who have made the effort to at least learn a few phrases in our native tongue. You don’t need to be grammatically correct in those first few months. Keep trying and you will be able to pick up enough of the language to make yourself understood.

Don’t compare.

Don’t compare or try to change people or processes. Comparing is just about the least productive thing that you can do with your time. The number of times I hear people say, “this is the way that we do it in…..”. Well guess what, if you notice that people here don’t do it the same as you did in your home county, there is probably a perfectly good reason. Find out, ask questions, seek answers as to how this method of doing things evolved. It will help you to understand the culture and to identify any part of the process that you might have an opportunity to tweak.

Make it your home.

Home is where your heart is. It is where the important things to you are. From the first day of arriving in a new country, try to make it your home. Create your own lifestyle, enjoy your new surroundings, make friends, follow a new football team, eat like the locals and emerge yourself in this new culture.

Whatever your baggage you will bring.

If you are not good at getting lessons in your home country, then there is no reason to think that you will all of a sudden become good at it in another. There are loads of things that we are not good at and so use the change of country as an opportunity to work on yourself to get good at the things you feel that you would like to improve.

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Research and critically analyse your WHY – Working Abroad the Smart Way
China – A Land of Opportunity http://www.pgae.com/news/china-a-land-of-opportunity/ Thu, 15 Jan 2015 13:51:08 +0000 PGAs of Europe http://www.pgae.com/?p=8842 Manager, International Development, PGA Project China for the PGA of Great Britain & Ireland, Matthew Davies, shares his thoughts about some of these opportunit]]>

Recent figures released by China Daily confirm there is an estimated 39.7 million viewers of golf on TV in China – that’s more than the UK and United States combined.

Manager, International Development, PGA Project China for the PGA of Great Britain & Ireland, Matthew Davies, shares his thoughts about some of these opportunities in China, but also talks about some of the key considerations for if you are planning on working and living there.


PGAs of Europe - Matt DaviesThere are many opportunities in the Chinese golf market, and Davies gives some advice on just how exactly is the best way to find out about these opportunities:  “Firstly, for the employment opportunities, you can start by regularly checking the jobs section on your PGA’s website.  Recently there has been an increased number of advertisements from China for PGA qualified golf professionals.”  

However, it is understanding and appreciating how the Chinese people do business may offer the key as to the best way to find out about opportunities and give yourself the best chance of entering the market.

“The Chinese do business very much based on the relationship and rapport they establish with someone,” Davies explains.  “Usually it will take 2 or 3 meetings over dinner before any commercial relationship ensues, sometimes longer.  Business is done usually through networks, often through a recommendation by a close associate of that Chinese person whom they trust.  As a result, it is understandable that they would rather employ someone, or do business with someone, they have met face to face rather than just read about through a CV or have a proposal land on their desk.”

It would therefore stand that the best way to find out and establish a business relationship with the Chinese is to travel to the country and meet people face to face.  One PGA of Great Britain & Ireland member who recently did this is Jonathan Garratt: “Absolutely the trip was beneficial for me.  I think the fact that I turned up out here and put myself forward for jobs really made a good impression.  The employers realise how serious you are about working in China.  It has resulted in me being offered an employment opportunity at every place I visited.”

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Jonathan is keen to offer advice for his fellow PGA professionals looking to gain employment in China: “For any PGA professionals who are looking to come out here for work visiting here first is a must.  Not until you get here do you really realise how little English is spoken and how different even simple things like eating are.”

But although it is clear there are many opportunities in China for PGA professionals, Davies is quick to point out there are also some hugely important considerations which you need to consider before beginning any venture into China, certainly for employment purposes.

“The first and most important consideration is your Visa and making sure this is taken care of.  As recently as July 2013 the rules on employment of foreigners in China have become much stricter, so it is important to understand what you require before applying for your Visa and accepting any employment opportunity in China.  Further, you should also agree who is responsible for paying for the application of your Visa and any costs associated with doing so – will this cost be covered by the employer or by yourself?  Those travelling with family will also have considerations relating to education and additional health care, which although relatively accessible in the Tier 1 cities, can come at a considerable cost and something to research before booking your flights”.

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China – A Land of Opportunity