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Global Relocation #Stories: Chapter 2



July 17, 2023


Andriana Koilia
Marketing and Communications, Senior Associate

In the 2nd Chapter of the Global Relocation #Stories, members of #teamDialectica, across different departments, share their experiences about relocating or visiting other offices across the globe to collaborate with local teams or grow new departments from scratch.

Georges Farhat, Client Protection and Legal Senior Associate

In my initial days as a CP and Legal Associate at Dialectica, I found myself adapting to remote work and practicing social distancing. I felt very welcomed by the team and absorbed in this new world of the information services industry. As time progressed, I realized that as a professional in the CP and Legal Department of Dialectica, there is not a specific set of responsibilities you have to undertake and if you were to ask me, that’s the fun of it: the challenge of being adaptable and responsive to ad-hoc requests and swiftly handling situations as they arise! Soon enough I got promoted to Senior Associate and got involved in other aspects of the business such as training individuals and collecting feedback across different teams.

Since Dialectica operates on a global basis, a significant portion of my team operates from our Athens office. Just a year ago, I decided to combine my vacation to my home country, Lebanon, with a visit to our Athens office in order to meet the local team, understand their work module and transfer knowledge and insights back to my team in Montreal. 

I strongly believe that this decision helped me grasp cultural differences and different mindsets. A practice that I appreciated was the motivation between colleagues, and immediately thought that that’s something I would like to incorporate in my everyday work life. Moreover, I discovered useful points of contact regarding the management of daily projects, task prioritization, and efficient workflow. Indeed, my time in the Athens office was well spent as I completed some responsibilities, trained some of my colleagues, exchanged views on CP related processes and gave insights on alternative ways the Montreal-based team responds on certain occasions.

It goes without saying that this temporary relocation came with multiple benefits for my personal life as well. I got the opportunity to try Greek cuisine and get a taste of the local coffee shops and traditional restaurants. I experienced the Acropolis and its museum and I was able to bond with my teammates by enjoying my daily lunch on the company’s beautiful terrace. Athens felt really close to home- since Lebanon and Greece are very much alike in customs, vibes and everyday life.

Just like my managers, who relocated from Europe to the Americas to establish the CP team, I am keen on the idea of relocating to another office abroad at some point in my career. If given the chance, I would happily welcome a relocation to either Athens or London.

My advice to companies as well to senior professionals, as a person that had the opportunity to temporarily relocate to an office overseas, would be to motivate their colleagues to travel to other office destinations. Encouraging employees to make a step towards relocating shapes better professionals. Individuals who have undergone this experience become able to represent their teams, capable of training new joiners, open to learning from peers, listening to feedback, understanding different cultures and transferring useful knowledge back to their base. 

Team-dinner at a Greek restaurant with the Client Protection Team of Athens, 2022

Martina Varouxaki, Senior Manager, B2B Surveys

When I had my first interview with the company, I was asked: ‘’Where do you see yourself in 5 years?’’ and without hesitation I replied ‘’At Dialectica’’. Who would have thought that I would be still here, 6 years later! 

My career in the company started in 2017 as a Client Service Associate in Athens and as soon as I achieved some personal and professional goals and I was sure that I had met certain criteria, I applied to relocate to the Americas through our internal passport program.

The challenge was twofold: Not only did I have to grow my own team from scratch, but also lead a new product that was added to our services portfolio, the B2B surveys. B2B Surveys is a way for top professionals across the world to get access to the highest quality responses from hard-to-find B2B experts in niche markets. Leading an innovative service that is much more than a primary research tool, was also a great growth opportunity, since I had the chance to get involved in many aspects of the business and learn different things, from demand analysis, branding, and client relationship building. It was a huge learning process for me and my colleagues but our vision and goals were deeply strengthened by teamwork.

Relocating abroad also provided me with the opportunity to foster strong bonds within my newly formed team through exciting trips and adventures across America! From Peru and Machu Picchu to Rainbow Mountains, Rio de Janeiro to Cartagena, I had the chance to meet new cultures, experience breathtaking landscapes and try unique dishes. 

My experience as a leader that has grown in different regions and under different circumstances, has taught me that managing individuals effectively means: being open in new managerial styles, being adaptive and incentive.

If you are someone looking forward to starting a new life abroad, listen to this: It might sound cliche, but take the leap and you will learn to navigate the challenges that come your way. Challenges are meant to be taken on with closed eyes, remain confident in yourself and your abilities, that’s all you need to have to achieve! No one is born to reach their true potential without challenges.

Dinner with Martina and all Managers of the unit, 2023

George Chairetis, Manager

My career in the company started in 2020 as a Client Service Associate, based in our Athens office. Back in Greece my focus was our main product: the product led calls. As soon as I got promoted to Associate Manager, I decided to relocate to our new offices in the Americas and join the B2B Surveys Department.

What I found most fascinating about my relocation and change of department, was that I had to come up with solutions to obstacles I never anticipated to meet in my professional career such as the language barrier.

But the greatest growth occurs when you get out at a steady pace, right? The chance to experience the adjustment to a new office, a different department and a new-built team motivated me to step up and get involved in areas of the business I never thought I would. Experiencing different cultures and unique habits is a great chance for every professional to be tested and see how they can respond to new adjustments, transfer knowledge back to the headquarters and gain more self confidence. Although the stress and struggle for personal and professional success is always there, you can easily overcome all of them as soon as you realize that success is not one-dimensional but includes various components of happiness: from quality time, healthy relationships with colleagues and work life balance to self fulfillment and exploration. 

I strongly believe that if you are an adventurous person with a positive attitude and eager to open your horizons, the challenges are insignificant compared to the opportunities to immerse yourself in a new culture, connect with locals, and try new things.  Take me for example, traveling to Latin America changed my life: I met people with diverse backgrounds, embraced the vibrant nightlife filled with reggaeton music, delved into the thriving tech scene, explored gastronomical destinations, local restaurants, enjoyed multiple landscapes from the mountain of Aconcagua to the deep blue waters of the Caribbean, spent weekends in fancy restaurants and interesting fast food chains, bought tickets to operas and performances and went on roadtrips. Boredom is a rarity when you have so many getaways and options.  

As an individual in a different continent and office location overseas, I get that sometimes it feels hard to get used to a whole different world and build relationships with new colleagues. But to anyone struggling out there, do not let your past experiences and different background hold you back. Instead, take the initiative to engage with the locals, maintain an open mind, and explore new habits, tastes, and places that you never expected to enjoy. Embracing the challenges around you and being flexible will allow you to discover the fun of not planning everything in advance. Stay positive and everything will fall into place.

Interested in joining a fast-paced environment where you will also have the chance to apply to relocate to other of our office locations across the globe? Join #teamDialectica today: 

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