The New American Expat: Thriving and Surviving Overseas in the Post-9/11 World

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People are taking jobs abroad more than ever, yet overseas employment has never been more complicated or risky. New markets and new opportunities draw professionals overseas, even as the world as we understand it continues to change. For no one is this change more striking than the American expatriate. Faced with shifting and sometimes hostile attitudes, Americans can no longer relocate expecting a warm welcome and an easy transition. Without the proper tools and preparation, working overseas can be an overwhelming proposition. The New American Expat: Thriving and Surviving Overseas in the Post-9/11 World is an essential guide that shows Americans how to be safe and secure, as well as successful, in their overseas assignments. The New American Expat provides a clear plan for thriving in the experience, with tips on how to find a job, negotiate a compensation package and set up a new home base. In addition, this is the only book to address how to be a "good American" while living and working abroad, highlighting the fact that we are all ambassadors for our culture and home countries.

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Editorial Reviews

Soundview Executive Book Summaries
Thriving And Surviving Overseas In The Post-9/11 World
International lawyer and executive manager William Russell Melton begins The New American Expat by espousing his belief in the idea that most Americans have the potential to be successful expatriates living and working in other countries. He explains that the same traits that have helped Americans to create the success of the United States can be used to succeed in any foreign country. In The New American Expat, Melton offers a serious look at the excitement and confusion that await anyone taking on a job in a distant country, and shares the wisdom he has gained while working and living in seven different countries for more than 25 years.

Melton begins The New American Expat with a frank discussion of stereotypes and the ways they can affect perceptions and experiences. By clarifying the perspectives of others and what they think about Americans, he puts the expatriate in context with the rest of the world. Next, he delves into the ways expatriates can benefit the most from their work and life outside of the United States.

Sunrise in Paris
In a list of many of the most memorable experiences he has had while enjoying the foreign cultures he has found himself within, Melton describes how he benefitted from climbing mountains in Switzerland, watching a sunrise in Paris, playing harmonica in Amsterdam, running a marathon in the Saudi desert, and walking across the island of Singapore one sunny day. He writes, "Immersing yourself in the local scene is how you really start to understand the personality of a country and its people."

Drawing on his experiences as an expatriate at different stages in his life, Melton addresses many issues and challenges that can confront a new expatriate today. The first chapter of his book describes the factors that must be considered when making a decision to relocate outside of the United States, along with the potential benefits and problems that an expatriate experience can entail. This chapter also lists the personality traits that can help make a relocation easier, describing what works, what doesn't, and what personal skills should be developed. Melton writes that the top six personality traits that American expatriates should have are good communication skills, adaptability and flexibility, openness, tolerance and patience, a sense of humor, and humility.

The second chapter of The New American Expat describes how foreign jobs can be found. By including the research, networking, searching and interviewing skills that can help a potential expatriate find a job overseas, Melton points prospects in the right direction. By sharing pointers he and others have compiled while building relationships and working overseas, he offers guidance on overcoming specific job-search challenges as well as Web sites and resources that can make the search process easier. A section dedicated to making readers aware of common scams that are perpetrated on unsuspecting job seekers provides numerous tips that can prevent them from becoming victims.

Compensation Plans
In addition, The New American Expat walks readers through the steps that should be taken when negotiating a compensation package for a foreign assignment. By presenting the motivations of employers along with the hidden costs associated with moving to and living in a foreign country, Melton provides many suggestions for structuring an international work contract. By urging job seekers to stay up to date on cost-of-living inflation indexes and current exchange rates, as well as possible compensation compromises and adjustments, Melton protects them from their own naivete.

Other chapters offer tips on moving family and belongings to a new country; getting set up in a new home; adapting to foreign business practices, cultures and traditions; and getting back home again. An entire section on safety and security in the post-9/11 world also provides an update on the political realities of today's world.

After each chapter, Melton provides readers with an invaluable checklist of the points he has covered. These checklists not only sum up the most important points he has covered, but they also serve as a reflection point on which readers can assess their own needs and skills, and become better prepared for the challenges of an international adventure.

Why We Like This Book
The New American Expat offers job seekers the details and tools that can make any overseas work assignment a better, more satisfying experience. Having lived through each of the stages in the multifaceted global adventure he describes, Melton presents the first-person knowledge and anecdotes that can help anyone prepare for and complete an international relocation. Copyright © 2006 Soundview Executive Book Summaries

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781931930246
  • Publisher: Nicholas Brealey Publishing
  • Publication date: 4/20/2005
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 248
  • Product dimensions: 6.16 (w) x 9.01 (h) x 0.71 (d)

Meet the Author

William Russell Melton has more than twenty-five years experience specializing in international business, both as an international lawyer and executive manager. During this period, he has lived and worked in seven different countries-the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, Saudi Arabia, Germany, Singapore, Switzerland, and Bahrain-and has served both as International General Counsel for U.S. corporations and as the Managing Director for operations based in these countries. His experiences includes setting up new operations in more than twenty countries, recruiting and managers distributors and other partners globally, and restructuring and turning around under-performing foreign operations. The companies he has worked for have ranged from small start-ups to Fortune 500 companies, and the thus understands the special issues faced by both small and large business in the international business arena.
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Table of Contents

Introduction : the new American expat in the twenty-first century
Ch. 1 The world at your doorstep 1
Ch. 2 Finding your job overseas 25
Ch. 3 Closing the deal : negotiating your compensation package 51
Ch. 4 Getting there : moving family and belongings to your new home 85
Ch. 5 Being there : living and working in a foreign country 131
Ch. 6 Safety and security in the post-9/11 world 171
Ch. 7 Coming home : returning to your U.S. home and job 195
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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 3, 2005

    Packed with Knowledge!

    This book offers a refreshing voice of common sense, balance and experience. Books on this subject walk a tightrope between being too politically correct to address relevant stereotypes or, conversely, too fixated on stereotypes to transcend them. Author William Russell Melton manages the task effortlessly, thanks to his experience working in more than 20 countries. Relevant for those merely contemplating work abroad, as well as for those who just sat on their suitcases in order to zip them shut, this volume should prove to be a tremendous asset to any Yankee relocating to King Arthur¿s Court (or anywhere else). Melton advises Americans to be themselves, but to use common sense and show a little deference. For instance, listen more and speak less (and not so loudly, please). The author¿s goal is to develop confident world citizens who can interact adroitly on the world scene while staying true to their American values. The 23 pages he devotes to post-9/11 security abroad are frankly insufficient given the book¿s subtitle - but the quality of the information is top drawer. Melton even adds advice on how to make the transition when you return back to the U.S. We very strongly recommend that any American thinking of overseas employment should study this book - otherwise, things could get ugly.

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