International Mobility Series 4/4: Local+

International Mobility Series 4/4: Local+

Because internationality is very important to PALFINGER, we promote international exchange among the locations of our PALFINGER Group. Through our mobility program, we hope to provide employees with opportunities for further professional as well as personal development, to strengthen respect and trust among the various cultures and individuals, to transfer know-how, and to build intercultural skills.

For these reasons, we offer our employees several options for going abroad:

  • Exchange program (1 – 6 months)
  • Flyer (6 months – 5 years)
  • Expatriate assignment (1 – 5 years)
  • Local+ (up to 5 years or longer)

We are going to talk about the Local+ Program in the fourth and last part of the international mobility series.

A Local+ assignment is very similar to an expatriate assignment.  For a specific period of time, an employee leaves his or her home country in order to take on a new professional challenge at another PALFINGER location abroad. However, the difference is that the employee is employed locally in the host country and there is no contractual employment in the home Country.

Along with the further professional development provided by an assignment abroad or a new job, the employee and his or her family get a chance to experience new cultures and broaden their horizons. In addition, each assignment abroad strengthens the collaboration among the companies within the PALFINGER Group, and collective thinking and acting is fostered.

One of our Local+ employees is Zhaoting. In the fall of 2015, he relocated his workplace from Shanghai to Salzburg and started working at PALFINGER in Bergheim. He and his wife have now been living in Salzburg for two years. In the following, Zhaoting tells us why he opted for international assignment, about the challenges that he faced, and his experiences during his assignment abroad:

Why did you choose to go abroad? What was the most interesting thing about it?

For me, coming to Austria to work was an easy and pleasant decision to make. And the great opportunity offered by the company certainly helped. I had a one and half year study experience abroad in the USA for a Master’s degree after I graduated from university in China, and I gained a lot from it. I learned how to become self-reliant and how to balance life and study. Putting myself into the English speaking environment and making local friends helped me to improve my English dramatically. I am happy that now I have the opportunity to work in Austria and have the opportunity to learn about the culture and language, and get to know colleagues from different backgrounds and cultures. These experiences can help me grow a lot.

What is the biggest challenge while being abroad?

Language is the biggest challenge, even though Austria is a country where many people speak relatively good English. However, basic German is necessary in certain situations in daily life.

Do you have tips for colleagues who are also interested in working in a foreign Country?

Have an open mind, expect challenges and welcome challenges. Try to learn and use German as much as possible.

What kind of experiences were you able to acquire during your time in Austria?

It’s a constant self-learning and self-improving process, both in work and life. Work-wise, one will improve a lot by learning from the best practices and processes within the group and the various training programs available from the company. In your leisure time, there are numerous beautiful mountains and lakes in Austria for you to explore, you won’t be bored!


Did you miss prior articles of the international mobility series? Read it here:



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