A talented “Business Developer” of the African Diaspora in France, Christine NLEND, writes a relevant reflection on a matter that concerns many Africans living in Europe: the “homecoming”.
It took only a few simple words for this woman from Cameroun, to “SWOT analyse the trip back” to the continent for a new career, based on an objective comparison between the professional and cultural realities of the Western countries and Africa.
She kindly shared her thoughts with Talent2Africa, a pan-african recruitment platform that works for a better connection between the Diaspora professionals and recruiters from large companies operating in Africa.
A talent speaks:
Returning to Africa or staying in Europe is a major dilemma faced by many young people from migrant background in France. Africa being presented today as the new El Dorado is sharpening appetites. But this homecoming is not just about decision-making, it requires preparation by asking the right questions.
Why do I want to go back to Africa?
This question comes first when starting the homecoming project, because it is the recurring question asked by the recruiters.
According to the Human Resources Manager of a large international group, many prospective expatriates respond that the need for escape is their main motivation ; His answer: if you want to come back because you are bored where you are, I think you should take more time to rethink your project.
Many people think that the “European Label” will make them “gold nuggets” for which the recruiters will jostle. But the competition is tough, local candidates are very competitive and have greatly appreciated skills in their fields of activity.
The Diaspora candidates have high salary expectations; Life is less expensive than in Europe, so it is important to remain pragmatic and adapt to the wage grid of the country in which you want to work.
Another recurring issue is that of the “revolutionaries”, those who want to “change the system”, these are the most disappointed because the African and European working methods are very different. Attempting to change everything without taking into account the social context is a mistake which might prove fatal for several reasons:
– The need for change is not very well perceived by employees who feel belittled and worthless; In fact, they may feel that their working methods are judged useless.
– The personal image can be damaged, one can be perceived as the “so called boss” who thinks he is above others because he comes from Europe.
– One can lose a job unexpectedly, if the integration in the company fails.
This is just a small glimpse of the many aspects that may make difficult expatriation projects in Africa.
Working in Africa is not a necessarily an easy choice to make, it requires preparation! ; professionally, financially and above all morally. The methods being totally different, you have to be ready for a radical change!