Blog Archive

An important step when you’re moved to another country, is when you start calling your new home, ‘home’. Home is Atlanta. I love visiting my friends and family in Belgium, but it is not home anymore. You get used to guns and ammo in the aisle next to the children’s toys, you think it is perfectly OK to drive 5 hours to go to the beach for a Saturday out, you find it incomprehensible that stores are closing before 3 a.m. in the morning, you do not look weird when shops refuse to sell you a bottle of wine before 12.30 on Sunday, you will start drinking sweet ice tea voluntarily, and you actually believe chicken and waffles is a good idea for breakfast. Chances are you will still look for a choice of chocolate and you will dream of having frietjes met stoofvleessaus. But you will accept that those things will need to wait for your next trip abroad, to that far away country named Belgium.

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All paperwork is done and all necessary arrangements are made. I can finally start this new chapter in my life as a Belgian in America. At first, my job description did not change moving offices. However, there are some remarkable differences.

Are you hesitating to become an expat as well? Here is my top 5 list of items you should take into consideration before taking the plunge.

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So, I decided to take the plunge. I was going to leave Belgium for an American adventure. There are many things involved with moving to another country. One of the most intriguing parts is changing payroll. Delaware Consulting does not offer a classic expat package. If you want to change offices, you must change payroll.

Comparing payrolls

In my case, this means I get paid in the USA, get US holidays, and US healthcare. No more Belgian company car, weeks of holidays and no more Belgian taxes (hooray!). I very quickly discovered that comparing compensation and benefits is not as easy as it seems.

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My story begins the very first week I joined Delaware Consulting in the Kortrijk offices (Belgium). Just like everyone starting his first job right out of college, I had no idea what to expect. Other than a few weeks working as an intern at an accounting firm, filing VAT returns and booking invoices, I had no real-world experience. When you are in such a position, you make crazy decisions without realizing it. Decisions which may impact the next years, and perhaps even the remainder of your career and life. This is one of those stories. The story of a Belgian somehow ending up far away from home, in the United States of America.

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Recombining disciplines, recombining young and old, recombining cultures … at Delaware Consulting we value and resolutely go for diversity. We also believe in an equal career path for men and women. We support them in their ambitions. And this month, we especially support Anneleen Gheysen, who has been nominated for the `Young ICT Lady of the Year’ award, run by Data News. We are counting on you too to vote for her.

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At the end of this year, I will step down as CEO of Delaware Consulting BeLux. I will remain an active partner of Delaware Consulting, though. And I am anxious to find different ways to remain valuable for our company. For many people, this seems a weird decision. So why does this happen?

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Every day at Delaware Consulting, people are reminded of the 5 company values: care, entrepreneurship, team spirit, commitment and respect. They are ever-present, living and breathing, without actually being mentioned literally too often. It is something you feel immediately when you are confronted with our colleagues and teams.

In the coming months, we’ll be welcoming a whole batch of fresh colleagues. But they won’t be colleagues for too long, they’ll quickly become more than that: they’ll become “Delawareians”, which is almost a synonym for ‘Best Friends’!

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‘What do you like most about your job?’ sounds like a plain question. But can you answer it immediately? Although I love my job, I can’t. 

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‘Entrepreneurship is the process of starting a business’, at least, that is how Wikipedia explains the term. ‘The entrepreneur develops a business plan, acquires the human and other required resources, and is fully responsible for its success or failure.’ But what if you have a dreamcoach on your side?

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There is a huge misunderstanding in the way most people treat vulnerability. More specifically, there is a problem with how people show their own vulnerability. While many believe this is seen as a sign of weakness, I consider a balanced demonstration of strengths and weaknesses an indication of self-knowledge, self-confidence and true value.

To prospects

Often I see people looking for shelter behind their laptop, or, even worse, behind their own back when giving presentations to prospective customers. They are looking at their screen or at the whiteboard most of the time, grasping hold on the content of their slides. Next to clearly showing their uncertainty, they miss out important, non-verbal feedback from their audience.

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