Secrets Of Success Fitting Into Austrian Business Culture

Leadership Coach helps Expats new to Austria

January 6, 2021


Moving to a new country is challenging, stressful, and can often become a failure for the people making the move. According to Harvard Business Review, between 10% and 20% of U.S. managers on foreign postings returned early. Of the remainder, almost 33% under-performed in their role. 25% of those who stuck the course left their company within a year after returning home.[i]

Many, perhaps most, businesspeople are excited about their posting to Austria. Executives look forward to new challenges, new opportunities to demonstrate capability and success. A successful foreign assignment can be a significant boost to a manager’s resume. The often significantly enhanced remuneration and benefits packages can make an international assignment a very tempting proposition.

What Is The Difference Between Success And Failure In Expat Postings To Austria?

Two factors are the most significant when it comes to success in an expat role in Austria or any other country:

  • Preparation
  • Knowledge

Of course, knowledge tends to reflect adequate preparation, but preparation is about much more than knowledge alone. Your actions will drive your success in Austria before you leave your home country.

Prepare before taking up your new assignment

Your future success as an expat manager will be founded on what you do before leaving for Austria. Successful managers tend to have done most, if not all, the following:

  • Take a German language course immediately after confirmation of your new posting. You will not become fluent right away, but almost everybody you meet will appreciate your effort to communicate in German. Don’t stop the lessons after you move to your new home!
  • Learn about business and social culture and etiquette. Many people find that blogs, forums, and professional events are a big help.
  • Start building your business and social networks in Austria before you leave. You can start networking with your peers in the Austrian branch of your business.
  • Consider joining one of the many Austrian expat support groups on Facebook. Foreigners and Expats in Vienna and Austria[ii] is one of several active Facebook Groups with around 4000 members.
  • Work with a career coach or executive coach with specialized, local knowledge to guide your understanding and help with specific questions and issues. You can probably figure out the ‘known unknowns.’ Still, it takes specialized input to get to grips with the ‘unknown unknowns’ that tend to make an expat posting go less well than you expect and hope.

Different people with unique personality traits and personal styles tend to react differently to new environments. Moving to work effectively in a new country is one of the most significant changes that we can make in our professional career. Working with an experienced executive coach can give any incoming expat a head start.

What Is The Biggest Success Factor In Becoming A Successful Expat?

Dr Judith Girschik coaching expatsOpinions may vary about the single most effective way to increase your chances of making your assignment in Austria effective for both yourself and your employer. There is one course of action that encompasses all the points mentioned above!

When you work with an experienced executive coach specializing in working with incoming expat managers, you will cover all the bases. Coaching will give you access to a wealth of knowledge about local business customs and practical aspects of integration. With effective coaching, you can expect to rapidly reach effectiveness in your business and manage the personal issues that most newly arrived expats face.

The Leadership Institute in Vienna will work with you to prepare you for your new assignment. The process is grounded in a close analysis of your personality type. Scientifically based personality assessment will help to create the best coaching for your needs. Your coaching program will be based upon your individual needs and emphasize business culture for rapid integration into your new working environment.

Because your time will be at a premium both before you leave your home country and when you arrive, meetings can be carried out by video conferencing. Video meetings will make it easy to progress whether you are based in Vienna or elsewhere in Austria.

The Leadership Institute and your executive coach, Dr. Girschik, will provide invaluable support as you transition into your new position. You will gain the confidence to succeed in this crucial phase of your career.

Give Yourself The Flying Start You Deserve

Your long-term success in your new and challenging position begins before you arrive in Austria. Preparation will enable you to hit the ground running and avoid the mistakes made by many, lesser prepared expatriate managers.

To learn more about your new future and how you can make this challenge a successful step in your professional career, please contact Dr. Girschik at or directly book your free initial coaching appointment here.



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