Summary of GenXPat

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  • Applicable


Author Margaret Malewski has a clear thesis and works hard to prove it. She contends that Generation X (that’s Gen X, born between 1964 and 1981) expatriates have distinct needs and concerns that differentiate them from previous generations of expatriates. Malewski provides a fairly comprehensive survey of the issues that most expatriates encounter on their sojourns abroad. She pays particular attention to those affecting younger professionals, especially relationship and romance issues. This is one of the few books about expatriate life that addresses, for example, the problems encountered by co-habiting partners and the sensitive issues of cross-cultural dating. Some of her conclusions may seem a bit obvious to the internationalized Internet generation, but acknowledges that her warnings about culture shock and career challenges are well informed. This book certainly could be helpful to those sheltered Gen Xers when they go overseas to work. The author proves that they have a distinctive problem - and having defined the issue, she sets out solidly to address it.

About the Author

Margaret Malewski grew up in Montreal and in 1992 began a decade of expatriate experiences that took her to Poland, Switzerland and Israel.



This Generation of Expatriates

Previous generations of expatriates went abroad with cushy salaries and high-expense accounts, wives and children in tow. Not the "GenXpatriates." Earlier young globetrotters backpacked and knocked about hostels, supporting themselves (barely) by teaching language lessons, volunteering for a spell and moving on. Also, not the GenXers. The new expatriates are:

  • Career-focused - They care most about jobs and money.
  • Single - They must deal with such issues as dating overseas, maintaining long-distance relationships and co-habiting in foreign countries.
  • Burnt out or about to be - They focus intensely on work, can’t speak the language around them, lack social outlets, tend to overwork and lead unbalanced lives - a straight ticket to burnout.
  • Local hires - Often younger expatriates get hired by local companies (as opposed to U.S.-based multinationals with foreign offices), although they have unique concerns that local employers are unlikely to notice, such as the need to phone home often, or to go home to visit, or to deal with confusing local tax and legal issues.

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