Discovering opportunities, developing ideas into tangible solutions, and helping her clients drive their brand and market share is what gets Marie Scoble up in the morning.

Well, at least in her role as a category manager when she is helping firms improve their strategic marketing. As a highly skilled marketing pro, Marie loves the challenge of finding the right placement strategy for retailers and their products. She’d like to do the same thing for her career in Luxembourg

Since she moved to Luxembourg with her husband and his new job five years ago with an offer he got that was “too good to refuse, we had to go for it,” she said, she has enjoyed diving into a new country and culture. They’ve gotten their kids into school, bought a house, and found the best places to walk the dog.

Marie hasn’t registered with ADEM but is getting job alerts on LinkedIn. The offers aren’t always very appealing nor as interesting as her former role with a major multinational consumer-goods company.

She’s also been trying to get a foot into the local job market.  “What am I doing wrong?” she asked, wondering why her efforts hadn’t panned out. “I’ve gotten interviews, but not to second round. Am I overqualified? What’s missing?”

She wasn’t even told she needs French or Luxembourgish, so the language doesn’t seem to be an issue, at least as far as she can tell.

Setting up on her own

Realising quickly that there weren’t many opportunities for her, Marie set up her own consultancy.  “It was difficult and complicated. There was a whole heap of issues with taxes and social security,” she remembered, thinking of the challenge to get going.  “But I was finally able to get everything straightened out. My husband helped out and encouraged me.”

Nowadays, Marie is working and contributing her skills and competences, but the thing is, it’s to companies in the UK.  “I haven’t had any contracts here. I go to the UK a lot. But I get to work on a lot of interesting projects,” which she finds more fulfilling than daily operations.

“I’d like a full-time job,” Marie admitted, “but I know that I have it pretty good right now. The pay is better than what I probably would earn in Luxembourg, and I’m getting high-profile projects.”

Finding the next gig

Still, Marie wouldn’t mind actually working in Luxembourg, to be home more and spend time with her family. “We love the lifestyle and we don’t want to go back. We’d like to stay while the kids are in school, and to get our citizenship.” She also wants to learn French in addition to Luxembourgish, which she started.

Looking at her situation, Marie thinks she should pursue more international projects and grow her portfolio. “Maybe I’m not global enough. I need to get out of my comfort zone. That could be helpful for finding a job here.”  She’s open to taking an in-house marketing role or staying free-lance in Luxembourg. She’s also exploring expanding her skillset and transferring into another industry, such as services, or moving into related areas of marketing and communication, such as digital.

From what she’s experienced so far in Luxembourg in searching for a job and learning more about the companies here, she has a few observations.  She’d like to see more transparency about pay structures, less pay discrepancy, and more women in government and on boards. “I’m not a fan of positive discrimination, but there is a way to go here before things are more balanced.”

-------------------------

Amy Amann is a consultant, trainer and coach supporting leaders to create strong organisations and teams. A long-term expat herself, she believes in the potential for a truly diverse and open society. She is currently the Vice President of The NETWORK, advancing professional women in Luxembourg.

-------------------------

Career Chats is a new feature at RTL Today focusing on careers and the labour market for expats. In this bi-weekly column, Amy Amann will explore and discover stories of what it is like for the expats here: finding a job, hiring, managing, and integrating into the professional landscape.