You have taken the plunge. You’ve left your friends, acquaintances, and familiar surroundings behind and let your company transfer you to your foreign branch for two years as the first female manager. What a big, exciting step. Work permit, visa, relocation, everything went smoothly. The familiarization phase went well. The colleagues are nice and helpful.

The branch has closed a big deal and is throwing a party. The location, food, drinks, and music are good, and the atmosphere is exuberant. The evening progresses, the alcohol level rises. Since you arrived, a colleague from your department has been particularly concerned about your well-being. You have the feeling that he is trying to flirt with you. He also comes very close to you twice that evening and touches you several times. Late in the evening, you say goodbye. You blame his behaviour on the alcohol and the boisterous mood.
But the next morning in the office, this behaviour continues. Supposedly accidental touches on your shoulder, neck, leaning over, approaching you.

You are unsettled. Is this normal? Is this how people in your new country treat each other? Have you done or not done something that has triggered his behaviour?
Let’s be clear: sexual harassment in the workplace is sexual harassment, no matter where you are in the world.

It is not about what is normal or what is accepted by others. It is solely about what you define as acceptable or not. What do you accept? Where are your boundaries? Find out in advance whether your boundaries are likely to be violated by the behaviour of people in the destination country. If so, make a decision.

Clarity radiates strength.

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