Wondering whether FIGT is for you? Don’t let any of these misconceptions about FIGT Membership stop you from joining this wonderful community!
If you follow FIGT on any of its social media platforms, you might have noticed that we’ve been talking a lot about what FIGT means to our current Members this month.
We’ve been explaining that without its Members, FIGT would not and could not exist. Our Members are at the heart of FIGT.
▶ If you’ve missed these videos, you can watch them all here.
You might be considering joining FIGT but wondering if it’s really for you. So we thought it might be helpful to address some of the misconceptions that sometimes come up about who FIGT is for.
FIGT Membership Myths
1. “You need to have lived in lots of different countries.”
It doesn’t matter whether you have run out of fingers to count the countries you’ve called home or you moved to just one place from where you were born and stayed there.
FIGT is for anyone who has lived or is living outside their country of birth.
If you have never moved but you work in a role that supports those who have, then FIGT is also most definitely for you! Becoming a member is a great way to help you understand the challenges and richness of living a globally mobile life of any kind.
Finally, if you’ve moved in the past but have repatriated—whether by choice or not—then you will find people in our Membership who understand the unique challenges that such a move brings.
2. “FIGT is just for TCKs.”
While we do have a lot of TCKs (third culture kids), ATCKs (adult third culture kids) and CCKs (cross culture kids) as Members, not all of our Members are—and you don’t even need to know what any of those initials stand for.
There are plenty of people in our Membership who can help you understand what TCKs are and how their experiences impact them.
So you don’t need to be a TCK, and you also don’t need to be raising one. We don’t care what age you began to experience a globally mobile life. Your experience is valuable.
3. “I don’t feel like a stereotypical expat.”
Awesome—we are not big fans of stereotypes.
We’re not really sure what a stereotypical expat might be anymore, but one of the things that we think make FIGT great is diversity and we welcome individuals with every kind of experience of moving around the world.
It doesn’t matter why you moved or how you moved. So whether you chose to move because of a job opportunity and a sense of adventure, because you fell in love with someone from another part of the world, because of military service, because you had to flee a situation in your home country or you felt the call of faith, we would love to hear your story and learn from you.
We also know that we have more work to do to become a more inclusive community and we are committed to looking for who is not at the FIGT “table” and how we can make everyone feel more welcome.
4. “I don’t have a business or a book or even a blog to share.”
Whatever your background, expertise or experience, your journey and experience are valuable. You don’t have to be in research, be running a business for globally mobile individuals or families or be writing a book.
We are fortunate to have some amazing authors, thinkers, leaders, researchers and educators in our Membership—but that’s not our whole community.
We can ALL learn from each other, regardless of our backgrounds, experience and expertise.
5. “I’ve moved back ‘home.’”
Repatriation or going to wherever you call “home” is its own unique experience and can bring specific challenges and joys. It is a huge part of so many globally mobile people’s lives and something we talk about a lot within our community.
Your experience and story are incredibly valuable and could really help others going through this change. And you can be repatriated and still feel and be “global.”
6. “I don’t know how I could connect with people without meeting them.”
We acknowledge that this can be hard, particularly when you add in cultural and language differences and time zones.
Many of our Members form connections through meeting at our conference (when can it can take place!) or through local Affiliate events. We will continue to work on finding ways to help Members get to know each other.
What we do know is that FIGT Members value connection and community so don’t be shy. We know of many close friends who have never spent time together physically but who met virtually through our Facebook group, webinars, workshops or volunteering.
Many of our Board Members and volunteers have never met in person but we know that these are rich, valuable and sometimes life-changing relationships.
And since FIGT is run almost entirely by volunteers, we are always looking for more people to help us deliver value and services for our community—and it is a great way of making connections!
So who is FIGT for?
If you are globally mobile for any reason or if you work to support those who are, it is for you.
That’s why we are here: to support you wherever you are on your journey.
We hope you will join this unique and growing community—we can’t wait to meet you.
If you have more questions about individual Membership, please visit our 2020 Membership drive page for more information or reach out to Jodi Harris at firstname.lastname@example.org.
And please join us on Facebook, LinkedIn, or Twitter and sign up to our newsletter to get updates! (Members, please request to be added to the FIGT Members Group, if you haven't already.)