WHAT ON EARTH IS AN EXPAT COACH DOING?
Updated: Nov 14, 2022
Welcome to this blog post and thank you for spending 3 minutes to understand what I do!
If you are not a friend or family member of mine reading this blog post secretly, to finally understand what my actual job is, I assume you are either a 'soon-to-be-expat', or one who is currently living abroad. If that's the case, great - you are exactly where you should be.
So let’s get right into it: What does an expat coach actually do? I bet this question comes to mind for everyone who hears for the first time that I have a coaching practice specializing on expats.
Why do expats need a coach?
Why on earth should you as an expat be in need of coaching, you already have everything you wish for, right? You live in a cool, maybe exotic, country, have an amazing and usually well-paid job, your kids are going to international schools, you are sipping cocktails on nice rooftop bars, and you seem to have holidays all the time.
…Well not really…
Although the ‘classic’ expat life might appear very glamorous, adventurous and exciting, it is obviously not the reality. It’s true, working on a professional assignment abroad provides you with a great career opportunity and usually comes with a nice increase in salary. But at the same time you are under a lot of pressure. Proving that you’ve been the right pick for the role by delivering first results fast and generally making a difference in a short amount of time are two examples of what’s expected from you, and all of this in a complete new environment, with a limited understanding of people, culture, and language of your host country. Sometimes you feel as you lost a part of your personality and that can be incredibly tough.
"You get a strange feeling, when you are about to leave a place. Like you'll not only miss the people you love, but you'll miss the person you are now at this time and place, because you'll never be this way ever again" Azar Nafisi
In addition to the professional side, you also have your personal life to set up in the new country. Topics like opening a new bank account, finding a place to live for your family, or choosing the right school for your kids can be a huge challenge – what it is easy at home, can be a difficult task in the new country. Your partner might have had to press pause on the career at home, simply to support your family abroad. As a result, your partner might often feel socially isolated, alone, and disconnected. You as couple can begin to struggle.
And to top it off, all this happens without your usual support system, without having your friends and family close-by. Of course not every expat is suffering from all of this, but many (of us) do.
How can I support you?
So what does an expat coach do specifically? Well, different expat coaches are specialized in different areas. The focus areas range from mental health, to building a new life abroad, raising third culture kids, or supporting the repatriating to your home country.
My key area of expertise is supporting you in mastering your professional assignment (incl. intercultural training/preparation, handling performance pressure, boosting your self-confidence, building your support system) and, more broadly, helping you in setting up your new life abroad.
I support you and your partner before and during the move with all the questions and struggles you might have. My expat coaching service provides you with proven tools and exercises to understand the culture of your host country better and to set up your new life abroad.
Make the Most of your time abroad!
If you aren't conviced yet that this is something both you and your company might benefit from, then let this number sink in: Up to 40% of all expat assignments fail* every year! And why? Because companies usually support you and your family well before and during the actual move, but stop the support once you’ve landed in your host country. Even though this is exactly the moment when things can start to be challenging and additional support is needed.
If you plan to move abroad or are already living in a foreign country and struggle to build your life there, no need to deal with everything on your own, but simply reach out to me for a free discovery call here.
*Report cited by Talent Management and HR