When you enter a new culture, you will likely see more obstacles than opportunities. It’s easy to lose self-confidence and sense of purpose. But you can turn it around by identifying your passions.
A rough patch
“You can read about the challenges of cultural adjustment before you relocate but that doesn’t mean you can avoid them,” says Fleur Groeneveld, a coach who has worked with members of our community. “Sometimes it’s hard for a coachee to admit to themself that they are in a rough patch until they have an opportunity to reflect and zoom out with a coach. There’s a moment of realisation when it becomes clear: ‘Ohhhh, I heard this might happen…’”
Hitting rock bottom
“When you enter a new culture and you realise that you can’t do what you have done your whole professional life it can be very challenging. Some expat partners might also have the added challenge of a language barrier, so on top of losing their professional identity and sense of purpose they also feel very isolated. But I have worked with expat partners who have come to realise that ‘Plan B’ is actually a better fit for a new life in another country.”
After talking with a Global Connection consultant, expat partners, who are members of our community, will have considered what that ‘Plan B’ might be. They can then further investigate this plan – or indeed discuss other possibilities – with a coach: “The exciting thing about a ‘Plan B’ is that it comes from within the partner, perhaps it’s something that has always been there. Somebody might have worked in the corporate sector for many years and enjoyed a successful career. But they will always have other passions and dreams.”
Making it happen
“It’s a beautiful moment for a coach when you see someone, especially if they did feel like they had lost their sense of purpose, realise they now have a chance to pursue something they are very passionate about. You see the sparkles in the eyes and a change in body language. They are energised by that moment of self-discovery. We can then move to the practical side of coaching and create an action plan so the coachee can bring this dream to life,” says Fleur, adding that nothing happens overnight. “You will begin by taking baby steps. But it’s always easier to follow the action plan and create momentum when you are following a passion. That’s when the magic starts to happen.”
This article was originally published for the thousands of expat partners that Global Connection supports around the globe. It is reproduced here in its original form.