Do you like Mondays? I have the feeling that claiming to hate Mondays is not only the new norm but also widely socially labeled as “cool.” Everyone is posting a sad face and a reference to Mondays on social media. I recently found out that there is also the term “blue Monday” referring to a Monday in January which weatherwise brings the most depressed vibe with it. However, if you are the expat partner, Mondays might have reached a new level of stress. In this article, I want to explain why and what will help if you are feeling moody.
MONTHLY INSPIRATION: OCTOBER
MONTHLY INSPIRATION: OCTOBER
Monthly inspiration: October '18
Shame on me! I almost forgot about the monthly inspirations! Time is passing so, and I am not feeling old saying so as everyone around me seems to experience that in the same way (no matter the age). I guess it’s just because we start to think about Christmas and New-Year’s-eve planning already. So without further introduction here are my monthly favorites of October: Things that have inspired me and that are discussed within the Expat community that I want to share with you.
THE IMPOSTOR SYNDROM - YES THERE IS A FANCY NAME FOR NOT FEELING "GOOD ENOUGH"
Have you ever felt inferior after being out of work for some time because of well, moving abroad? I definitely did! I joined an exciting webinar by the ExpatWomen community and listened to Monika Evje’s experience and tips in that field. Feeling “not good enough” is a very common theme in the workplace – especially for women – and even more so for women who moved abroad and feel foreign and not really part of the community. We might not be able to understand some sports jokes, or are hesitant to find our sweet spot between staying true to ourselves and adapting to a new culture. It’s interesting to see that the topic of Impostor syndrome was even more present in the media throughout October. For sure this is also influenced by the fact that many employees start to focus on the last quarter of the year and their career goals. If you want to know more about that topic, check out my blog post about that and also look up the ExpatWomen community to not miss out on interesting webinars about professional development abroad.
I recently joined a webinar about the Impostor Syndrome amongst the Expat community by Monika Evje. It was really interesting and offered a lot of helpful information, so I did some further research and decided to share my learnings in a blog post.
NEW STUDY: THERE IS A SPECIFIC DIFFERENCE BETWEEN PEOPLE WHO MOVED ABROAD AND PEOPLE WHO NEVER DID
I came across an interesting new study by the Rice University/Columbia University/ the University of North Carolina. They interviewed over 1,800 participants. The survey included people who moved abroad and ones that did not. They found one fascinating difference: Living abroad increases “self-concept clarity.” Those participants that lived abroad tend to have a better sense of their values, goal in life, and their self in general than those who have never lived abroad. You can find the full article here.
According to the research team, living abroad not only provides people with a new sense of self, but can also bring greater life satisfaction and decreased stress, improved job performance and even "enhanced clarity about the types of careers that best match an individual's strengths and values."
DIFFERENT CAREER OPTIONS FOR EXPATS: GET INSPIRED BY DIGITAL NOMADS
I was doing a lot of research throughout the last couple of weeks about different forms of continuing or starting a new career abroad. In my Expat Partner Career Guide, you will find a whole section about this. I also explained the different options in a recent blog post. The point is that there are more options than we think about in the beginning. I was focusing a lot of the different career paths, and I am now digging deeper into the specific areas of work. Two of them are very portable career options: Becoming a UX-Designer and starting a blog. If you are an UX-Designer or Blogger let me know and I would be happy to feature you in the upcoming blog posts about those professions that I am planning. Digital Nomads are teaching us, Expats, a lot about starting a business or changing our former careers into something portable. If you want to learn more, sign up for the Share-the-Love Newsletter, and you won’t miss out on new posts. You can also follow some of the excellent Digital Nomad groups out there!!
SOLO TRIP INSPIRATION
Ahhh, this feeling I had yesterday after leaving my hostel in New York to explore the city all by myself! Magical! I love going on vacation with my husband (who is one of the best travel companions in the world). However, I also just love to be for myself from time to time. My solo travel itinerary is pretty different to “normal” vacation with the husband. I love to book cheap hostels and try out things I usually won’t do. I talk to strangers at the hostel bar, write blog posts in the middle of the day from fancy coffee shops in Manhatten, and I am always curious to see what is waiting for me around the corner. Traveling alone is the best kick for my confidence and whenever I question something, packing my backpack is the best way to figure out my future. As my recent trip to New York reminded me of that, I wanted to use this opportunity in this monthly inspiration post to share that medicine with you. On Share-the-Love I have covered the topic of solo travel in a couple of posts, and you will find all the information you need to decide where to go, why to go and what to pack. Stay tuned for my New York Guide for Solo travelers 🙂
I hope you found some inspiration in the mix! The great thing about being an Expat: The learning never stops and we will like we are stuck and plans don’t work out as fantasized – this is the time we grow and develop further! Leave me a comment or send me a direct message to email@example.com. Would love to learn more about you and your life! Also, check out my Expat Partner Onboarding Newsletter Sequence here or follow me on social media!
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So, I covered in several posts the identity struggle than can come along when you are moving abroad for the partner’s job. It’s a new beginning on several levels and a change also in areas that you have been happy with such as the job situation. In this blog post, I want to present you an interview with a very experienced Expat who moved abroad for her husband’s job and managed to re-invent herself and be happy with the new lifestyle. She contacted me after reading one of my blog posts where I covered the topic of why the question “What do you do?” can be a tough one. She expressed her disbelief that modern women are still struggling with this and showed me her perspective. I loved it and wanted to present to you her point of view so I asked her for an interview. And here it is: A conversation about the modern challenges of being an Expat Partner and what to learn from more experienced Expat Partners – with the amazing Antje Döhring.