Create a career vision that inspires you
Many people dream of radical career changes, but only a few follow through. A move abroad often forces us to take the leap and jump. Whether this is because you are not able to continue your former career abroad or because moving overseas finally empowered you to take the risk. In this blog post, I will introduce you to some career-shaping techniques that I learned from fellow career coaches along my journey. So great that you are interested in this topic and want to know more. If you don’t want to work on your career vision alone, our weekly mastermind groups will be the perfect fit for you (more info). Share with us in the comments where you are struggling right now and what decision you are going to make.
Also, check out the free download at the bottom of this article to work on your very own vision for your career change.
Brainstorming about your career vision using Journaling
The first step of each change process is always getting aware of where you are right now and defining the scenarios that are wandering around in your head. Journaling can be a great process to get all the thoughts in your head in order. There are no rules for journaling. All you need is a sheet of paper and a pen and some time. I personally prefer to have a small notebook just dedicated to the topic of career planning. In the beginning, the blank page might be intimidating. Remind yourself that it is not a handwriting contest nor does it has to look like a fancy bullet journal in the end. The first pages are just to get rid of thoughts, and if you are fancy for some more structure, you can use the following pages to establish some order or use my free template (link in the bottom).
Helpful questions to trigger your process of creating a career vision
In the world of coaching, we always talk about powerful questions that will start a particular thought process. While, questions are most powerful when used strategically in a conversation with a coach, you can still ask yourself some questions in a kind of self-coaching setting. Here are some examples for potential questions. Choose the one that speak to you:
- What do you like about your current job/ your former job?
- What do you entirely dislike about your current job / former job?
- Take an average day of the week (not a Monday or a Friday but maybe a Tuesday or Wednesday). Now imagine you are on your way to work. What would this day ahead look like? What tasks would there be to do, what kind of phone calls, what would be the team structure? Imagine a Tuesday you would feel comfortable with, and that would make you look forward to work. List all the small things that come to your mind.
- What skills do you currently have and love?
- What skills would you like to add? What was a skill you not only always admired but that you also would love to incorporate in your daily work?
Write down all the thoughts you have and before moving on, take your time and reflect on what that means for your ideal work.
on social media!
Get ideas for job titles and do a reality check on your career vision
Many Career Coaches recommend making a reality check. In my opinion, there is one step missing before deciding on what career path would be realistic to pursue, and that is the brainstorming phase of the potential career paths itself.
A simple yet effective approach is to scroll through LinkedIn and browse through the profile of friends and friends of friends to get an idea of different professions. Look at their education to understand how much time and effort is needed for certain careers. The LinkedIn search bar gets more functional every day, and it works excellent with different keywords about potential careers. With all this knowledge write down your different career ideas and test it against requirements, skills, and your perfect Tuesday you worked out before.
Who would be your perfect colleagues?
This is a great way to make your thought process less abstract. The type of people you want to surround yourself tells a lot about the career path you are searching for. Do you like to work with fast-paced, entrepreneurial people? Or do you prefer to have the first-hand contact with people from very diverse cultural backgrounds? Are you more looking for traditionalists or thought-provoking people? Be honest to yourself and don’t just state “fast-paces” because it sounds good – maybe fast-paces is exactly what you don’t want.
Also, think about in what setting you would like to work? Are you ok with working alone or do you prefer larger teams? Would you prefer working from home, from the office or maybe even a mix of everything? What kind of environment fosters your creativity or efficiency? Think about your personal preferences and write down what comes to your mind.
Writing down your career vision
So now, put together all the writing you have done so far.
As an example, I would like to share my career vision with you. With everything that I am putting out on SharetheLove, I try to be as authentic and genuine, I can be. Therefore, I not only put together all the useful information I have found on the internet and from talks with recruiters and other career coaches, but I always test the exercises myself. In that way, I can work along one of my core values of being genuine and enabling to others. I hope reading my vision might help you with yours and you will be inspired by.
Join our next Mastermind Group
The mastermind group is a space where academic research, coaching exercises, manifestations, and recurring check-ins come together to work on your personal and professional development.
The mastermind group is a weekly appointment in your calendar that holds you accountable for your actions steps. I as a coach will check in with you in between sessions and the intimate group gives you the platform to present your progress.
The next group is starting soon so hurry up to save your spot if you want to join.
In case you don’t like a blank paper I designed a couple of pages for you to write down your thoughts. It contains all the steps we discussed in this article and you can download it for free by clicking on this button. I wish you all the best for your career planning and hope you found this exercise useful. Let me know in the comments below or shoot me a direct message with feedback or questions. Love to hear from you!
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Overcoming bureaucracy and the long path to find professional purpose abroad – Role Model Story Patricia
I would like to present you today, at Christmas time, a very special Role Model Story. It is a story that shows what happens when you persistently work on your goal and keep a profound fear behind you. It is a beautiful, emotional, touching story and I am very happy and proud that the protagonist this time is a friend of mine. Let’s start with this wonderful role model portrait.
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I am happy to present to you another Role Model Story today. This time a story without countless obstacles, several career changes, or identity crises. This story is less about the side of tears and more about how it can be and what you can do to get more ease in your life.
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Not every posting ends happily. Many secondments fail, affecting not only corporate projects but also, especially in the long term, family and personal satisfaction. In this blog post, I would like to share a few insights that I was able to find in the course of my research on this topic. I like to refer to academic studies and large-scale studies and I am glad that there have been more studies on this topic especially in the last 20 years. If you want to look more into the topic feel free to check out this info box. In this box, I put the names of some papers and studies that I consider relevant.
Together with her two kids (now 6 & 8 years old) Marloes and her husband moved from the Netherlands to Taiwan. Back in the Netherlands Marloes worked as a consultant and it was their first international move. In this role model portrait, Marloes is reflecting on her path from a corporate working mum in the Netherlands to distributing fun & supportive workbooks for children moving abroad as an entrepreneur.
The New Post Pandemic Workplace – implications for the expat partner and international career couple
In this blog post, I share with you possible changes due to COVID-19 and how you can respond and benefit as the expat partners. Make yourself ready for a new work culture
Meet Luise, a German social entrepreneur with lots of experience in living abroad and creating your own pursuit of happiness!
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Family and friends are the most important pillars in our lives. While we can take some of our family with us on our expat adventure, our friendships stay behind. So I was very happy when Dzhangar from Matchfamilies contacted me. His app that connects expat families was exactly the solution for the phase when you realize that you miss friends but don’t know what to do about it.
LinkedIn is THE essential social media platform when you want to change career paths. I know Instagram is more fun but LinkedIn is a way better time investment. In this blog post, I share the 4 Do’s and Don’ts I when it comes to your activity on LinkedIn. Let’s get right into it.
My phone remembered me that we left our apartment in Chicago exactly one year ago. After a typical Covid Weekend (meaning you are only able to recharge your batteries to 60%) I want to take the time to reflect on this past year and how my expatriate experience helped me navigate through this year.
I recently had the pleasure of talking to Jannie Aasted Skov-Hansen and Paul Vanderbroeck about their new book “The International Career Couple Handbook”. Reading the title alone, you will get a good sense of what the book is all about and it is a great additional resource when planning your adventures abroad. So as it is just a perfect fit for the SharetheLove audience and I really enjoyed reading it I want to tell you more about it in this blog post. I will introduce you to the definition of International Career Couples and explain to you why this book is very helpful even when you are currently NOT in a Dual-Career relationship right now.
Another episode of the expat partner role model series about the identity crisis after losing your career and creating a new path forward. Farsana was born in Afghanistan and emigrated to Germany as a child. moved to Azerbaijan, then to Lebanon and shifted her career as a lawyer online.
What might the future of work look like and what would that mean for me and my career plans? I give insight into an interesting PWC study and explain what you can do for yourself today. There is also a fun quiz that will show you what corporate culture you are longing for!
For this post I invited an expert in the field of Third-Culture-Kids (TCK). Ann Wöste sharges her knowledge about how to care for our beloved children abroad.
Today I would like to introduce you to Lea from the USA, who now lives with her husband in Zimbabwe. Like so many others, she moved abroad for love and had to reinvent herself to find her happiness. In the spirit of SharetheLove, she shares her story today and gives insight into the often challenging way to build a professional career abroad. Thanks a lot, Lea for your open words and your various tips. I am sure that many of you will find yourself in her story and take new courage from reading it!
Also, besides COVID-19, the global war for talent is ongoing. Companies are still operating on a global scale and need qualified and experienced employees to master the task. In a very interesting piece, Yvonne McNulty, one of the best-known researchers in the field of expatriate management, is shedding light on what is changing in expat recruitment. In this blog post, I am sharing some insights from this study and explain the effects on the accompanying family and especially the expat partner.
SharetheLove shares stories from successful expat partner around the world. This time, the amazing photographer Leonie shares her story of how her hobby became her profession
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The struggle of getting childcare in Gemany and the constant justification of a mother of a 9-months old. An opinion piece with the invitation to support each other.
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Since COVID19, women have reached out to me asking whether they should still apply for jobs. They hesitated to send out resumes and continue investing time and energy into looking for opportunities. In this blog post, I am talking about was has and was has NOT changed since COVID19 and how to prepare for the competitive journey of getting your dream job.
Most mothers struggle with juggling the different roles in their life. How to enjoy work while also caring for children? How to deal with public opinions about being a good mother? How to encounter colleagues at work who diminish your level of commitment? Many academic papers are researching the manifold challenges of motherhood. Today, I want to introduce you to the concept of intensive mothering and its effect on the working mothers’ experiences focusing on the paper by Lamar and Forbes (published April 2020) called “A phenomenological investigation into the role of intensive mothering in working mothers’ career experiences.”
Becoming a mother most likely creates a shift in your perspectives and your priorities in life. Like with any other major life change it offers the possibility to reflect on the path behind and provokes the question of What next? While mother AND father are facing a new era, it is especially challenging for the one who pauses a career and becomes the major caregiver. In this blog post, I reflect on the different family models and how to decide what’s best for you.
5 weeks in our very own repatriation journey I want to take the chance and reflect. How does it feel to move back to your home country? How does someone adjust to a culture that is familiar but distant at the same time? Oh, and yes, let’s not forget that we are all trying to create a new normal in times of Covid19.
Covid19 is affecting all layers of our daily lives obviously not sparring out employment. As this website focuses on the professional journey of expat partners, I want to address the questions you might have right now:
Does it still make sense to apply for jobs?
Are there even job listings?
What can I do to increase my chances of becoming employed?
2020 had a rough start in terms of global news. The outbreak of the coronavirus was one of them. The sheer amount of media coverage (on all levels of quality) and the uncertainty that the virus outbreak brought to many lives also affected expat families around the globe but specifically those closer to the area of origin. I was wondering, how expat families are coping with the challenge, how they made their decision on whether to stay or to go “home”, and what they have learned from the current situation.
Moving overseas is a stressful time, especially when the two Cs (Children & Container) are involved. With our own move shortly ahead, I want to summarize all the tips and tricks I received from other experienced expats and that helped me the last time we have moved countries. This list of tips is tailored to families moving with a container. Often there are professional moving companies involved and while that is a huge help in can also lead to many misunderstandings and hiccups along the way.
Repatriation is one of the most underrated and intense phases of the whole process of temporarily living abroad. In this blog post, I want to show why that is, what you can do to prepare, and what you can expect. As always, I have used a mixture of academic papers, articles, and personal stories from within the expat community to create a valuable and comprehensive resource for you.
The perception of our lives abroad often differs tremendously from reality. While life abroad definitely brings along a lot of joy, happiness, opportunities and exciting experiences, it also comes with a price tag. Like everything in life, there are two sides to a coin.
The idea of us sitting along the pool sipping a margarita might feel far away for you. For your friends and family back home, this might be the picture that they have in their heads.
Thanksgiving is around the corner reminding us to get together and reflect on what we are thankful for. As a German and vegetarian, the traditional version of Thanksgiving is not really my turf. However, it’s a great time for reflection and creating awareness of how lucky we are despite the daily stress we might have.
Recently, InterNations Business Solutions published its new survey about expats around the world. This time they dedicated a whole section to the relocation spouse and presented her demographics, personal situation, needs, and wishes for their time abroad.
With over 1,300 relocation spouses interviewed, it is one of the most comprehensive surveys out there. That’s why I find it highly relevant to talk about the results – so let’s have look inside.
Recently I stumbled upon one of the best, recent academic papers about Dual-Career Planning in expatriation. The paper “Expatriated dual-career partners: hope and disillusionment” by Agnieszka Kierner perfectly illustrates how hope vanishes when career goals are not met during an international assignment.
Every once in awhile, we get triggered to step out our own comfort zone. For me personally, this often involves public speaking or sales pitches. Those are things that are just not meeting my core strengths. While others love to present themselves, I prefer to put the content in the spotlight instead of me as a person. However, when you are seeking to grow personally and professionally, stepping outside the comfort zone is a vital method and can’t be neglected!
Summer in Chicago is a short but very intense time. Locals truly know how to make the most out of it and the city presents itself from its best side. There are countless events to chose from, and because we all know that summer won’t last for long people are rushing outside to take in every glimpse of the sun. If you are new to Chicago or you are visiting the town during summer, check out my 10 Top things to do!
If we are honest to ourselves, saying YES is far more comfortable than saying NO to someone. In this blog post, I want to introduce you to the concept of saying NO, why we need to train this as a muscle, why it is especially essential for expats, and how saying NO can improve your personal quest for happiness.
Many expat partners ask themselves what to do with their life after moving abroad – especially when the “society-approved”, traditional corporate job or raising children is not a scenario. We often forget that there is a different path we can go: Not working, investing all the time and energy into ourselves, and be happy as hell. I am thrilled that Simone, who is actually also one of my coaching clients, is open to sharing her story and her personal approach in a blog post with us. Simone is a huge inspiration for me, and I bet you will be inspired after reading her reasoning behind her choice as well. Enjoy getting to know Simone and her creative, bold, confident, and clever approach to spending her time abroad.
What are you striving for in your career? What was your original motivation when applying for your first job, and what has changed along the way? Naturally, we are more fulfilled and successful when we are striving for something professionally that is also aligned with who we are as a person. If you are thinking about a career change or you are unsure where to head next to now is the time to check your motivation. In this blog post, I want to introduce you to the concept of career anchors and how that simple test can be a helpful guide to you for your personal career planning.
Reflecting on my experience at the Families in Global Transition Conference in Bangkok a couple of weeks ago, there is one sentence that is imprinted in my head: “We are equipped – more than others – to make a change.”
I keep wondering: Is that true? Are we in a privileged situation that should trigger us to act?
Moving abroad can have an impact on your confidence. Especially if you have trouble in getting back into a routine or in some work right from the beginning. In this article, I want to introduce you to Khethiwe, a confidence coach located in South Africa. I interviewed her about her approach to start a couple of portable businesses, her advice for expat partners, and how to regain confidence after moving abroad. She shared her experience with being a public speaker and a coach. If you are interested in getting started in that field, stay tuned for her tips!