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Three Reasons Why You Need an Expatriation Coach

Let’s start at the very beginning. As an expatriate American, I’ve been where you are.... many, many times. Maybe I don't know the details of your situation, but I’ve still got a good idea of what you’re going through. You might believe me if I gave you an example. It's a simple little story with an odd title:

Moving Box No. 41:

Five years ago, I moved my belongings into 41 moving boxes. I know the exact number because I just stumbled on to the last one, No. 41, in preparation for my latest move to Luxembourg! Apparently, the contents were not of great importance since I had never bothered to reopen the box once it found its resting place in a dark corner of my walk-in closet.

I take a closer look as I pull it out. Hmmm. What’s written on the side here? -- oh, the moving company’s slogan, “Vous Allez Adorer Déménager!”. (You’re going to love moving house!)

Ooooh please! You’ve got to be kidding! I already have a sore arm from lifting and pushing these boxes around.....filled with…What?…..Stones? No, worse! Books!

I’m going to love moving house?! Can we have a little truth in advertising?

Can you imagine your dentist saying, “You’re just going to love this root canal!”. Oh yes, the blinding white light, the sound of the drill and the dull ache which will follow.

Anyway, back to the boxes…..Before I open the last one, I check the box number against a Word document which I had made to keep track of the contents:

Box No. 41: Office, Personal photos and correspondence (pre- email days when people actually wrote letters to each other.)

Curiosity prompts me to grab a pair of scissors and cut through the sticky tape….

“Ooooh no!” says a voice inside me! “This is not the time for a trip down memory lane!”

Deep down I know that I have to save my energy for this new adventure called my (our) expatriation. It will involve a lot of unknowns and a number of challenges: a new language, new friends, new schools, a new environment. This is a time to be looking forward!

Well, easy to say….but just how does one navigate so many changes so quickly?

3 Reasons Why You Need an Expatriation Coach

1. You want support.

A good relocation agency will give you sound legal and financial advice and help you get “set up”….but then what? After the boxes are unpacked and the kids are off to school, you want more than good advice to thrive in your new environment. An expatriation coach will help you deal with the inevitable culture shock. I'm here to support you through this transition in your personal and professional life. It's a process.

2. You want to build relationships with the locals.

Of course, it’s nice to have the addresses of expat associations and while it’s interesting to exchange with people from your home country, the danger lies in closing oneself off from the locals. Understanding the local culture facilitates meaningful exchanges with people in your community. Showing an interest in local customs and traditions not only makes a good impression, it also gives you a sense of belonging. The long-term goal here is integration.

3. You want to create a map!

It’s not so hard to find a good map with city parks and museums, but what I’m talking about here is co-creating a map of your life, your new reality. As your expatriation coach, I will help you discover your new environment. An expatriation can be a wonderful opportunity to explore both personal growth activities as well as new career possibilities. You want to do more than just try to "stay busy".

My committment to you as a coactive coach is to help you find your own path, your own answers. Of course I ask a number of questions....and I probably will ask you to be accountable for "small steps" towards your goal, but I also like to listen -- actively.

Curious? Then contact me to make an appointment with yourself for a free half hour consultation DENIS NIEDRINGHAUS

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