How working with a coach can help you make expat career decisions when decisions become too complex!
At certain stages of your international careers decisions around working abroad are relatively easy to navigate. In fact, in the early stages you might talk with our partner about how you position yourselves with your current employers so that you can be considered for an international assignment, or you research possible locations or companies that are interesting to you.
However, once you become international and the myriad of life happens - children, home ownerships, tax laws, aging family, global situations, lack of suitable qualifications or ability to get a work permit, tight job markets, new residencies providing choice – your career decisions can look and feel a lot more complicated. Suddenly, your individual identities and identity as a couple can feel like they are in jeopardy.
Take Couple A – they had navigated through living on two different continents while they dated, moved together for the first time when they were newlyweds, had their first child on the other side of the world from home whilst both excelling in their careers, lived apart for 8 months when they both said ‘Yes’ to the career opportunities in front of them. As their family grew they realised that they would need to have a different basis for making their career decisions and this felt overwhelming. How could they do the best for their children? What could they do about the career options in front of them? How could they possibly make the right decision when there was so much to consider? How could they both continue to thrive while they lived on the move?
What did they do? They took proactive action months in advance of the decision they knew would come to them. They created a secure space for them to discuss what they really wanted in the coming years. They had individual coaching to understand their own drivers, ambitions, and motivations both within and out with their family. They then worked with the same coach in ‘team’ sessions where they shared their visions and agreed on their joint family values that became fundamental in any decision they made. They spoke about their compromises; they were honest about questions they had not asked themselves and they paved a way to collaborate and support one another. They answered challenging questions and used their new awareness over the coming months to guide them as they moved through the various stages of their change and transition.
The coaching program was bespoke for them in line with their timings. At the beginning they focused on doing the groundwork and preparing what they would base their responses on. Once they had offers in front of them, they were better able to advocate for themselves and each other. This couple were adept at doing the actual move and had wonderful company relocation support. They were also interculturally ready to engage fully in their transition. When they worked with a coach, they understood that having an external, objective person in their corner would elevate their ability to make decisions and to carve a life that fit their values and longer-term goals.
Coaching can offer this secure and safe space with a coach whose sole purpose is to support your decision making, aide your smooth internal transition and ultimate help you realise your goals.
You can align and grow together and transition side by side in the knowledge that you are making decisions together and that you have each other’s backs.