Expat Coaching

Why are you here?
This is the single most important questions anybody can ever ask themselves. Usually this refers to your purpose in life. However, when you ask this question of somebody who is an expat in another country, they mostly think that you are referring to them living and working in a foreign country. To ex-patriots or expats (as they are commonly known) this question is just as important to think about as it is to think about their purpose in life.

For anybody coming from a different country, hoping to make a living in unknown circumstances, life can often be tough. It is often challenging as there are so many regulations, lifestyle changes and cultural differences that they need to adapt to. Most of the time the whole country’s modus operandi is different to that to which they are accustomed to. Two out of three times, even the weather is different…!

So many new things to learn – currency, banking regulations, tax, road signs and rules, even the products in the supermarket might be packaged differently or known by a different name! No wonder most expats live with high levels of anxiety, especially if they are new in the country.

This anxiety is fuelled even more by the constant feeling that they are out of place… Not only do they have to learn how to survive physically in a foreign place, but also have to face emotional issues, such as redefining or reconfirming their identity. Many also face spiritual issues, especially in countries where the main religion or value systems are unlike their own.

No wonder that many expats go through a process of self-discovery shortly after settling in a new country, and then again a few years later after the mad rush of settling down has subsided slightly. This process can at times be extremely hard, especially if you feel alone. Struggling with these and other issues may make you wonder whether you’ve made the right decision in moving and whether you are still heading in the right direction.
Of course you will have a million questions such as how to survive, how to make friends, how to open a bank account, what about your visa, what if you loose your job, what if you can’t find a job, how do you buy a house, will your children adapt in the country, should you stay or go back home, what about your family, etc.

The most important question to always keep in mind is: why are you here?

If you can honestly answer this question and be satisfied with your answer, you’ll find peace and happiness wherever you are!

One of the best ways to help people find direction and move toward the life they really want is expat life coaching.

In its simplest form it could be described as a process of asking: “Where are you now? Where do you want to be? How can we help you to get there?”

The life coach almost comes in alongside the individual – metaphorically speaking – and helps them to be clear about what they want, set new goals and stay true to their values while pursuing their dreams.

This is ideal for expats who want to find their feet as well as get direction, whether you are new in the country, or in the cycle of considering leaving again.

As with anything in life – it’s best to learn to drive from someone who can actually drive. This is also true for life coaching. If you want expat life coaching, make sure that your life coach has been through the same! This would enable them to serve as a guide during this process by directing you to places or people who could be of assistance.

A life coach who is an expat themselves would be able to ask the right questions to help you find your way.

At LEAP in Life coaching and training we have coaches who are expats themselves. They are specifically qualified to work with a diverse group of people from various backgrounds. And as they have also been through the process of settling into a different country and culture, they are ideally suited to help you discover your reason for being here.

LEAP in Life coaching and training, not only offers one to one coaching, we have also created an online e-learning course “UK survival” to help you as an expat to quickly get up and running in your resident country (if you are new), or to re-establish your roots and reasons for being here (if you have been in the UK for a couple of years).

The “UK Survival” e-learning course consists of two parts – emotional challenges and practical challenges. On the emotional side of things, the course will help you with issues such as identity, integration into the community and finding your reason for being here.

On the practical side of things, the course offers a range of relevant information and links, from interviews with experts on permit and visa regulations, through to tax and national insurance, all the way to moving logistics and some good recommendations of service suppliers.

So, if you are an expat wondering why you are here, how to optimise your opportunities in a foreign country or just need some practical advice, contact LEAP in Life Coaching and Training or enrol in the “UK survival” training!

Author's Bio: 

Jaco Beukes – Head of Personal Coaching at LEAP in Life Coaching and Training