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Ελένη Σκόνδρα Έλλιοτ
Get organised and enjoy the new location!
I have spent most of my life as an expat and being a working woman I have seen both sides of the expat life…That of the breadwinner and that of his/her spouse…
As a result, it was very natural for me to try and find ways to help people who go through this very special and potentially wonderful experience of working and living away from home. I was very lucky in some locations in my expat years, to have excellent support, which meant that the adjustment to the new life was smooth and quick, but also very unlucky, when I had no support which meant that getting used to the new work and new country was painful and difficult for all members of the family.
The acclimatization into another country can be daunting particularly if you don’t speak the local language and even more if there are children.
The family faces not only a new working environment but the huge tasks of where can you get what, how do you communicate, what are the local customs, and how do you find out what you need to do with the local authorities, which schools are best suited to your children and, most importantly, how you make friends…
It is very important to start have a “normal” life as soon as possible but for an expat, particularly if it is their first experience as expats, there is nothing normal in their new life except perhaps the work.
That’s where I found that coaching can help. It can work for the “working spouse” as well as the “stay at home and support spouse”. With tested methods and exercises it guides them through the hurdles of adapting. It helps avoid stressful situation and bring a sense of normality.
The first steps are the most important ones, so getting some order in is mandatory. These are 6 crucial areas that need to be understood and organised.
Making a list (or a mind map) for each of these and then tackle each one separately is a good start to start enjoying your new life.