Getting a new job abroad as an executive in a transnational company is a great career opportunity. On one hand it looks very good for the one who got this change. But, on the other hand, it could mean drastically changes in his/her personal life. The complexity of the situation gets bigger if this executive has a family.
In many cases the spouse/partner and children follows the head of the family leaving their lives, job, friends and relatives behind. They have to adapt to the new situation and start a learning process to find themselves in a new country. The relocation companies may help with the organization of this new life, but nobody prepares them for the cultural shock, they will experience once they start interacting with the new environment at work, at school and just out there.
Expat's spouses are quite brave and support their spouses and children no matter what. It means, no matter even themselves. They start with being in charge of the moving overseas, help their families with the transition, if they are lucky they get a relocation company, look for the house, register the children in an International school, look for a good expats insurance, etc., and after everything is done, they probably take care of themselves..…
No wonder that they get a kind of lost feeling when they finally get time for themselves. They might feel lonely and they start trying to do something else besides being there for the others. Then some questions like, can I work in Switzerland? Do I have to learn the language? Is my diploma valid for working? Who takes care of the children if I work or if I study/learn something? Who can help? How can I earn money too? That on top of feeling alone, lost, and unfulfilled do not help to give a step ahead. It creates an unhealthy state of being that needs to be broken in other to feel free to unfold and thrive here in Switzerland.
Please get away from the people who have had negative experiences in Switzerland and feel unhappy and frustrated all the time. Get away from them for your own sake! You do not need them. You have the opportunity to make and live your own experience. Look for people who has got what you are looking for and ask them, how they got until this point.. Many of them will help you and other not, but it doesn't matter. You go on getting to know more people and making your network bigger and bigger. So get in Toastmasters, help in a social club, do a course on something you like, learn the language. You will also get to know a lot! Life and personal coaching is essential at this point, so you can discover what you like and your own strategies to get what you want. Many expatriate healthcare insurances covers many life and executive coaching sessions. It differs from your expats insurance. Otherwise, you have to cover it yourselft, it is very affordable anyway and many coaches offers the first session for free. Book your free coaching session with successchoices.
Living in a new city or in a new country can be very exiting and full of new experiences to enrich your life in a fulfilling way. There are all these new exciting things to do in a new county, like learning a new language, getting to know the locals and their culture, looking for what to do, working, studying, doing a course, finding information about the do's and dont's, getting to know new people and get to start your own networking. It really means the start of a new life. So how great it this?
It is time to be your own hero!
Maria Griselda Mueller
is a professional coach specialized in expats and cross-cultural support. She is originally from Venezuela, has lived in more than ten countries around the world and has a Master certification in psychological coaching.