This is our second post of the interview with Kate, the expat wife as well as entrepreneur and coach for other expat wives.
1st post is here.
-Was there any struggle or difficulties in deciding to quit your career back home and come to Chicago?
Quitting my job was not an easy decision, but I was convinced to continue with my former career right away after obtaining my work permit. Hence there was not much doubt beforehand. Looking back that was actually an excellent thing cause it made moving abroad an easy choice and I learned much more by not continuing the planned path.
-Tell us about your website www.sharethelove.blog
The aim of sharethelove.blog is to inspire other Expat Partners to find a fulfilling professional identity abroad. When I was lost in transition, I was missing some guidance. I wanted to create the resource I was missing so much during the first months abroad and filled it with everything I have learned along the way. It’s a mix of useful facts and figures, inspirational stories by role models, career advising, and coaching exercises. It’s all about the Expat Partner and her quest for happiness while living abroad.
-Why and how did you start your own business to support other expat partners? (What was the trigger?)
One day I came across a survey that stated only 20% of Expat Partners are working. I was shocked by this low number and thought about the whole debate on gender equality in the workplace we are having in Germany right now. Another trigger was that every time I was meeting a new person I got asked about my husband’s profession right away making me feel like the shadow of him. So I was hooked by this topic of empowering female expat partners, and I am so grateful for all the discussions I had about it ever since.
-What kind of services do you provide to your clients?
I am offering customized coaching sessions to women who are about to move abroad or already made the jump. Most of them are over the phone or via video call. While I am covering topics like career advice, cultural mindset, relationship issues and all that, most women love to spend time on finding out what their new passion could be in life. Moving abroad triggers you to rethink about your life goals and values. With my coaching, I am offering guidance along this very exciting journey. I have also written a detailed career guide about finding your professional identity abroad that I am offering for direct download on my website.
-What is the vision behind your business?
My vision is to empower women around the globe and make them aware of the great opportunity an expat assignment offers. Not often in life are we offered to take a break, exit the hamster wheel, and focus on ourselves. I am helping women to see the assignment like what it is: An opportunity. If you feel lonely abroad, lost your job, and feel isolated it can be hard to seize this opportunity. With my work, I am aiming to give back the confidence and joy for living a happy global life.
-What do you like most about your current job?
Watching the news, one can be under the impression that we are building more walls than ever and that globalization has reached its lowest point. However, when I am talking with my clients around the world, I realize that we all have more in common than we think. No matter if I am coaching a person from South Korea, Turkey or the United States – they all end up sharing the same problems, worries, and longings. This gives me hope for a peaceful global community. Needless to say that all women I met so far have been truly inspiring and I am feeling honored to help them on their personal journey.
-What are the common issues among your clients (expat wives)?
The most common topic is finding your new identity abroad. Global assignments force us to leave behind our familiar life, hobbies, career, network, and habits. After creating a home abroad many Expat Partners are struggling to do something that feels fulfilling – especially if they have moved for the partner’s job. They need to rethink their goals, values, and priorities in life. Often a career change can be the result of coaching through this time.
Interview to be continued!