5 Step Career Plan for all Expat Partners

You are all settled,

Found a house

Got the kids into schools

Finished unpacking

Registered for all 101 new services

Even got the TV up on the wall.

Now its time to work out what the heck you are going to do with all your time.

You may have a few ideas, maybe even a couple of objectives:

  • You don’t want a big gap on your CV.

  • You want to break out of the expat bubble and engage with local culture a bit more.

  • Use the skills you have on something meaningful, something significant.

One things for sure, you don’t want to be left behind. You see your old colleagues achieving so much….

Its hard not to look back.

Not to compare.

To wonder what if?

Do you try to repeat the job you had back home? Thats all you know.

OR

Do you use this time to start something new?

Ideally you want something flexible, that you can do from home, that fits around the kids and your travel.

But thats just a pipe dream.

Something that makes me feel good again, thats rewarding, that introduces me to new people, and gets me learning new things again.

None of that was possible 5 years ago, but thats not the case in 2018.

Currently 42% of the US workforce is freelance with numbers rising year on year.

The average number of jobs a person will have throughout their career has risen from 3 in 2007, to 7 in 2010, and now US Buru of National Statistics predicts its between 12 - 15 per person.


expat partner career

The truth is, you are not alone in having these mind games, even if you had stayed at home, majority of us struggle to work out what will make us happy in our career, let alone what to do about it.

Whilst its tempting to look around, to go for coffee, to seek out opportunities that you COULD do.

Living abroad gives you the perfect opportunity to figure out what you WANT to do.

The reality is only you can work out what’s right for you. Whilst your partner, family, friends and ex colleagues can offer invaluable insights and even inspire you with ideas on things you can do. Only you have the answers to what will make you feel a sense of accomplishment, and ultimately use this time to help you branch out in your career path to embrace the new opportunities and build something much more exciting.

Want to know how to start? We have put together our 5 step career plan that all our clients at Translating Me will go through to restart their careers:

1. Personal Brand

How well do you know yourself? Do you know what gives you energy? What grabs your attention? What feels effortless and easy because you enjoy doing it? What activities stop you from looking checking in with your phone every 2 minutes?

Equally - what drains you? What frustrates you and holds you back from being your best?

Are you the person you steps up to organise events when others shrink into the background? Or are the peace maker who helps calm people down when things are stressful.

I call these things your sparkle, we all have many bits of sparkle we leave behind. Start to write them down and identify what your sparkle is.

2. Be Brave

The actual act of moving abroad is the easy bit. There are lots of people to help, many people have done it before you, and so whilst its stressful, you know you will get sorted eventually.

The hard part is integrating into local life. Learning new ways of schooling, shopping, getting around, excising, eating, and working.

This all takes courage.

Its easier if you have done step one, and identified what you really want. Give yourself permission to explore ALL opportunities rather than the safe option of repeating your old career.

I find it sad that as a child we are always asked what we want to be when we get older? This answer usually changes every other month depending on what we are enjoying or who inspired us. Take a moment to reflect back to your answers, to reflect back to the things you enjoyed when you thought anything was possible.

Step 3: Write down your ideal day or week

Get detailed, write out your average Tuesday, what time would it start, what would you be doing, who would you be seeing, write down all the must haves, and also must nots! Sometimes its easier to work out what you don’t want rather than what you want. Remember flexible work is growing more and more popular, so you have the opportunity to create a week that works for you. What type of office would you like to work from?

Or maybe you don’t ever want to work in an office again!

What type of people do you want to work with? How do you want to collaborate, or manage people?

How will you re energise throughout the day? What food will you be eating? Where? With who?

Step 4: Explore

The best way to continue your career abroad, whilst still having flexibility to work around children and travel is to work for yourself, either as a freelancer or starting your own business. This may not have ever been an option you have thought about before? But why not explore the opportunity?

Put simply all you need to do is develop skills that businesses need via the internet (i.e. digital skills). You then go back to your old professional network, or find a local businesses willing to pay you for that skill. Off you go! Its easier said than done but, ultimately, that's all it comes down to.

Step 5: Flexibility

Did I know what my ideal week would like at 35 years old? Absolutely not, I followed the traditional career advice of identify your passion, study it, volunteer, get a job, work hard = success and happiness!

Life got in the way, we had three children within 2.5yrs, we moved abroad, and my husband needed to travel with his work a lot.

I had to get creative, to think differently and to try new approaches.

Very few people know exactly what future they want to create, its hard for us to know what even exists?

Don’t get hung up on trying to work it all out, spend this time to learn more about yourself, to notice what do you do enjoy and don’t to practice designing different weeks, to rejig and redesign your perfect week after noticing different skills or things that make you smile.

The latest predictions is that we will all be living well over 100 years, so its never too late to get started either!

The key is to be willing to be open to new possibilities, new ways of working, and to give it a try!

Need a hand to actually make the transition? We believe that social media is one of the easiest and best ways to make the jump into the freelance world. Its simple to learn, there is a big skill shortage in it, its can be added to existing or new portfolio (photography, marketing, strategy, branding, training, HR & recruitment….) plus you can do it from anywhere!

Want to know more? Join our next intake of Global Intern programme, and lets get you trained up and ready to work from anywhere. Click the image below to learn more.


Expat Entrepreneur - Isabelle from Leap and Hop

EXPAT (2).png

1. Some personal details

portable career

What is your Facebook handle?

@leapandhop

What is your Twitter handle?

@LeapHop

What is your Instagram handle?

leapandhop

 

 

2. Where do you currently live, and what makes it special? 

Hong Kong. Hong Kong is a vibrant city where you can reinvent yourself.

3. What is your current business venture?

I write travel books for kids

4. What things do you always ask your guests to bring out for you from home?

Even though you can find almost anything in Hong Kong, my perfume and my favorite French magazine have to be brought in from France. From the US, I bring some tea that is prepared in Brooklyn.

5. In what ways have you changed personally or professionally since living abroad?

I used to be a banking and finance lawyer in a big New York firm and I'm now a travel writer. That's a big change!

6. What are some of your personal highlights since living abroad?

Besides fulfilling my travel lust, I have spending a lot more time exercising and developing my passion for singing jazz.

7. What was the trigger that made you start up your own business? How did you have the initial idea?

After our move, I became the travel agent of the family. We've always loved to travel as a couple and then as a family and the move to Asia opened the door to many adventures. We wanted to take the kids to places that were not particularly kid-friendly but interesting from a cultural standpoint (our kind of trips). My original idea was to prepare journals for the children to help them connect with the place (Cambodia). I started with and I-spy in the temples of Angkor, but then I thought it would be more interesting if they knew a little more about the Ramayana and other Hindu myths. Then I moved on to Hinduism and Buddhism, history, geography, architecture and food and then one thing led to another and I ended up with a 100-page book. The kids were so happy with that trip that I wrote another one each year for our big Christmas trip (Sri Lanka and Rajasthan). As my friends' kids gave me positive feedback I thought I was on to something. I found an illustrator and a publisher and that's how it all started.

8. What areas of your business have you struggled with? Where and how have you got help for that?

What I really enjoy is the research, the writing and the testing with my kids. I've struggling with marketing and PR. I found it hard because there is not really an existing market for travel books for kids and people don't think about it when they plan a family trip. In that respect, Hong Kong is fantastic because there are many women entrepreneurs and a lot of support. I'm part of business buddy group of women who help each other.

9. What have been some of your business highlights / rewarding moments (why should others set up their own business).

Because I've been doing the business side by myself, I've had to learn all sorts of new skills such as marketing, managing a website and basic accounting. I also discovered a whole new industry with the publishing world as well as the travel world. It's been really interesting.

10. What is the best bit of advice you can give for others wanting to set up on their own?

The piece of advice that I haven't followed in the beginning: "don't try to do it all yourself" .

11. Have you adopted any new customs or traditions from various places you have lived?

After so many years in Asia I'm now used to drinking hot water or tea during meals.

12. What is different about your normal routine currently compared to what it would be back at home?

It's hard to say because my life is very different now that I work from home and spend so much more time with the children. I've started meditating and exercising more regularly.

 Leap and Hop Series

Leap and Hop Series

13. What is your:

Fav book: "Les illusions perdues" and "Splendeurs et misères de courtisanes" from Balzac, my favorite writer.

Podcast: Hardcore History with Dan Carlin

 "Life is not a problem to be solved, but a reality to be experienced" by Kierkegaard

Bloggermumpack travel

14. If visiting your current city where are your favourite spots to go for:

Dinner: Gough on gough

Drinks: Sevva

Day trip: Hiking in the New Territories

Must see: Kowloon

Coolest Shop / Brand: GOD (Goods of Desire)

Best entertainment: Life jazz

Favourite way to stay fit: Running and spinning

15. If you could go back and give yourself advice what would it be?

There is no age limit for starting something new

 

Time for you to start your career abroad? Come and join the next intake our of Global Intern to get the skills you need to become a social media manager and work from anywhere. 

Having a Baby in South Africa - What You Need to Know 

Having a baby in South Africa

Having a baby in South Africa may seem daunting at first. You may be wondering how to find a good gynaecologist or a midwife, you could be trying to find information on how to conceive in the first place, or you may be wondering where to find information that adds genuine value, without further confusing you and your partner. In reality, thanks to the huge range of support options available to parents-to-be, planning your family as an expat does not need to be any less scary than it would back home. The secret to having a baby in South Africa comes down to finding the right specialists to help you plan for your baby. Whether you are trying to conceive, or you have recently discovered that you are having a baby, we have all the information you need to help you plan your pregnancy, safely and simply. 

having a baby in Johannesburg

Trying to Conceive in South Africa 

Ready to think about having a baby in South Africa? There are a number of excellent fertility and conception specialists to be found across the country. Our recommended doctors and clinics to help you conceive include specialists in Johannesburg and Cape Town.

Joburg Fertility Specialists

Medfem (Sandton)

VitaLab (Sandton)

Gynomed (Roodepoort)
 

Cape Town Fertility Specialists

Cape Fertility Clinic (Claremont)

Aevitas Fertility Clinic (Pinelands)

Hart Fertility Clinic (City Centre)

I Think I Am Pregnant - Now What?

If you are already pregnant or you think you may be expecting, the first step is to find a gynaecologist, followed by a midwife. Both of these specialists will help guide you through the process, so that you know exactly what to expect, from the very first trimesters, all the way to your baby's birth.

Johannesburg Gynaecologists & Midwives

Sandton Mediclinic - Dr Heather Derwent Allan-Gould (Sandton)

Genesis Maternity Clinic - midwife-led, active birthing facility (Saxonwold)

Netcare Park Lane Hospital - gynaecology, obstetric, neonatal and paediatric care (Parktown)

Life Fourways Hospital - wide range of doctors and services (Fourways)

For more advice and referrals on gynaecologists please get in touch and we can connect you to another expat who has recently given birth here. Alternatively join our Moving to South Africa Facebook group and ask for referrals in there. 

Cape Town Gynaecologists & Midwives

Mediclinic Cape Town - Dr Natalia Novikova (City Centre)

Kingsbury Hospital - wide range of doctors and services (Claremont)  

Birth Options - midwives and birthing support (Plumstead)

More Helpful Resources for Parents-to-Be

having a baby in south africa

If you're looking for additional resources to help guide you or your partner through the journey of conception, pregnancy and birth in a new country, we highly recommend the following websites. These sites offer plenty of guidance to parents-to-be, along with practical information, tips and other useful advice.

Get Pregnant - tips and advice for those battling to conceive

Huggies - plenty of tips and resources in the top menu

Nurture - egg donor programme in South Africa

Home Birth - resources for those planning a home birth

Parent24 - general tips and resources for expectant and new parents

Translating Me is here to assist you at every step of the way.

Get in touch with our team and let us help you, whether you are having a baby in South Africa or you hope to have one in the near future.

For more support on having a baby abroad, head over to Knocked Up Abroad,

Or contact Karen Wilmot, at the Virtual Midwife. https://www.thevirtualmidwife.com 

Expat Entrepreneurs - Karenna Wood

 Source: Photo by  Olu Eletu

Source: Photo by Olu Eletu

What do you love about your current city, what makes it special?

I love the sunshine, the friendly people, the opportunities that weren't there for us in the UK but the main thing is the life and lifestyle here for our children. The rainy days are fewer and we're always outside and in nature.

Screen Shot 2018-04-17 at 21.10.42.png

What things do you always ask your guests to bring out for you from home?

Hob nobs! Although I have now found them here. I also ask for a few things from Boots as I still have some favourite cosmetics and products that I love from the UK. Books are very expensive here so I buy a lot online and people bring me some. I also ask people for children's clothes from the UK as they are so lovely and a bit different to what you can get here!

In what ways have you changed personally or professionally since living abroad?

For my husband, the difference professionally was huge. He went from working in very small organisations to quickly being high up in large organisations. It massively expanded his opportunities and thinking. Personally, he was struck by Australia being a 'man's world!'. When we first arrived we took a big trip into the outback and he couldn't get over the size of the country, the size of the trucks and he's got really into 4WD and camping here which I don't think he would have as much in the UK. 

What are some of your personal highlights since living abroad?

Travelling around Australia, birthing and raising two little Aussies, having friends and family to stay with us and introducing them to Australia.

What was the trigger that made you start up your own business? How did you have the initial idea?

I've always been an entrepreneur at heart, making and selling jewellery and candles as a teen and always having a project on the go. When I moved here I embarked on a raft of new training and started my business really small. I'd say the trigger was actually starting my family as I wanted to continue to work but flexibly whilst I had young children

What areas of your business have you struggled with? Where and how have you got help for that?

Isolation is a big one so professional networks are important for that. Learning all the digital tools that are now necessary for business is also a challenge and it's a case of tapping into the right information online and avoiding the overwhelm!

What have been some of your business highlights / rewarding moments (why should others set up their own business).

My business is incredibly rewarding, I am very lucky. I help people when they are really struggling with fertility issues and also antenatally with information and planning for birth. Each client is a highlight. In terms of my business, being able to plan my work around my children and work from anywhere and at anytime is such a benefit. I can't imagine having to answer to an employer now!

What is the best bit of advice you can give for others wanting to set up on their own?

Just do it! It's easy to dream and and look at others and get 'compareitus' where you think you're not good enough but don't compare your beginning chapter to their middle. You are good enough, you have something great to offer and you will never know what will happen until you try. 

Have you adopted any new customs or traditions from various places you have lived?

Absolutely, you bring a little bit of all your life experiences and places into who you are and how you do things. Australians are very relaxed and open so I'm more like that now. 

What is different about your normal routine currently compared to what it would be back at home?

Just the sunshine mainly - it makes me want to be up and about whereas at home the grey and cold made me want to sit on the sofa and drink tea!

What is your:

Fav book: Conquering Infertility by Dr Alice Domar. She is such an inspiration to my work

Podcast: She means business - Carrie Green from the Female Entrepreneur Association. Listening to this at the gym fires me up!

Quote: Emotions are like waves, we can't stop them coming but we can choose which ones to surf!

Instagram account: I love that Instagram has become a place for women TTC (trying to conceive) to chat and support each other. So I can't pick a favourite but love all the ladies on there helping each other out!

If visiting your current city where are your favourite spots to go for:

Dinner: Sauma 

Drinks: Leederville

Day trip: Perth Hills 

Must see: Wineries, cideries and boutique farm-gate producers in the Perth Hills

Coolest Shop / Brand: Industrie - my husband's fave!

Best entertainment: City of Perth put on some great events in the city

Favourite way to stay fit: Gym and walking

If you could go back and give yourself advice what would it be?

Just try

For more information on Karenna and her business - check out her website: https://yourfertilityhub.com/your-fertility-insights/