You are all settled,
Found a house
Got the kids into schools
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.
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.
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.