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Expatriates Coping With The Change

One of the most common issues that expatriates have to deal with while relocating to a new country is learning how to cope with changes. Anne Taylor, from DIRECTions Coaching, writes an article for Expats Plaza's readers.
Coping with the Change
by Anne Taylor, DIRECTions Coaching

Are you a recent Expatriate? Or are you about to become an Expat? Do you even know what an Expat is? If you are confused about what an Expat is, how are you going to cope with all the change involved in an Expat life?

Stop. Breathe. Breathe. Now breathe deeper.

An Expatriate or Expat is a person who is voluntarily living away from their home country, either temporarily or permanently. Sounds simple enough.

Your life at home is comfortable, you have your routine, you don’t even think of how to get things done because it’s what you’ve always known. Your infrastructure is in place and you have a support system whether you’ve ever called it that before.

Then the CHANGE, the decision to become an Expat, the move to the UK. It should be easier than other countries because they speak English, right?
Not to scare you but the highest rate of unsuccessful Expat assignments is North Americans moving to the UK. The reason is the expectation that it will be the same or similar. If you were moving to China you would expect it to be foreign so you’d mentally prepare for your entire world to be changed, turned upside down. With England you don’t expect as many differences. You figure there is less change to cope with.

When faced with your international move you may have consulted many resources to cope – friends who have moved, colleagues who have moved, relocation agencies, on-line resources like this one, google, and even books. Once in your new location you continue to use on line resources, maybe tap into local expat groups. They all provide you with great information, tips and advice because they are speaking from experience, they have been there done that.

And you still feel a bit displaced, not sure who you are anymore, maybe even conflicted. You love it in England and friends back ‘home’ are feeling jealous and left behind. Or you don’t love it in England and everyone is making you feel bad because you don’t love it. Or you don’t want to tell friends and family that you love it or hate it because you don’t want to be seen as boasting or complaining or you don’t want them to feel bad themselves or for you.

The key to coping with the Expat change, and ideally thrive, is self awareness and courage. And you have both those qualities! How do I know? Because you were courageous enough to make the decision to move and you are aware enough to seek information and know there is more for you personally to live your potential in the UK.

What if the decision to become an Expat was one of the best decisions of your life? What if this decision to move abroad was an opportunity to grow and learn?
About the Author
Anne Taylor is a UK-based Canadian coach specializing in executive, leadership and life success coaching for individuals and employees of multinational companies with global objectives. Anne holds an Honours degree in Business Administration and has spent 20 years working in fast-moving consumer goods companies in Europe and North America before becoming a coach.
Anne is a member of the International Coach Federation and has completed the Co-Active Coaching curriculum at The Coaches Training Institute, one of the first and largest accredited coach training programs in the world and a recognized leader in the creation and advancement of coaching standards, practices and integrity.
Expats Plaza is the website for the Expatriates living in the UK