Expat Coaching – Investing In Yourself

A while back on a expat-related LinkedIn group, a guy asked “Is expat coaching worth it?” I was stunned; I think I actually swore at the screen.

(Yes, I believe expat coaching is worth it, 100%.)

But the guy’s question made me go find a couple coaches and sit with them (over skype).  And I did.
Below I include a video snippet from meeting with one of 2 coaches I found.

“What’s an Expat Coach?”

An expat coach is someone who helps you through the stresses & hurdles brought on by living or working abroad.

Coaching can help take higher steps

Coaching can be similar to mentoring. A coach listens (a top priority), understands (based on experience) and steers you with questions to overcome your need. Hey – coaching!

If you’re feeling culture shock, an expat coach can help. If you’re feeling procrastination or overwhelm, an expat coach can help. If you’re feeling less than 100%, an expat coach can help.

Expat Coaching…Who Knew?

If you haven’t heard of expat coaching before, it’s understandable.
Expat coaching isn’t exactly a well-known service, even among the expat minority. But expat coaching is getting popular. Just in the past couple years I notice more expat coaches appearing, coming from a wide range of backgrounds.

Plus, with social networks such as LinkedIn and Facebook, expat coaches can easily promote services to their target market to find clients. [By the way, if you need help with that, I’m here for you.]

What to Look For in a Coach?

Each coach I find comes with varied backgrounds, such as counselling, marketing, psychology, sales, or business management. A wide range. Some backgrounds relate to helping people while other backgrounds would be a common area between coach and client. I propose you select a coach that can identify with you.

What makes a coach a coach? The ability to truly listen isn’t innate, it’s learned. There are many coaching certifications and even more authoritative bodies willing to bequeath them. No doubt having a certified coach helps assure a sound method and approach. But it can’t guarantee a “click” between coach and client. I propose you find your coach more by gut (whether certified or not) and see how you well you connect.

I Found Two Coaches: Sabine and John

I picked two coaches, psuedo-randomly, to interview.
I knew I wanted someone new & someone experienced.
I wanted life-centric and business-centric.
And I wanted a female and a male.

I found 2 to match all wants: Sabine de Cock and John Falchetto.

Sabine

What led me to Sabine? In a LinkedIn group, she was offering a select few people a free session.
BONUS: if you contact Sabine (s.decock@freeler.nl) and mention this post, she’ll offer the same: one free session to you.

John

What led me to John? I’m being superficial, but it was his website. His website is damn good. And it turns out that John is just as professional and polished as his site.

So, there you have it – I tried twice to find a coach right for me, and succeeded twice.
If I can do it, you can do it, too.

How to Find an Expat Coach For You

There is an “expat coach directory,” but it’s woefully under-populated. In fact, both of the expat coaches I interviewed are not on it.
Any other directories? No, not that I found. And the directory I did find is brand new itself. Yeah, expat coaching as an industry is that new.
Note to expat coaches: plenty of opportunity here to mirror other, more established consulting services.

(For now) Use LinkedIn

Until the directory gets fuller, I believe there’s a better way to find your coach: LinkedIn.
LinkedIn is a social network like Facebook, but more oriented to professionals and groups commonly form around a career or skill.

Relevant LinkedIn groups are plentiful, like Expat Web, Expat Network, Global Worker, Living Abroad: Networking for Expatriates and a few dozen others. Most worthy expat coaches contribute to these groups. Obviously by helping others, a potential client may take interest and seek more 1:1 help.

What’s Necessary For Coaching to Work?

Easy answer and I’m just to quote what I found on another coach’s website:

Coaching works when there are two factors present:

  1. You see a gap between where you are now and where you want to be.
  2. You are ready, willing, and able to take action.

There you have it – you need to recognize areas of improvement and be willing to improve them.

My Own Experience

Personally, I only learned about coaching in the past year. Early this year when we lived in Prague I became a client for a close friend who was a coach. Kristin’s speciality was helping people achieve results, whether career, family or health related. Kristin was amazing. Extremely busy, but amazing. I wish I had started with her much earlier because the clarity, improvements, and accountability were helped me tremendously.

As for experience with expat coaches, above are just 2 minute snippets. Each coach actually gave me a full 1 hour session/interview.

In my time with Sabine, I was a one-time client (as well as a blogger).  Sabine helped me tremendously with concerns I had as a new expat to my wife’s homeland, Canada and in my new role as stay-at-home dad.  I am very grateful for her coaching – she made me feel better even during this one session.  Again, I recommend her to anyone.  Write Sabine an e-mail and ask for that session!

In my time with John, our time was much more an interview format.  From that interview, I understood John is more than just a great website – he’s a savvy businessman.  For the entrepreneur expat, I recommend John as the coach for proven results.

Bottom Line

If you have ever considered contacting an expat coach like what Sabine or John do, or contacting any coach as I had Kristin, I hope this post helps.

-Jeff

Published by

Jeff

An American who likes to move around. I now live on the eastern Canadian seaboard. My job? A stay-at-home dad for two cute but demanding bosses. My wife? Also cute; not so demanding. My wife and I both love travel. We met in South Korea, travelled across Australia, India, Europe and beyond. We lived in Czech Republic for four years. Many stories to tell and experience to share. If you let me, I will help you travel as we do. Enjoy.

6 thoughts on “Expat Coaching – Investing In Yourself”

  1. Great post, Jeff, and thank you for writing about this. So many people are not sure what an expat coach does and how an expat coach can help so posts like these are priceless. 🙂 Expatriate coaching (as well as cross-cultural coaching), I believe, is essential to every expat who finds him- or herself stressed, overwhelmed, worried about losing identity, creating a new life, changing career, etc, etc, etc.

    There is an expat site — InterNations.org — which exists for expats to connect not only in cyber-space but also in person as it organizes groups in all large cities of the world where expats can get together and get to know each other. In one of its forums (under Expat Q&A) I posed a question as to what are the most common issues faced by expatriates — and this question is the most popular thread on that forum. It has close to 100 (if not more replies) and more than 3,000 views. People list all sorts of things and all of those things can be easier to handle if you hire an expat coach.

    Now, expat coaching may not be possible for everyone for a variety of reasons — financial, time, etc — and that’s when other coaching programs come in. A shameless plug 🙂 but I am starting an Expat Club — a virtual coaching program for people for whom individual coaching isn’t a match at the moment. It’s a 10 week program and each week participants will receive a lesson that will deal with one expat issue. There is a forum for participants to exchange experiences and to interact with an expat coach leading the program and there will be one coaching teleconference per month. The cost of $25 for the entire program, so very affordable. If there is an interest, more details are here: http://globalcoachcenter.com/specialized-coaching/116-10-weeks-wisdom-expat-club

    Again, thanks for the great post!
    Margarita
    Expatriate and Cross-Cultural Coach

    1. Thank you Margarita for your comment.

      I’m glad it feel it helps – that’s my goal.

      Yes, InterNations is great. I’ve been a member myself for some time. The meet-ups were fun – great people, great times.
      However, I’m still part of the Prague chapter since our move earlier this year. Unfortunately my new home city, Halifax, doesn’t have an InterNations chapter, so if I want to continue, I’ll have to start my own.

      No worries about the “shameless plug” – I know you to be a very active coach! I endorse the 10 week forum – sounds like a deal!

      Best,
      -Jeff

  2. I join my voice to Margarita’s to say THANK YOU for your very clear demonstration of what an expat coach can do.

    Since you invited us to make “shameless promotion” let me introduce myself: I am a international business and expat coach with 20 year experience of working and living abroad. I have been a multicultural team leader for top 500 Fortune companies in EU, USA, JAPAN, APAC. I have moved 11 times and faced most challenges that expatriate business managers, trailing spouses and parents experiment during an expatriation.

    I provide highly personalized coaching services on both work or life issues and goals.

    I offer a 60 minute complimentary coaching session by phone/Skype in English or French. See details here: http://zestnzen.wordpress.com/complimentary-session/
    Contact me now to schedule this free “real” coaching session : asterixafab@yahoo.com
    Skype: AnneEgros
    Have a wonderful day
    Anne

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