Last week, I decided to take up on an offer to begin coaching from a leadership and success coach currently in the process of acquiring their ICF (International Coaching Federation) credentials. While researching more about professional and success coaching, I started thinking about its applications to the expat community.
What is coaching?
My first session was an excellent introduction into coaching – why it is different to counselling, what to expect in a coaching session, and what the roles are between the coach and the client. As someone who has had very little exposure in coaching or even formal mentoring scenarios, the first session was a great introduction to this area.
While the coach and the session was not aimed at expats, I started thinking about what would the applications be if it was exclusively all about expat coaching.
Would there be any unique requirements and considerations to expat coaching? The answer would be yes.
There is a niche for success and professional coaches seeking to focus on the international community on topics like:
- First time relocations and repatriation – making the most of a relocation or repatriation.
- Coping as a trailing family member – making the most of the situations where there are restrictions applied such as work visa restrictions.
- Unique challenges faces by ‘Internationals’ – what are the hallmarks of success-oriented decision-making that will cross geographical borders?
- Success in a culturally different work environment and working with cross-cultural teams
- Aspiring expats – both for short-term and long-term assignments
What is really important out of all this is the amalgamation of unique situations that an expat find themselves in.
For example, you may have an Australian executive that has faced restructuring. They are on an employer-sponsored visa and only have a limited amount of time to find a new opportunity before they need to move from the US back to Australia with a young family.
Or what about another 20-something Millennial in my own network. They have moved between two countries and seemed to be undecided if they would rather stay in the UK or New Zealand.
I really do believe that expats are in a very unique situation and group in themselves. Their needs are enough to warrant for dedicated coaches with an expat / international focus. The same also goes for other professional service providers – if you need a taxation accountant, you need one versed in the target country’s tax laws.
Once you have the right tools and people with you – be it success and professional coaches that focus on expats or taxation accountants also versed in bilateral taxation agreements – you can solidify your foundation of living the type of life that you want.
What would you want to see in expat coaching?