Professional and private
At the individual level there can be different areas, both work related and private, that need attention. The themes mentioned below are some of the areas in which I can support people to work through changes and their implications.
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Today more and more people are on the move – for a job, for the love of their life as a trailing spouse, or because they had to flee their country and are looking for a safe haven. It is not easy to give up your familiar surroundings and to get around in a new country, with different norms and values. Such a transitional phase creates new opportunities, but can also be challenging at times. Integration is only possible if you are allowed to be yourself, if you are valued for who you are, and if you can find a job or an activity that meets your talents, dreams and ambitions. I coach people that run into professional or personal issues that have to do with their migratory background – or their parents’ – or with their prolonged stay as ‘expat’ outside the Netherlands. People with a ‘hybrid identity’, who live and work between two cultures, who feel a little at home everywhere and nowhere really, who are searching their roots. The challenge is to discover, to acknowledge and to take advantage of the cultural differences. I will invite you to use your ‘otherness’ as a source of power.
A life without losses is impossible. Loss and parting belong to our life, as soon as we are born. Nevertheless, dealing with losses is far from easy, as we tend to hang on to what we have. Some losses have a strong impact: loss of work and financial certainty, our relationship, our confidence in significant others. Also parting from one’s home country may entail loss and grief. The empowering possibilities of leading an itinerant lifestyle often go hand in hand with less positive feelings of loneliness and loss of family, support structures, roots, identity, language, status, cultural affiliation and so on. Transnational mobility involves both continuities and discontinuities, being able to embrace some sort of freedom while retaining certain social connections. Some endings trouble us greatly often because we misunderstand them. We confuse them with finality, with ‘the end’, and we are blinded to the fact that these endings are merely the first phase of transition to a new beginning.
Are you doing the work that you really want? At some point in our lives we made a choice, we received an education and went off to put it into practice. Before you know, you have been in the same job for years. Does the job still satisfy you? Or perhaps you are a ‘job hopper’, moving from one job to another because you are not sure what you are looking for? I would like to stimulate you not search for the ultimate job, but to search for your ‘destination’. In this way, it may take longer before you are back to work, but the result is more sustainable.
Are you experiencing stress in finding the right balance between work and your private life? This may be due to, for example, illness in the family, relational problems, identity problems at the work floor, or having too many social obligations. Especially multicultural clients tend to overadapt to different environments and forget to listen to their inner voice. Likewise, second generation migrants may struggle with the different cultural codes of their parents and their present environment, which can consume a lot of energy. An often heard phrase is “I work three times as hard”.
I think that stress is a fearful reaction to life’s constant changes. It is an excuse we often use for not taking responsibility for our feelings. If we can put the blame out there on someone or something then we can just play the innocent victim. Being the victim does not make us feel good, and it does not change the situation.
Often we are stressing ourselves out because we have our priorities mixed up. As a coach I will help you to set priorities and make choices that fit your personal situation. A good balance between work and private life makes you less vulnerable and is essential for good health and vitality.