Changing your job/career abroad?

Tips to take you from dissatisfied to thriving in your job or career while abroad

For those currently working in a foreign country, it can often feel extremely scary and overwhelming when you start feeling uncomfortable with your current job and wondering whether you should move on to the next thing, especially if your ability to remain living legally in that country depends on maintaining your ‘employed’ status.

Here are a few tips to increase the chances of turning this unpleasant situation into an opportunity for growth.

1. Check out exactly what legal conditions apply to you

EU/EEA citizens living in the Netherlands generally don’t need to worry about this (though some conditions still apply) but, if you are coming from a different country or have been sponsored by your employer, you definitely want to make sure you know what rules could affect you.

If in doubt, contact the IND directly; they are really helpful!

Becoming unemployed will likely create additional stress and it could mean that your residence permit will be revoked, and you will have to go back to your home country.

2. Assess where you are and where you want to go

Are you still wondering if it is really time to move on or not? Only you can reflect on what feels right at this moment and answer this. You can also use this free sample of the Career Satisfaction test as a tool to get your reflection going…

In addition, be clear about what you are looking for next. Is it a new job, a whole new career, or maybe even starting your own business?

3. Set a schedule, do your research and take action

Create a regular schedule to encourage you to think about all the important elements and take action (for example, block a few hours every Wednesday; you can use this voucher to get a free template schedule). Our tendency to conserve energy means it’s too easy to remain in an unpleasant status quo.

Investigate what other jobs and vacancies are out there; which ones align well with your personality, strengths and desired lifestyle; and how you can present yourself as a good candidate for it.

Start applying to new vacancies that fit you and what you want (or finally open that business).

4. Use your current job to its fullest

Find out what are the elements from your current job that can help you land the next one (e.g. some technical or team-working skills you are already developing). I know, we are often already too tired and frustrated about still being there but, if you set yourself this challenge, it can feel a bit easier to go to work every day until you find a better one.

5. You don’t have to do it alone: ask for help!

Look for a mentor, or partner with a friend or colleague to create some accountability and keep you motivated (if you can speak some Dutch, check also JobOn). Consider working with a coach to get the support you need to make it.

Natália Leal is a partner of the IWCUR. She is a Career & Life Coach who specialises in supporting expats & their partners get the clarity, motivation and strategy they need to successfully navigate their big and small career & life transitions. Book a free call or subscribe to her newsletter Seeds for Growth & Joy.