And you, what do you do here?

Let’s dive into the typical conversation abroad. It happens during evening functions, in the supermarket, on the beach, on a trip in the mountains, in the plane…pretty much anywhere when we meet new people in our lives.

4 questions get to the heart of our identity:

  1. Where are you from?
  2. Why are you here?
    • And here we typically answer with the ‚My husband / wife / partner is….the diplomatic / expat story follows.
  3. What do you do here? (*if asked at all…)
  4. How long is your assignment? (*Secret Screening Question – Are you worth investing in?)

Question #3 hurts most when we moved and are in the process of creating our professional identity from scratch again. It hurts when we simply do not know ourselves and who we are right now anymore. It hurts when our fulltime job is caring for our family, our kids and organizing a gazillion of To Dos on our list. It hurts when we are searching for a job title that defines our multi-passionate being and projects.

In a recent workshop created for the CDA, we explored the messy part of your identity and your talent when you wake up in another country. Knowing the origin and meaning of concepts impacting us so much is always guiding and provides room for insights.

So, let’s explore the term ‚Talent‚ first:

Talent is the natural ability to be good at something, especially without being taught.

When we want to re-connect or discover your talent, we always ask ourselves:

  • What am I really good at?
  • What am I known for?
  • What do I do with so much passion, and did not even have to train for?

We might find insights that had been untapped so far, when we explore talent from a much broader sense than only our education, previous job or projects.

One of our participants shared very open and vulnerable that she felt she lost her identity completely.

Identity defines who a person is. Or the qualities of a person or group that make them different from others.

When we start seeing ourselves as ever changing identities, and also seeing our uniqueness when growing in each assignment location, the pressure of knowing who we are exactly at this point in time is slightly released.

Two more concepts were explored during the workshop. Passion and Home.

Passion is an extreme interest in or wish for doing something, such as a hobby or activity.

Home is someone’s place of origin, or the place where a person feels they belong.

So, how is all this connected? Research and hundreds of interview with both expat partners, expats and global nomads showed that there is a connection between feeling home & feeling yourself, when you share your talent with the world. Step by step, your identity is shaped in a new sense and your previous experiences, the current ones and your dreams build up your new identity.

The purpose of creating space for yourself and asking yourself those questions is a simple one…next time, when you do have the conversation that starts with ‚Where are you from?‘ and (eventually) ends with ‚And you, what do you do here?’…let’s have another story written.

I encourage you to share this time…

  • A project you are right now contributing / you are very compassionate about
  • Articles, books, places, travel or connections that you really love and could talk about for hours
  • Your new Job Title of Life
  • Share what you are looking for and create opportunities at the very same moment
  • Stay creative, curious and open for refreshing conversations…the ones you feel you are leading and contributing

Wishing all CDA members and the CDA Board a very special time of the holidays!

May you…

  • Create space to slow down and rest…2021 had been emotionally and globally intensive, so celebrate all milestones you’ve mastered!
  • Feel loved, huged and supported during all crazy days of this season.
  • Remember everyone you miss during this season – with a smile in your heart and a jar full of gratitude.
  • Be silly, messy, laugh loud and enjoy a bite of lightness and flow.
  • Feel gracefully enough in all your projects, your doing and being. Thank you for traveling the world and making it more colorful and brighter every day!

Stay wild, kind & so beautifully messy!

Yours, Gertraud