Three clear benefits to work while abroad: connections, professional fulfillment & personal balance.
After having lived in Japan for two years, we moved to Europe. This time, Belgium.
Belgian life was so easy, so fulfilling, and Belgian people are so sweet and welcoming.
Feeling supported and having connections gave me confidence and motivation to get back to work. I became a working mama abroad.
The three clear benefits of that were:
Benefit 1: Connections
Making friends with new acquaintances is vital while living abroad. Luckily for us, a friend from Barcelona introduced us to her brother, who was living in Brussels. He and his family were, and still are, absolutely adorable.
They organised lunches, coffees, and dinners with other friends for us to feel included. Above all, they were giving us tips about Brussels like restaurants or fresh markets. They helped me to find a nanny for me to get back to work. I was not aware of the way Belgium organised a babysitter back then. Therefore, our friends guided us on how to find one. Most of all, they introduced us to an angel, a professional childcarer who would take care of only three or four toddlers at her place. Furthermore, our friends guided us on how to apply for childcare benefits. The support the Belgium government provides for families with young children.
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Benefit 2: Professional Fulfilment
Know how inclusive the Belgian people are that one of them offered me a job! I was thrilled! Firstly, I started feeling confident, and knowing that a sweet and professional nanny was supervising my son stimulated me even more to regain a career!
The job was engaging, and I was pleased with my contribution to the daily tasks. Colleagues were very supportive and fun!
I did not anticipate how rewarding it was to have a balanced life.
Toru had some challenges at his job, dealing with difficult times at the company he worked with. Although his work was never in jeopardy, for me, knowing I was able to provide for my family in case we should need, it was reassuring. I felt in charge. Strong and responsible.
It is of extreme importance that we keep our minds and spirits engaged, especially when living abroad. For me, it was either studying or searching for a job. What is it for you? What gives you confidence and fulfillment?
Benefit 3: Personal Balance
Shoh was a happy boy learning how to talk…. In french! Hahaha. Madame Tantine, our nanny, was an experienced babysitter. She was so loving, not only for Shoh but for me too. She was acting as a granny for Shoh and as a mum for me. I could talk to her about my day at the office, and she would tell me about Shoh and his peers. She was so caring for them. She would take pictures of the daily routines to share with parents. Like a grandma would do.
Without noticing, I knew then that my life was in perfect balance.
Years later, when I felt low and lost, I realised the crucial meaning of work. It was not until later that I learnt to ask myself the right questions. Questions about what is truly valuable to me, to my core. Freedom is an essential core value to me. And having financial freedom means a lot to me. It has nothing to do with my supportive and loving husband, who could provide for all of us. Generously and intentionally.
It has more to do with my personal view of life. Family is essential. My children are foremost. But, for me to feel valuable and capable of guiding them, I need to base my life on the core values that support me.
In short, making friends with new acquaintances is vital while living abroad. Support and guide about new city’s life. Getting tips to understand new ways of living.
Find an engaging purpose to fulfilled your new life. A good way is through a new job.
Asking yourself the right questions to find what is true value to you, so you can feel fulfilled and have a balanced life.
Is fulfilling your dream job important for you? Are you considering starting your small ( or big! ) online business?
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All the best!