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Confidence for a Successful Career Abroad

· Personal Development,Career development,Expatriate,Success

Living and working abroad is not always easy and it may even present you with a negative experience, crushing your confidence and affecting your success abroad.

You will be confronted with many uncomfortable experience such as being lonely, isolated, facing language barriers and experiencing cultural shocks.

Confidence is not some sort of mystical talent or supernatural power you inherit from birth, but rather something you can develop. Many international workers and expatriates may experience a lack of confidence when they start from scratch in a new country. However, by working towards their career goals, they tremendously boost their confidence and have success in their career abroad.

Based on my experience as an international career coach and the knowledge of others, here is some advice for how to develop confidence for a successful career abroad:

1. Focus on your strengths

Living abroad may disconnect you from your authentic self. Focusing on your strengths will help you to stay in contact with who you are, especially when facing difficult challenges.

When focusing on your strengths, leave other people’s opinions at the door. There is no need to compare yourself to others. Think of other people’s strengths as being complementary to yours. Look at your deeper self, your talents, and what gives you energy. Develop your own strengths to boost your confidence according to who you are with self-reflection, meditation, assessments or seeking help with a mentor or a coach.

2.Explore new opportunities

Exploring new opportunities for your life and career abroad may help you overcome issues of confidence. If you relocated for economic reasons, for your partner or just because you wanted a change of scenery, exploring will help you develop your strengths and confidence. Try new activities, groups, voluntary work, and challenge yourself with new ideas on a daily basis. You will gain more confidence by doing things you never thought before and get another perspective on your new life abroad.

3.Embrace difficulties

Life abroad can sometimes be a challenge. You may experience many failures and difficulties by misunderstanding the culture, failing at making relationships or even worse, by losing your job. You might temporarily become defeated from those challenging experiences. Most of us associate failure as a negative experience, but it can also be a blessing in disguise to get closer to your life purpose.

Many immigrants succeeded despite failure and difficulties. Jan Koum, who was born in Ukraine and is the Co-founder of WhatsApp, moved to the USA and lived on food stamps for a few years. He is now worth $6.8 billion. Indra Nooyi, CEO of PepsiCo, who was born in India, worked as a receptionist during her studies; she is now worth $12.6 million. Jerry Yang, founder of Yahoo, was born in Taiwan and arrived at the age of 8 without a dad and with very little English literacy.

What makes a difference in being successful in your career abroad is not your ability to make it perfect, but to stand back up every time you fail, learn from each experience and gain confidence. Facing your fear may be the opportunity to start from scratch and finally live your passion.

4.Build meaningful and genuine relationships

Building meaningful and genuine relationships abroad will help you become confident about who you are. At first, it may be very easy to make connections based on plain self-interest because you are lonely, you need a job or you are just desperate. Yet you may realize when it is too late that people may want to take advantage of you or that they are just plain negative whiners. Mingling with the wrong people may crush your confidence and bring negative energy into your life, and you may quickly lose sight of yourself, and this could in turn affect your confidence.

When meeting new people abroad, be authentic, associate with people you genuinely want to connect with, and surround yourself with positive people. Not only will this build your confidence, but you will develop your feeling of being back home.

5. Develop language Skills

Not only will learning another language help you avoid getting Alzheimer’s, but it will also boost your confidence by overcoming linguistic challenges. You may never perfectly speak the language. However, getting over your fear of imperfection when speaking a foreign language will help you master a new language and gain confidence.

It might be a long road to gain fluency but no matter what language level you gain at the end, you will be proud of what you’ve achieved and may be able to use it to advance your international career.

6.Have a clear vision

Your life abroad may contribute to your career purpose. Having a clear vision of who you could become in the future, having clear goals and devising a plan of action will help you gain confidence in your future career. Implementing step-by-step actions and tracking successful approaches may help you achieve what you want.

And don’t forget to enjoy the journey. While living abroad may be difficult, enjoy this new experience as an opportunity to gain confidence and move on with your life.

What is the next action that you are going to take to gain confidence for a successful career abroad? Reserve your spot today for an introductory discussion with Diverse. For more information, simply call +31 6 55 83 24 42 or email

U Diverse can help you make the change. We provide in-depth coaching from ICF-certified coaches and trainers who speak French, English, Dutch, Spanish and German. Take action and get matched with our coaches today with us today. Call us on +31 6 55 83 24 42 and email us at You can also follow us on LinkedIn and check our website:

About U Diverse’s founder: Magali Toussaint is the founder of U Diverse. She is an ICF-certified leadership and career coach, cross-cultural trainer and job search strategist with an extensive career in recruitment, HR, diversity, and education. She has also helped international organizations on their talent acquisition strategies and diversity plans. She has lived and worked in over four countries. To learn more, visit her Linkedin profile at

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