Expatriates Are Experts In Resilience

A few excerpts from interviews I've given and articles I've written:

Being an expatriate, you’re naturally a person in transition.

Your worst days can leave you feeling unmoored and alienated. Your best days bring a sense of your agile nature and the qualities that make you unique from the people who surround you and the people back home.

Working toward an understanding of what it will take for you to feel your best in your environment I think is extremely worthwhile. Your answers perfectly define you and the more closely they are incorporated into your business plans the better chance you have of career success abroad.

After five years in Malaysia and 8.5 in Turkey, I've made the limbo state of expatriatism (not belonging to your surroundings but having to navigate them in culturally appropriate ways AND honor the truth of who you are at the same time) a strength instead of a weakness.

 

With my career disrupted by international relocations and watching the traditional media business being disrupted by digital and social media, my particular m.o. has evolved into gate jumping. That’s a combination of reaction to obstacles in my environments, and a commitment to not be hindered by “what is”.

Gate jumping can work for expats of all kinds.

Here’s how I do it: Fearlessly operating without borders instead of accepting my off-the-grid, situation-mismatch as a paralyzing disadvantage.

Time zones, language barriers, geographical distances, old-school thinking and collapse in my industries of media and entertainment, these things don't stop me.

 

Being an early adopter of Twitter, I use it for continuing education like virtually attending conferences and entering high level discussions in my topics of interest, to networking and meeting my peers around the world.

One of the reasons I founded GlobalNiche.net is that I have noticed that the majority of expats disappear when they go abroad rather than come to local and international prominence through their expat lives as I have done.

Even fewer women expats accomplish this in Muslim countries or have managed to raise the voices of multiple other women in a country known for its censorship. See the details of this particular adventure in my piece The Accidental Anthologist.

I don't think any of this is easy to achieve. But I do think it's integral to surviving, and thriving.

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Linda Janssen has written a book on this topic called The Emotionally Resilient Expat. Jo Parfitt's Summertime Publishing is releasing it in 2013.