3 Essential steps to prepare for an expat assignment

3 steps expat assignment

How can you prepare for an expat assignment

Today’s guest post comes from Aura at STORAGECafé.

Expat assignments are a great opportunity for advancing professionally, and also for personal development: you get to travel, to learn a new language and to become familiar with a different culture. The perks associated with it are also generally pretty nice: a good salary, transportation and housing provided, school tuition and spousal allowance included, language tutoring and so on.

It’s no wonder, under these circumstances, that most people jump at the prospect of an expat assignment.

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Does decluttering mean the end of a dream?

End of a dream

An end is a new beginning

We’ve recently helped a lovely lady take a huge step: Going through her baby clothes. Anyone who’s done this knows the smell of baby but also of joy and hopes for their family. For this lady and her wonderful family, it meant the end of a dream.

Our lovely client has three sweet boys aged 14, 10 and 9. As she admits, there are days when football training takes over their life and she wished they could have a quiet week. At the same time, our client and her husband love these three boys so very much. You step into their home and feel love is in the air.

The end of a dream

So why was it so tough for our client to let go

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Letting go – A personal story

Letting go

Mrs. Kat’s story of letting go and light luggage

We are so grateful for the friendship with the wonderful Mrs. Kat. And what an honour it has been to support her throughout her decluttering journey! Letting go isn’t always easy and we are so excited to share Mrs. Kat’s story in today’s post. She’s living proof that you can do it, too!

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5 tips to creating a powerful network

5 tips powerful network

Grow your personal network

The festive season is over. The new year has started and some still follow their New Year’s resolutions. For me, 2019 is “the year of moving (up)”, being more physically active thanks to a bike and working on a variety of corporate and residential projects. The first part is all up to me while for the second, a strong network will be beneficial. Whether you’re looking for a new job this year or learn more about what’s happening in your industry, achieve more with a powerful network.

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Every day is special

How to make your day special

As New Year’s Eve just passed, I wonder why we don’t do it more often: Celebrate! Life is to precious to only focus on the big celebrations. We should make every day special.

In October, I got a call. “Agni, I need you to sit down!” Our mother had been hospitalised for an emergency

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Our gift for you: The be more organised calendar 2019

The be more organised calendar 2019

Achieve your dreams with our be more organised calendar 2019

As 2018 is coming to an end, many are reflecting on this year and are setting New Year’s resolutions. Being more organised is – as in previous years – one of the top resolutions. Does that surprise you? Not us. After all, being more organised reduces your stress, you waste less food, energy and money and you improve your relationships with your family, friends and at work.

To support you having your best year yet, we’ve created our gift for you:

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How you can prepare for an unplanned job move

How you can prepare for an unplanned job move

Are you ready for a job move without notice

Hands up if you know someone who’s lost their job. A number of our friends, former colleagues and clients have been told “there’s no need to come back!”

Last week, we received a rather upsetting email from a former client. They’ve been given the boot. It came out of nowhere. Perhaps this was the most shocking part, not seeing it coming. But that’s the unfortunate bit. Unless you know of your company’s financial situation, plans to restructure or industry-wide developments, a lay off may not be what you expect.

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Create an emergency fund

Create an emergency fund

How an emergency fund reduces the bumps on the road

“When it rains, it pours.” Have you heard this saying? It’s referring how when something bad (or good) happens, it generally happens a couple of times. And guess what! It happened to us recently. A medical bill, a new laptop and a dead car this week. Thank goodness we had an emergency fund! Otherwise these unplanned expenses would have left us with a major bump. We want you to feel financially more secure for this unknowns and here are our tips for you to create an emergency fund.

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August is for celebrations

August is for celebrations

We are ready for some celebrations!

What’s your favourite month? We love August! It’s the month for sunflowers, going on holidays, relaxing days on the beach, school’s still out, good times. And it’s my birthday! For us, that’s a reason to celebrate.

We’re not the only ones celebrating

One of our corporate clients is having a special birthday this month: The big 40! For him, it’s a bit of a bitter sweet birthday, yet, plenty of celebrations! He associates his thirties with fun, adventure and growth. Listening to his fabulous stories over a cup of coffee and it’s like he’s taking you into another world!

This birthday, he’s decided to go all out. He’s invited family and friends to a rented holiday home where he’ll get the caterers to bring out delicious foods. You can probably his excitement about his party. It’s not only a party. It’s spending time with his loved ones and treating them to something special.

Take stock August is for celebrations

Take some time to review the last year

Birthdays, or anniversaries for that matter, are a great time to reflect on the last year. If you are like me, life can be busy and we may not always recognise our progress and achievements. Special dates can give us that time to take stock. We can also give ourselves that pad on the back. Whether we’ve finally completed that qualification by long-distance learning, started working again after taking a longer break or jumped on the treadmill for the first time, acknowledge your progress. Maybe you even want to include it into your celebrations?

Here are some questions you can ask yourself:

  1. What were my proudest moments last year? And how do I define proud?
  2. What were the three biggest challenges I faced? How did I overcome them? What did l learn from them?
  3. For what or whom was I grateful last year?
  4. Who or what has influenced and impact me this last year?
  5. What did I learn about myself (my family, friends, work, hobbies, etc.) that surprised me?
  6. How have I changed as a person over the last year?
  7. Have my actions last year brought me closer to achieving my goals? Have they been in sync with my values?

Make the next year August is for celebrations

Create a year with meaning

Just as you look back, you can set your intentions for the next year. Intentions give you more purpose and are thought to be more effective then just goals alone. By giving your year ahead more aim, you can live a (more) fulfilled life.

Here are some questions that can help you prepare for the next year:

  1. What are my top three goals for the next year?
  2. What do I want to learn this year? How will I learn it (e.g. take a class, attend webinars, get a coach)?
  3. What do I want to give to my family, friends, work, hobbies and community (local and larger)?
  4. How will I look after myself? Physically, mentally?
  5. What pressure do I want to remove?
  6. What a word or phrase will I choose as your motto or mantra for the year ahead?
  7. How will my future year look like? Create a collage if you are a creative person or prefer this over expression yourself with words.

And then there are gifts

As with other celebrations, we seem to get so many presents. A few years ago, we’ve decided in our home to limit the amount spent on Christmas gifts. It’s EUR 30 (USD 35, AED 128). For some, this is a lot while many folks seem to spend more. We choose this to focus more on something meaningful without going into debt.

As for my birthday, there won’t be any gifts. I won’t, however, say no to birthdays. They give you an opportunity to write a personal message and wishes for the birthday kid. When was the last time you actually wrote something with a pen?

Give an experience August is for celebrations

Still going for an experience

Don’t run to the shops and buy a crappy last minute present. You can carefully check with the birthday child if they even want a present. The trend for experiences continues. And if you live in a transient place like we do, you never know when people move. Who wants to relocate all their junk? Nobody we know wants this. Here are some ideas for experiences:

  1. Ziplining session
  2. Cooking class for a cuisine they’ve been wanting to try out
  3. Spa treatment for while you’re watching her kids
  4. Walking photography tour around their city
  5. Support to write and publish their book

Donations are also high up there. For folks like us who have everything we need, let’s give something back. Whether it’s a donation to the Irish Cancer Society, a feline friends chapter or the local library, there are so many worthy causes out there.

We are getting ready for August and all the celebrations. What are you getting ready for?

Until next time,
Agni