Some people plan their entire careers out carefully from the first day of school to their retirement. Others leave it completely to chance. Most of us are probably somewhere in between. We have an idea of what we want, but might not be sure of all the steps, or maybe we’re not quite sure exactly what we want, or how the things we want fit together. Flexibility? Job security? Purpose? Meaning? Where do I belong? Am I in the right place? Do I even need a career? What will make me happy? How can I make sure that I end up doing something that feels meaningful down the line? All of this can be even more challenging when you’ve moved across the world to a foreign country – how do you balance doing what it takes to successfully move abroad with making sure that your job is fulfilling?
Who is career coaching for?
Career coaching is for anyone who has questions about their career path. Here are a few examples of questions coaching clients have explored in our sessions.
"I got a good offer right out of college, but it wasn't in my field. Now I feel stuck - is it too late to change?"
Sarah started work for a importing company during her last year of university, where she was studying journalism. The owner offered her a management position and she decided to take it after graduation. A few years later, she had an ok-paying job, loads of experience in running an office, and felt like she was light-years away from where she had planned to be. She wasn’t quite sure how she felt about her job – was it enough to be making good money? There were things she liked, but there was always this feeling that she should have done something else. In career coaching, Sarah took a look at what motivated her to take the job – and what motivated her to study journalism in the first place. She realized that she wanted to find a position that spoke to her values. She also learned that many of her skills from the office job translated well to working in journalism, if she presented them in the right way. Coaching helped her to be confident in her decision to change careers.
Fang graduated with great grades from her master’s program in anthropology. She had always imagined herself with a doctorate, but after talking to a few friends, she just wasn’t sure if it was the best idea – everyone she knew was having trouble finding a long-term job. In career coaching, she was able to explore her purpose and motivation for completing a PhD and examine the benefits and the drawbacks in the context of her long-term goals. She was also able to better understand external motivations, such as her family, which contributed to her indescision. Fang was able to confidently decide whether a PhD program was the best fit for her future goals.
"I came here to study, but I didn't realize German would be so important. I'm not sure which is more important to me - staying in Germany, or following my original career goals and getting a top-level job in my field."
Maria moved to Germany to complete her master’s degree in anthropology. She graduated from her English-language program with honors and was very excited to start applying for jobs. At first, she was motivated, but after a while, she started to lose steam – she wasn’t hearing back from employers, and she couldn’t afford to stay unemployed much longer. She applied for a PhD program but she wasn’t quite sure she actually wanted to do a PhD. She was starting to feel a bit lost – what kinds of jobs were open to her? In career coaching, Maria explored her skills and competencies. She learned more about what people with degrees in anthropology do in Germany, and what options were open. She examined what motivated her to choose anthropology, and was able to both refine her job search and to confidently decide between moving further from anthropology and applying outside of Germany.
"I moved to Germany for my partner, but after a while, I started to feel unhappy with my career path - my work here wasn't as meaningful as my work back home."
Alice studied psychology in the US and got a great job in HR after graduating. She loved her job and found it very fulfilling. On the weekends, she would spend hours in her art studio. When her (German) partner that she met while he was working in the US was transferred back to Frankfurt, she was excited to move with him. Her partner’s job was so well paid that she was able to take German classes, work on her art projects, and enjoy the city. After a while, she started looking for work, and realized that finding a similar job in to the one that she loved so much was going to be a huge challenge here without German skills and a really solid knowledge of employment law. She got a job at a smaller startup, but it wasn’t the same as back home. She started wondering – did I make a mistake? In career coaching, she was able to explore what had excited her about the move in the first place, and to examine what about her old job that had given her such a great feeling. She was able to take another look at her options in Germany and to set new goals for her career. Having a better understanding of what she needed from her work and her workplace environment made it much easier to communicate her frustrations with her partner, too, so she felt more supported.
"I'm not really happy with my current situation, but I'm not sure what I want instead, or how to get there."
Martin graduated with his degree in political science and decided to travel after university. He spent a few months backpacking around Thailand, and then followed a friend to Spain, where he got a job teaching English in a local children’s program. He eventually landed in Berlin, where he worked part-time in a café and taught English during the summers. He started to feel frustrated by the fact that most of his managers were quite a good deal younger than he was. The work was nice, but it wasn’t truly fulfilling. He felt a bit lost. Back home, his friends who stayed were reaching career milestones. He wondered if he should go back to school, or move to a new city – maybe even back home? In career coaching, Martin was able to explore what it was that attracted him to political science in the first place and to translate his motivation to travel into an idea of what sort of work might be meaningful to him. He was able to create an image of what “a good career” might look like for him, and to create concrete steps to reach his goals.
How does it work?
In career coaching, we’ll take your specific question (for example “How do I find a job that’s meaningful while staying in Germany?”, “Should I do a PhD?”, or “What would I need to change in order for my job to work for me?”) and look at it together. We’ll explore your work history (even if you’re just starting out, there’s always more than you think there is!) and look at what it has to tell us. We’ll search for patterns, explore what motivates you, and find out what absolutely doesn’t work for you. We’ll work together to find out what a fulfilling career might look like for you – and how you can translate that into success in the German job market.
Career coaching usually spans multiple sessions. The more time you spend with it, the more you’ll be able to explore your goals, passions, and motivation. Before getting started, we’ll schedule a (free) short session where we get to know each other and talk a little about your expectations. Together, we’ll decide if we’re a good fit. Once you’re ready to begin coaching, the sessions usually run about an hour each (online) or 1,5 hours (in my Berlin office). You’ll recieve information on my coaching rate in the email inviting you to make our first appointment. Students, job seekers, and recent grads are invoiced on a sliding scale/at a reduced rate. Fill out the form below to get started or feel free to email me if you have any questions!