There’s a number of ways that expat women can make the most out of their time in Luxembourg. Here are her six top tips for women in Luxembourg.
When you first arrive in Luxembourg, it’s fun to explore this gorgeous secret treasure of Europe, visit the museums, hike the countryside and take trips to some of Luxembourg’s famous neighbors.
However, if you’re jobless, once the initial excitement of your relocation fades, you might start to question your role here and how you can keep both your body and brain stimulated long term. This is especially true if you were working elsewhere before arriving here.
Here are six top tips for expat women to make the most out of their time in Luxembourg.
1. Stay positive and keep motivated
Whatever the reason that you moved abroad, the most important piece of advice is to stay positive and keep motivated. Do whatever it takes to keep a smile on your face when you are feeling lost, homesick, or frustrated. Join a Luxembourgish sports club, socialize with new people, travel and explore, start a new hobby, write a blog, attend motivational seminars. Find a way to keep your brain active.
Inspiration is also priceless. Soak up some interviews with women like yourself on Expatica and ExpatWomen.com. Read the monthly magazines of local expatriate groups, grab some books about women abroad, read local expat blogs, and join local Facebook, LinkedIn and Meetup groups to meet new friends in your local area.
2. Think creatively about work
If you don’t have a job but would like to work, think creatively about what you can do. Too many expats seem to limit their ideas or work abroad by what they knew before.
If you cannot work here in your field of choice, consider working virtually, volunteer (there are so many worthy organizations that need volunteers), study, learn a new area of work, or if your visa permits, start a business in Luxembourg here doing something fun. You never know how the pieces of the puzzle will come together later.
Toma Haines of The Antiques Diva agrees. Toma is an American who has lived abroad in France, the Netherlands and now resides in Germany. Rather than looking at the loss of her traditional career as a sacrifice to her husband’s career, she looked at her time abroad as the perfect opportunity to pursue her ideas and passions – even if it took her a while to decipher what these really were.
Before starting The Antiques Diva, Toma thought about teaching gourmet cooking lessons, becoming a certified picture-framer and teaching English as a second language. But, when she realized that her cooking efforts never came out the same way more than once, she hated measuring things (a disaster for a professional picture framer) and that she would pick up the grammatical habits of foreigners rather than correct them, Toma created her antique shopping tour business that now runs in four countries.
3. Build your identity
Everybody needs to be somebody. If your move abroad has stripped you of a lot of the identity that you enjoyed at home (from your workplace, school community, family ties, and so on), it is vital that you rebuild your identity abroad as soon as possible so that you again feel like a valued somebody.
If you do not own business cards, get some made. They can be just for your name and contact details, or they can also include details of your profession.
Expats need networks and they need them fast. Expat executives need to network to facilitate business and gain local credibility. Non-working expats, need to network so they know who to call for X, Y or Z – especially if they (or their children) are rushed to the emergency room and need a translator and/or moral support at 2 a.m.
Make it a priority to get involved with some of the wonderful social, professional and/or women’s organizations here. Luxembourg has a very supportive expatriate community and new expats here will feel very welcomed.
American Women’s Club of Luxembourg, www.awcluxembourg.com
British Ladies Club of Luxembourg
Nordic Women’s Club of Luxembourg
5. Find mentors
In addition to friends, seek mentors. These are people that can offer priceless knowledge gained from years of living here in Luxembourg. Mentors can be the heads of local business associations, presidents of local expat clubs, Community Liaison Officers in your organization, independent entrepreneurs who might provide the necessary impetus for you to start a business here, and/or expat life coaches, who are typically longer-term, very well-connected expats who know all about the local culture, expectations and challenges.
6. Go forth and enjoy
Whether you came to Luxembourg for work, love, the adventure or just the chance to start a new life, this dynamic country offers a wealth of opportunities for you to recreate your life. So make the most of your time here: be open to new ideas; think creatively about what you can do; try new things; believe in your abilities; and above all else, go forth and have the time of your life!