Coach of the Month – Evelyn Simpson

Name:  Evelyn Simpson

Title:  Expatriate Coach

Business Name:  The Smart Expat

Client Testimonials:

As a management consultant who had lived and worked in many countries, I thought giving up my job and moving to Brazil would be easy.  However, after 9 months I dreaded the start of each week, despite having a diary fully of activities.  I felt empty and couldn’t figure out why I wasn’t happy living in such a wonderful country.  Evelyn’s gentle listening and careful exploration helped me realise that there was a really simple answer; I was missing the pride that work brought me, and I needed something to do that would make me proud of myself again.  Today I feel happy, energised and proud of the story I can tell about my Brazilian adventures.”

“I put in my notice to leave the RAF when I repatriate.  it was a much easier decision than I’d expected and I was very encouraged by the way I felt about it after you’d spent some time with me turning over every stone and exploring all the avenues.  What started out as a seemingly risk-laden choice has become an opportunity.”

Niche/Specialties:  I work with the accompanying partners of expatriate assignments, coaching them through all aspects of the relocation process and with a particular focus on identity/career/fulfillment issues.

Expat Experience:  I’m British but haven’t lived in the UK since shortly after I graduated from university.  I lived in New York for nearly 10 years but became truly peripatetic after I met my Australian husband.  We’ve lived in Hong Kong, Zurich, Shanghai, a little town in Michigan, US and are now based just outside Brussels.  Our children call Australia and Scotland “home” though they’ve never lived in either.

Languages Spoken:  My mother-tongue is English.  I speak passable French and Dutch  and very rusty German and Mandarin.  After learning so many languages, I have no inhibitions about speaking but I cringe when I realise my language gaffes after the fact.

Life Experience:  I grew up in a tiny village (officially a hamlet) in Scotland and attended a primary school with a total of 60 students.  My adult life so far would have been unfathomable to the childhood me.    I feel incredibly privileged to have had the opportunities that I’ve had, to have experienced so many countries and cultures and to have met so many amazing people.  My husband and I always jump at the opportunity for new experiences which makes life incredibly busy and sometimes chaotic, but I wouldn’t give it up.

Accomplishments:  Surviving multiple transcontinental relocations with my sanity and marriage intact!! Seriously though, there are a few accomplishments that I’m most proud of.  Being able to thrive in each of the diverse locations in which I’ve lived; co-authoring the “Career Choice and the Accompanying Partner Survey” with Louise Wiles and developing our new company which will be launched at the end of this month.  I can’t say much about it yet, but we think it will significantly change the way accompanying partners are supported.

What I Love About Working in This Niche:  I love the moment when a client’s mindset changes and she/he begins to see possibility and opportunity.  I also love the surprise of finding out a client’s background.  Accompanying partners come to their new lives unknown to those around them and are often reticent to speak about their past accomplishments.  I find it fascinating to learn their stories.  A neighbor in China (not a client) used to travel frequently but told only one or two of her closest friends why.  Turned out that she is one of the top ice-skating judges in the world.

Coaching Style:  I have a very calm and measured coaching style but I’m also direct and not afraid to challenge my clients.

Favorite Coaching Tool:  My favourite coaching tool is an accomplishments assessment.  So many accompanying partners find their confidence battered by relocation and the process helps them to look at their achievements differently, restoring their self-belief and confidence.

Why Clients Choose Me As Their Coach:  My clients choose me as their coach because they know that I understand what they are experiencing and because they know that I’ll support them without agenda along whichever path they choose.

A Tip for My Niche:  Understand as much as you can before you move and don’t assume that the hard stuff will work itself out.  My experience tells me that an accompanying partner’s happiness is usually inversely proportional to the gap between expectations and reality.

Contact Details

Email: evelyn@accompanyingpartner.com OR thesmartexpat@me.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/thesmartexpat

LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/in/thesmartexpat/

Twitter: @thesmartexpat

Websites: www.accompanyingpartner.com and www.thesmartexpat.com.

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