Elena Darmenko

Expat Psychotherapist

Career Counseling.
Fast and Painless Professional Adaptation in a New Country

Career counseling is a great tool for expats
Have you ever thought about living and working abroad? Or maybe your partner was offered a job and you're going to leave your current job and change your role in the family? Did you know that finding a job abroad is still the main reason people become expats? Ok, you decided to move abroad to explore new career opportunities or start a portable business. This might become both an exciting adventure and challenging experience. Each country has its own working culture, norms, and standards, and this all has an impact on your motivation, productivity, and motivation. "Should I choose a remote job?", "How can I find the best work-life balance?", "How shall I help my spouse to start their own business?", "What do my colleagues think about me?", "What's the local corporate culture look like?" If any of these questions sound familiar, career counseling is the best tool for you!

Expats Career Issues

As an expat counseling psychologist, I divide two main groups expats in terms of career issues. They are expats professionals moving abroad for better career opportunities, and trailing spouses, usually obliged to leave their careers. They have different needs, and their issues require different approaches.

Expat professionals usually working for international companies usually face difficulties with adaptation in a multinational team, or if they work for a local company, they need to become more familiar with a culturally specific business style. Even having a had a cross-cultural training before relocation, they sometimes aren't prepared for the realities of the particular place.

What Do Career Therapists Do?

In general, a career counseling is designed to help you navigate career decisions at any stage of your life. For working expats, a usual job stress is followed by an expat anxiety and depression, or other mental health issues.

Career therapist can help to make career-related decisions, teach you how to improve relationships within an international or local team, and manage your stress.

This also includes building up healthy personal boundaries, learning a new business culture, and discovering the superpowers of your personality which can make you more productive and effective at your workplace. You will learn how you can grow your global competencies and network.

When I work with trailing spouses, leaving their career, I make the main focus on my clients' work-related values, aptitudes, skills, talents and superpowers, unique for each person. We work on creating the effective networking, discovering potential job opportunities and career which are best fit for them, working environment which can make the best work-life balance (office vs remote; indoors vs outdoors; local vs expat or international team, etc.), and potential pathway towards getting there.

What You Can Expect from a Career Counseling Session

I always start with personality assessments and tests, to evaluate my clients' skills, strengths, interests, and personality type. Then we discuss the results, discovering the potential strong and weak points, values and interests. Together we'll examine your opportunities, analyze your current situation, your ideas and readiness to a new professional challenge. I will also guide you through the best strategies and planning for your career or business. We will also work with a possible imposter syndrome which is quite a common issue for working expats.

The goal is not only to help you becoming more effective at work, but also being more present in your personal life.

Even providing a career counseling I cover core concepts of mental wellbeing – self-awareness, mindfulness, stress management, etc. The idea behind is creating the base of a well-balanced life.

There's another important point in career counseling – be ready to leave your comfort zone and challenge yourself! You will need to learn norms and traditions of new business culture, as well new coping skills effective in this new working environment.


Different studies show that career counseling is very helpful in combating the job stress connected to mental health topics, such as depression and anxiety. It's especially effective for expat professionals or trailing spouses who decide find career or business opportunities in a new country. So, whether you wish to improve your career abroad or create a portable successful business, or in short if you wish to make the most from your global mobile life, career counseling is a great tool for you.