What if potential employers aren’t interested in my atypical background as an expatriate, humanitarian or expat spouse?

Today, I’d like to talk about a saying I often hear: “My career path is so atypical that it won’t interest potential employers”.

This is an important subject, because it comes up almost systematically among the people I support, who point out what’s wrong with their career path, what might prevent them from attracting the interest of a potential future employer. They mention a whole host of different reasons: the gap in their CV, their age, their zigzagging career path, their profile being too specialized or, on the contrary, too generalist, their time in the same organization being too short or, on the contrary, too long, the absence of a particular skill, training, or experience… and the list goes on.

➡️ They seem to think that they must be part of a normality…and that they are an exception to it.

➡️ They imagine that they are expected to have a perfect profile, and that this perfect profile is defined by them, based on stories they have heard. A “perfect” that is ultimately based on assumptions.

➡️ What they have in common is a tendency to devalue their own career paths, to not believe in themselves.

Is this the case for you? Do you think your professional profile won’t interest a future employer or will be difficult to “sell”?

If so, you urgently need to learn to rewrite this narrative, because it’s not useful, potentially harmful. The more you think your career path is an obstacle, the more energy you’ll give off, the more signs you’ll see that will feed that belief…and ultimately, the more you’ll send that message to a potential future employer who didn’t even think so in the first place!

That’s why it’s so important for you to be the one to change the narrative about your own career path. It’s essential that you be the first to believe in yourself…because who’s going to believe in you, if you don’t?

I bet that your biggest obstacle isn’t that hole in the CV or your age or anything else…but rather your own perception, your negative view of your career path.

I also bet you that what you perceive as a handicap, you can turn into a strength, an asset. I’m convinced that you can learn a lot from it… and make a difference that will be valued by a future employer.

Whatever your career path, it’s entirely possible to make it attractive and interesting.

To do it, what you need first, is to take the time. Take the time to revisit your career path, ask yourself the right questions, accept that you need to overcome these beliefs and be willing to change your narrative. 

To do this, you can start by:

  • Understanding who you are today, what makes you unique, your strengths, your assets, your differences, your needs, your desires, your values, experiences, and skills. By starting to list everything, you’ll have a much more global, fair, and objective vision of who you are today.
  • Clarify what you really want, your projects, your goals, your vision. I’m always struck by how many people start looking for a new job without being totally clear about what they really want. Often these people think that because their background is atypical, they need to find jobs where their profile might fit in. They’re not at all clear about what they really want. And yet, when you know what you really want, you can identify the right actions, be clear with a future employer and enhance your career path accordingly.

If you know who you are and what you want, it will also be easier to explain what you have to offer and communicate it clearly.

If the real obstacle is not your career path, but your perception of it, it would be sad to put barriers in your way.

What I’m asking you to do today, is to make the commitment that you will no longer be your own obstacle: that you will be the first person who believes in you, who will change the narrative about your career path, to convince others that your atypical career path is precisely what makes it so attractive. 

This problem of devaluing oneself, of not believing in oneself, is unfortunately one that many women encounter: it is called the impostor syndrome. This syndrome leads us to think that we’re never good enough, that we don’t have the skills or experience we need…when objectively, this is not true! You should know that your narrative may also stem from this impostor syndrome. To overcome it, the same advice applies: learn to believe in yourself and change your narrative.

Tell me what you think? Does it resonate with you? Do you have any questions?

Don’t hesitate to tell me more in a comment or private message.

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