As part of my expat coaching program, my aim is to assist individuals who are relocating to Italy to gain as much clarity as possible, so that they can map out the most successful life possible for themselves here. Together with the expat, we delve into many aspects of life in Italy, as well as address some key questions so that an effective strategy can be put together in order to create a very stratifying life for the individual in Italy.
Italy, for foreigners, can present many challenges, especially if you don’t speak the language. If your aim is to spend a short period in Italy, then mapping out a long-term game plan will not come into play – you will simply need to find work that can support you during this period. If on the other hand, you goal is to relocate to Italy indefinitely, if is vital that you create a congruent and efficient game plan in order to be able to make your new life in Italy as successful as possible.
Most foreigners who relocate permanently to Italy face challenges in three main areas and they are:
- Communication– Not being able to speak the language can be extremely isolating. Therefore, to limit this, I always suggest completing an Italian language course of 60 – 90 hours before coming to Italy. This will give you the basics necessary for everyday interactions with the locals. I remember when I moved to Italy I used to go to the supermarket with a dictionary! My life would have been so much easier at the beginning had I spoke some Italian when I arrived.
- Labor Market– Another challenging aspect for foreigners that move to Italy is adjusting to the labor market, which can be very different from what they are used to. Newspapers in Italy are full of stories of how even the Italians themselves struggle to find meaningful work in the current labor market. This does not mean that there aren’t any work opportunities, but it does mean that a serious and well thought out game plan will need to be put in place so that you hit the road running.
- Culture Shock– Many foreigners at the beginning of their relocation are in what I describe as a “honeymoon stage”, in which everything is wonderful, cute, and charming. When this initial stage wears off, many foreigners begin to struggle with the differences and daily challenges and obstacles that they face. It is perfectly normal to experience culture shock to one degree or another and it can also have a very isolating effect on some people. Complaining with other expats and playing ain’t it awful is not the solution! Instead, work with a coach or seek out positive environments where you can uplift your spirits and thought processes.
To create a solid game plan regarding your relocation to Italy, here are some questions to ask yourself.
1. What do you want to achieve in Italy? This is a very important question. It is vital that it is established very early on what you want to accomplish in Italy from the point of view of personal and professional objectives.
2. What must you accomplish in the first 12 months? From the moment, you arrive in Italy, you must define what are the goals that need to be achieved within the first 12 months so that a solid base is created.
3. What are the daily actions that you need to take? To create the best life possible in Italy, daily goals need to be created and worked on, so that the overall picture starts to take shape.
4. What challenges are you struggling with at the moment? Since arriving in Italy, what do you consider to be the biggest challenges that are creating obstacles for you and are preventing you from moving forward.
5. What do you want to be doing in five years’ time? Given that you have moved to Italy for the long-term, how do you see yourself in five years’ time? What will you be doing? What does your life look like?
6. What new skill do you want to learn or develop? Are there any new skills that you may need to learn to create your dream life in Italy? If so, what are they?
7. What’s working well for you at the moment? Regarding your life in Italy, be specific about what is currently working well for you. Can you use this to advance yourself further in the country?
8. What isn’t working well at the moment? What presently is not working well for you in Italy? Do you feel that this is being created by you or by your circumstances in Italy?
9. What have you done so far to improve things? Regarding what is currently holding your back, what have you done to make things better?
10. What is the biggest obstacle that you are facing? What would you consider to be the biggest obstacle facing you at the moment in Italy? Have you done anything to overcome this?
11. What are you passionate about? Do you have a passion that can be monetized and used in Italy to generate income? If so, what is it?
12. What are you willing to endure to see your goal become a reality? In order to create your dream life in Italy you may need to endure some challenging times. Are you willing to do this? Do you believe you will be able to keep a possible attitude?
13. What resources do you feel you are lacking? To build the best possible life in Italy, what resources do you feel are missing and are causing you challenges?
14. On a scale of 1 to 10, how motivated are you to achieving your goals? Creating a great life in Italy, is in itself a goal, and it will also have some sub goals. How committed do you feel you are about achieving these goals?
15. Whatever the first step is, can you think of anything that might stop you from doing it? Any journey or goal has to start with the first step. Do you feel that there is anything that may prevent you from taking this step? If so, what is it?
Answering these questions is a great way for you to understand how to move forward once you have relocated to Italy. The questions may bring up many emotions that can range from fear to enthusiasm. Whatever emotions they may bring up, know that you are equipped to handle them all, and that with the right pacing, focus, and goal-setting you can manifest an amazing life for yourself in Italy!
Should you have any questions, please feel free to contact me.
Easy Milano is the online publication for the international community of Milan. We offer practical tips, key information and essential insights about living and working in Italy. Easy Milano has been assisting English speaking expats in Milan since 1999.
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