About Margot

Margot Stroeken is an expat coach and trainer based in The Netherlands. She supports people in navigating the ups and down of life and career abroad with clarity and joy. She is a Certified Professional Coactive Coach and also works as a career coach and trainer at the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam.

Her own expat journey has taken her from international law via a.o. teaching and communications work to life & career coach for expats. Originally from The Netherlands, she has lived and/or worked in six countries on three continents. After almost a decade in Asia with her husband and 2 little global nomads, she’s now back in The Netherlands.

My story

After doing a gap year in Spain after high school, I’d always dreamed of living abroad. Living in a place like New York or London, with a fascinating job of my own. And I managed to get fascinating jobs in international law, which allowed me to travel for work. For example to Uganda, where I gave workshops to local partner organisations.

However, moving to China as a “trailing spouse” (I hate that term) initially felt like giving up my independence. And moving to Brunei with a 3 month old baby and a toddler was a vastly different experience than moving to China.

Obviously, back then I had no clue what expat life was all about. It’s like becoming a parent: no matter how much you prepare yourself for it, you’ll never know what having a baby is like until it pees in your face after crying uncontrollably at 3 AM.

About expat life

Moving to China without kids, then on to Brunei with a toddler and a 3 month old baby and then back to The Netherlands unexpectedly, taught me that succeeding as an expat is not about your previous work experience or about having a career abroad.

It is about rebuilding your life and sometimes also your career from scratch, dealing with loneliness and distance from loved ones and changing your identity.

It is about connecting to your inner strength and resilience, about being willing to connect with strange people and strange cultures, about creating your own opportunities, about having bad days and being stronger the next day.

About letting go of what you should do and should have, about acknowledging your own growth instead of focusing on the gap in your CV (that I don’t believe in, but that is another story).

As a coach…

I now work with expats around the world who want to grow personally and professionally. People who don’t want to be paralyzed by the temporary nature of expat life, but who want to take charge of their life, and who have not lost their sense of humor along the way.

Interested in working with me?

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