As an expat who moved to The Netherlands in the year 1999, I realise only too well the career restrictions one faces when living abroad. Once upon a time I was an IBM Advanced Certified Application Developer and also an IBM Certified System Administrator. By now I would have been at the peak of my IT career and would be in a nicely paid consultancy role. However if you don’t speak and write absolutely fluently in the language where you reside, then career opportunities are few and far between. You find yourself only able to apply for jobs at multinational companies where the business language is English and let’s face it, that narrows down the number of companies to just a handful. Facing such disadvantages can be both frustrating and upsetting, especially if you know your career would be flourishing back in your home country where there are no language problems holding you back.
Never one to let anything hold me back, I decided to start my own business at the end of 2006 and launched Dotcom Kiosk, providing e-commerce websites, advanced web development services and search engine optimisation. I decided to sell that business to a new owner because it wasn’t quite what I wanted to do, and in 2009 I launched something completely different: Love Burlesque is an online boutique offering a delightful selection of burlesque inspired evening clothes, corsetry and shoes. It wasn’t long after the launch of Love Burlesque that I also started my own clothing label, Bite Me Couture, which answered my childhood dreams of ever becoming a fashion designer. There was many a time when my grandma used to find me sewing away in the early hours of the morning when I should have been sleeping before going to school! I worked as a tailor’s seamstress while at university so I had the experience to design, create and delight my customers with beautiful clothes. Of course my background in web development, e-commerce and search engine optimisation meant that my new businesses got off to a flying start and quickly became successful.
Fast forward to the end of 2013 and I’m now the proud owner of my 4th business, Elan Creative. Looking back over the past few years I realise that owning my own business has been the only way that I could have an interesting, challenging and rewarding career as an expat. Originally moving to The Netherlands for a job as a software developer I long overstayed that role and was deeply unhappy – feeling that I couldn’t leave because there were no other opportunities for me. Leaving that role and registering my first business at the Chamber of Commerce was both terrifying and exhilarating! I’ve made a success of my entrepreneurial ventures and I now fulfill a role which leads others to follow a similar path – I really enjoy consulting business owners and providing them with the knowledge they need to make more informed and successful business decisions.
If you’re an expat and looking for an exciting, challenging and rewarding career as a business owner, I can help you realise your business goals. As an expert e-commerce and internet marketing consultant I can provide you with:
- E-commerce Services
- SEO & Internet Marketing Services
- Adwords Services
- Affiliate Marketing Services
Interested in finding out more? Contact me for friendly, informal and professional advice: contact