Boost your energy in one month with my free guided journal: Time to Thrive.

How do you know it’s time for a career change?

How do you know it’s time for a career change?

How do you know it’s time for a career change?

Published on

Business woman with her head resting on her closed hands while she sits facing her laptop. Representing it is time for her to consider a career change.

Many of the people I work with are afraid it might be too late to switch careers. It doesn’t matter if they are in their 30s, 40s or 50s. They have worked hard to climb the corporate ladder and are used to the security their job gives them. But the truth is, it’s never too late. I have put together 6 steps to help you change careers successfully.

Although a career change might sound exciting, for many people it’s also very scary. ‘Should I give up everything I’ve built so far?’ ‘What if I have to take a pay cut?

From my experience, uncertainty is what stops most people from switching careers. Uncertainty is the enemy of change.

Whether you are a lawyer, tired of the long hours and without a clear idea of a new career path, an HR director with a buried dream of becoming a comedian (I actually helped a client with this exact transition!) or an accountant who always dreamt of landing a job in marketing, don’t worry, I’ve got you covered!

In fact, I’ve gone through two career transitions myself. Once in my late 20s and again in my early 40s.

Looking beyond the status quo

I had it all set up for what you would call a perfect life – my own apartment, a loving boyfriend and a dream job at the Swedish state television.

I was 27 – an age where I could have decided to start a family and continue climbing the career ladder. I had worked my way up to ‘second assistant director’ and was slowly but steadily moving towards my end goal of becoming a film producer.

But there was a very quiet voice within me whispering: ‘this can’t be it, can it’?

I grew up with an adventurous father who bicycled around Europe on his own at age 16, and was the first exchange student from his hometown to go to the U.S. for one year.

And I had a courageous mother who immigrated to Sweden at age 26, studied medicine in a foreign language and travelled the world with her band Glickers (‘luck searchers’’).

So you might understand why my mantra has always been: ‘the sky is the limit’.

Career switch #1

When the film photographer Marek said to me during a coffee break outside the studio, ‘I think you need to travel the world and see something other than this’, I knew he was right.

I moved to Warsaw, took an internship (and a 90 percent pay cut), and quickly advanced to become a successful news photographer working for one of the leading news agencies in the world.

I knew how to use a camera and I spoke a bit of Polish, but to be honest, I had no clue what the experience would lead to.

When I was 32 I quit my job at Reuters and moved to Berlin to be with the man I had fallen in love with. I had a rough start. My self-confidence was low, my boyfriend travelled a lot, and I felt lonely. I had no job. But I stayed, and decided to make Berlin my home.

After freelancing for a few years, I finally reconnected with a buried dream.

Career switch #2

When I was 41 I decided to go back to school to become a psychotherapist. I had taken a 3-month German course when I arrived in Berlin, but to study a new subject for four years, was of course a challenge!

I graduated with excellent feedback on my thesis, proving to everyone who said it was impossible, that the sky truly is the limit.

How did I finance it all? While I was studying, I did a coaching training and started working with clients alongside a part-time job in sales. What started as a necessity became my greatest passion: Coaching!

When is the right time?

So how do you KNOW it’s time to change careers?

From my experience, you will never know for sure before you start taking the steps to make it happen.

I have created an online career group programme designed to give you clarity to pursue your wildest career aspirations – something I could have used during my career transitions!

My 6 steps to prepare for a successful career change:

  1. Create space. We need to create space in our calendar to explore new ideas, but also space within ourselves to be able to reconnect with our buried dreams.
  2. Tame your inner critic. Often our inner critic is the main obstacle to a career change. We need to get to know it and tame it!
  3. Knowing yourself. We need to learn to distinguish what it is we think we want (influenced by other people’s opinions) and what it is we really want.
  4. Unleash your uniqueness. Finding our unique qualities – what makes us stand out – will boost our confidence and build courage.
  5. Rewrite your life story. Becoming specific about our professional vision motivates us to take action.
  6. Let’s go! Time to take action and take steps towards a career change!

Those 6 steps are the modules in my 12-week online career group programme, ‘Reignite Your Career’. You will gain confidence, courage and clarity to pursue your wildest career aspirations!

I will show you how to slow down to speed up!

Send me an email to book a call to see if this programme is right for you.

Love,

 

 

Share this:

I’m Katarina

Welcome to my blog, where I share real-life stories and offer valuable and practical tips for how to achieve fulfillment without burning out.

By signing up to receive my journal, you agree to receive emails from me. You can opt out at any time.

Learn how to break free from overthinking to feel healthy, happy and confident – the easy waywith my free guided journal.

Learn how to break free from overthinking to feel healthy, happy and confident – the easy way – with my free guided journal.

Make happy memories that will last a lifetime

Make happy memories that will last a lifetime

Make happy memories that will last a lifetime

Published on

Life coach and therapist Katarina Stoltz smiling in a yellow jumpsuit with 2 female friends stood either side of her as they celebrate her birthday in Mallorca

As I was starting to plan my 50th birthday party, I reflected on the different ways I had celebrated important birthdays in the past. It brought tears to my eyes (and not of joy). I didn’t have many happy memories. I decided this birthday would be different.

Too busy filling the void

When I turned 20, I was preoccupied with trying to get validation from others, mostly from my popular rock star boyfriend. When he dumped me, the newspapers wrote ‘it is probably best for his career that he became single’. I travelled, changed jobs, apartments and was completely lost. I don’t remember how I celebrated my 20th birthday.

When I turned 30, I was busy trying to prove to the world that I could do the hard job of being a female news photographer in Poland. Most of my colleagues were war correspondents. One, who had a special place in my heart, was killed in Iraq. My boyfriend at the time dumped me shortly after my 30th birthday party and brought a hooker into his home the same day.

When I turned 35, I had moved to Berlin to be with the man I had fallen in love with (finally, someone who could commit to a serious relationship!), but he travelled a lot, and I didn’t have many friends. I decided to go back to Sweden to celebrate that birthday with childhood friends on a rooftop terrace in Stockholm. Shortly before the party I got a phone call with bad news from my mother. All I remember is that I drank a lot of alcohol that night.

From victim to creator

When I turned 40, I was married and had given birth to our daughter. I was emotionally exhausted from carrying a lot of responsibility on my own without a much-needed support network of grandparents and other adults. Even if motherhood is the best thing that ever happened to me, it was also my most challenging life transition. I celebrated my 40th with a big party in our new apartment. It was a mix of small talk, good food and dancing until the police arrived!

When I turned 45, I had slowed my life down and was in the middle of psychotherapy training, and in therapy myself. I had started my own coaching business, regained my confidence, and found a way to get support while my husband was abroad for weeks at a time. Most importantly, I had turned from being a victim to a creator of my life. I celebrated my 45th birthday with a close circle of women who helped me let go of a big impossible dream.

Feeling free

Now I am 50. I have almost stopped looking outside for validation. I know I’m enough, and that I’m lovable. I don’t have to silently scream ‘PLEASE LOVE ME’. I don’t take on crazy job assignments, hang out with rockstars or get into toxic friendships, and most importantly: I don’t invite, associate with, or allow drama into my life (most of the time). I celebrated my 50th birthday over a whole week at a finca on Mallorca with my husband, daughter and my closest friends.

We laughed, danced, and most of all, I felt FREE. Free from addiction to drama and pleasing others. I celebrated my birthday just the way I wanted, even if that meant it offended some or prevented some from attending. It also meant that we were a smaller group than I had imagined. In the end, it gave me that intimate feeling that I wanted. I had quality conversations with each of my friends, and I will remember this birthday week for the rest of my life.

Tips on how you can create happy memories

  • Drop expectations of others. When you plan an event or birthday celebration, make sure you allow yourself to want what you want. Who do you really want to invite? (I invited friends without their partners and kids).
  • Start saving. If you don’t have a budget for it, make sure to start saving in advance. (I started putting money aside just for this, a few months in advance)
  • Ignore the ‘what ifs’. Don’t let the ‘what ifs’ stop you from planning the perfect party: What if he/she will be upset? What if nobody comes? What if it doesn’t work out? (I didn’t fixate on the number of guests, but rather on creating a nice experience).
  • Don’t let someone convince you to change your mind. Stick with your idea, and make it the way you want it. (I had a few people trying to talk me out of it).
  • Trust that you will find people to help you out. (It took me a long time to find the location, but when I did, it was ideal. I used all possible contacts, offline and online, to ask for help).
  • Express clearly what you wish for. It’s easier for your close ones to make you happy, if you tell them what you need. (Instead of presents I asked my friends to give a speech or a performance).
  • Ask for help on the special day. You don’t want to run around like a headless chicken serving everyone by yourself, make sure to either hire someone to help or ask friends. (I found a chef who cooked the biggest and most delicious paella I’ve ever had!)
My dear friend Natacha always says, ‘let’s make an event out of it!’, and that is my life attitude as well. Make your birthdays count and create memories you will look back on fondly when you’re older, whether it was a small gathering or a big party. The choice is yours.

Love,

 

 

Share this:

I’m Katarina

Welcome to my blog, where I share real-life stories and offer valuable and practical tips for how to achieve fulfillment without burning out.

By signing up to receive my journal, you agree to receive emails from me. You can opt out at any time.

7 tips for how to feel at home as an expat in Germany

7 tips for how to feel at home as an expat in Germany

7 tips for how to feel at home as an expat in Germany

Published on

Young female expat overlooking the Spree in Berlin at sunset

Did you know that Germany is ranked as the hardest country for expats to start a new life? No wonder many of us find it difficult to call Deutschland home. After almost 20 years as an expat in Berlin, I have learned how to tackle my love-hate relationship with my new home country.

Dealing with the wait

On Saturday mornings, the queue at the bakery across the street from us looks like an image from communist times.

I have to wait at least an hour every time I go to the doctor, even when I have an appointment.

Before our daughter was born, I had to start looking for a hospital to give birth at, months in advance.

Why does everything take so long??

According to Internations Expat Essentials Index 2023, expats in Germany are united in their criticism of two topics in particular: the country’s backward attitude towards digital connectivity and its snail-pace internet.

A recent client of mine said he is about to give up and return to his country of origin.

He came to Berlin two years ago, managed to get an apartment and a job, but getting a spot for his son at a kindergarten seemed impossible!

Finding housing, a spot for your child in a kindergarten or school, or even registering your child for swimming lessons all involve long waiting lists.

All local bureaucracy, like opening a bank account or getting a residence permit takes forever. Even shopping for groceries after work involves long queues.

So what can we do about it?

Accepting what is

One thing I learned for sure: Fighting against a system you can’t change gets you nowhere.

It will only leave you frustrated and resentful.

If you’re longing to feel more integrated and at home in Germany, you need to let go of the idea that people will approach you with a smile when you need their help!

You moved to a country that feels old fashioned in many ways, a country with people known for their lack of a sense of humour.

And you CHOSE to move here for a different reason, right?

What was the reason you moved to Germany?

I moved to Berlin to live with the man I had fallen in love with. I stayed because we love the vibrancy of the city.

When I get frustrated that things take forever, I remind myself that it’s my choice to live here. I came because there was something here that I couldn’t find in my country of origin.

Along the way I have found a few things that have helped me feel more at home in Germany.

7 ways to feel at home in Germany

  1. Cultivate patience. As there will be long waits at most of your appointments, including at the doctor’s office. Be sure to block out more time than you think you’ll need. Bring a book or some work with you to use the time while waiting.
  2. Decide to be friendly. People working at restaurants and offices might not always smile at you, but if you show friendliness, there is a bigger chance they will treat you a little better.
  3. Create a network. When you struggle to find your way through the jungle of bureaucracy, it’s useful to have a network of other expats and locals to turn to for advice. Join groups on social media to start with.
  4. Get to know your neighbours. It can save you a lot of time if you can just knock on one of your neighbours’ doors and ask a question. Surely there is something you can help them with in exchange.
  5. Learn the language. You come a long way if you can communicate with people on the street, in shops, in offices and institutions. You don’t have to speak or write perfectly, but showing an interest in speaking their language opens many doors.
  6. Make friends. If you find it hard to make German friends then look for friends from the expat community or from your native country. Sharing similar experiences can help you to not feel lonely. 
  7. Ask for help. If you have struggled for a while with bureaucracy and need help, contact Archer Relocation. If you struggle mentally, check out my offers as a coach and psychotherapist. I’d be happy to connect.

Love,

 

 

Share this:

I’m Katarina

Welcome to my blog, where I share real-life stories and offer valuable and practical tips for how to achieve fulfillment without burning out.

By signing up to receive my journal, you agree to receive emails from me. You can opt out at any time.

Learn how to break free from overthinking to feel healthy, happy and confident – the easy way – with my free guided journal.

Learn how to break free from overthinking to feel healthy, happy and confident – the easy waywith my free guided journal.

How to overcome the 5 major obstacles to happiness

How to overcome the 5 major obstacles to happiness

How to overcome the 5 major obstacles to happiness

Published on

Person walking dog along the beach in Portugal at sunset

Many of us suffer from ‘superhuman syndrome’ and the ‘I can do it all on my own’ mentality, and we forget the importance of sharing experiences with others. While pushing and doing and trying to solve all our life problems on our own, we are often left unhappy and depleted. Read about how I broke free from isolation and how you can overcome obstacles to happiness.

We need each other

Last year was one of the worst years of my life. So at the start of this year, I decided that my main theme for 2023 would be ‘community’. I wanted to make sure that I would break out of the isolation I had been experiencing.

Looking back, I can clearly see how the lack of IRL community was one of the main reasons I was struggling. It didn’t matter how many tools and years of training I had, I still needed a like-minded community to exchange, cry and laugh with!

There is only so much we can do alone.

We need each other.

We need to stop ridiculing dependency.

The superhuman syndrome

With our culture being so focused on the ‘I can do it on my own’ mentality, we forget that being ‘dependent’ on someone else has two sides – it’s not only a bad thing (codependency), it’s also a good thing (needing and getting support).

We obsess (me included!) about being able to do things on our own. My teacher Michaela Boehm calls it ‘superhuman syndrome’. We’re getting so good at becoming independent and ‘not needing anyone’ that we can end up feeling lonely.

Of course, there is nothing wrong with learning to manage our feelings and life alone, BUT we need to recognise that we are emotionally dependent on other humans.

From online to meeting in person

I arrived in Faro, Portugal and felt excited, like a teenage girl getting ready to go out with her friends. ‘What will I wear?’ and ‘I wonder what we will talk about?

Claudia, a woman I had only met on Zoom so far, had booked a beautiful little guest house right on the beach, where we stayed for two nights before the retreat.

I decided to ground myself with a barefoot walk on the beach and a strawberry lemonade while watching the sunset.

A glass of strawberry lemonade in the sunset in Portugal

I had been part of my teacher Michaela Boehm’s women’s study group for a little over three years. Most of the women in the group I had only met online.

We had shared our deepest secrets with each other, but none of us knew how the others looked below the waist!

Usually when you meet someone for the first time you engage in small talk – a bridge for getting to the real topics… but not this time. When we went out for our first dinner, we dived straight into what really mattered in our lives.

After a few days in Faro, the journey continued with a taxi to a little village and retreat centre called ‘Orada’, where we joined the rest of the participants.

It was a practise retreat, meaning we had a programme from morning until evening. But Michaela made sure there were breaks for resting, dipping into the natural pool and sweating out the day’s work in the sauna at day’s end.

A few years ago, I would never voluntarily get up at 7 a.m. to meditate! But here, I happily jumped out of bed to climb the wooden stairs to the roof to sit for an hour and let the rising sun caress my face.

The retreat group meditating during sunrise in Portugal. One of the practices that increased happiness.

Healing with community

What I valued in this retreat was the focus on releasing emotions from the last three years through the body. And doing that TOGETHER!

We so often ask ourselves the question, ‘what’s next?’, always focusing on the future.

But when we haven’t acknowledged and worked with the emotions of the past, we very often find ourselves lost and stuck. There are often layers of unresolved ‘stuff’ in our way to deciding what’s next. What we want to do next with our job, our relationships, where we live.

I was on the mat doing the release work on my own, but knowing there was a woman on my right and a woman on my left going through the same process, made me feel strong.

Afterwards, we sat like sardines in the sauna, laughing like teenage girls telling stories about silly things we had done in our lives. Laughing is such an important part of the release process!

We ended our evenings with stargazing and a quick night swim in the pool (me, who HATES cold water!).

I hadn’t felt this carefree, relaxed and happy in a long time.

You can check out my reel from the retreat on Instagram here.

The 5 major obstacles to happiness

During the last few years, I have learned a lot about what stands in our way to feeling relaxed and happy. Here are some of the most common things:

  • Constant DOING and PUSHING. When you are in constant ‘go mode’, you can’t think clearly. We need to acknowledge our emotions, release, and let go from time to time to create space for our next steps in life.
  • Overthinking and perfectionism. Very often we get stuck in overthinking and trying to find the perfect solution. We let worries and fear stop us from ‘trying out’ and finding the answers through experience.
  • Listening too much to other people’s opinions. It’s very individual what makes us happy and what we want to do with our lives. Listening to others won’t help you decide. Only listening to yourself will.
  • The belief that ‘you can do it all alone’. We need each other, and the more you ask for support and build communities of like-minded people, the more likely you will feel stability, security and fulfilment in your life.
  • Not investing in your happiness. Many find it difficult to spend money on their well-being. We would rather buy a new sofa or a dress, something we can see and touch. The value you get from investing in coaching, therapy or going on a retreat, creates long lasting happiness (not a quick fix!).

Find inner peace

I have good news for those of you who are tired of all the obstacles! I have created a step-by-step method for how you can release and let go of what doesn’t serve you any longer, so that you can start moving forward with more ease and find inner peace.

You will get coached by me, get access to all my valuable worksheets, a reading list and a bonus session with one of my guest coaches.

I have proof that it works, I have worked with hundreds of individual clients who have successfully gone through one of my coaching programmes. Check out some of my fabulous testimonials.

Last week a client said when he left the session: ‘This is the most powerful hour I’ve had in a long time!’

So, if you want to unravel your obstacles and create a life where you feel confident, happy and free, it’s time to invest in your well-being and say YES to a life on your terms!

Take the first step and book a free coaching consultation with me here.

Love,

 

 

Share this:

By signing up to receive my journal, you agree to receive emails from me. You can opt out at any time. I will manage all your data with care and in line with my privacy policy.

Hello, I’m Katarina Stoltz, a life coach and psychotherapist helping international professionals prioritise their well-being so they can achieve fulfillment without burning out.

Welcome to the 'Time To Thrive' blog, where I share real-life stories and offer valuable and practical tips for how to prevent burnout, expand your self awareness and start living your vision.

I don’t offer ‘quick fix’ solutions, but my tips are straightforward and easy to follow. You’re in the right place if you’re looking for some thought-provoking articles and honest life stories.

I’m happy you’re here!

How to go on a workcation when you have kids

How to go on a workcation when you have kids

How to go on a workcation when you have kids

Published on

Silhouette of a Katarina's daughter on a rope swing on the beach in Thailand as the sunsets

Read about my experience of going on a workcation to Thailand with my family and get some tips how to make it a success.

Waiting for the anxiety to kick in

‘Welcome to the year that will give you the most anxiety and stress in your life’. This was how the head teacher at my daughter’s primary school started the Zoom presentation.

It was 1 a.m. and the alarm had just gone off. Even though I was in a different time zone, I knew I needed to educate myself about the German ‘Förderprognose’.

I had ignored it until now, but it was time to face the reality of what my daughter, and we as parents, would be going through in the coming year.

It will soon be decided if our daughter will continue on an academic path, or if she will go to a school with a more practical direction.

She has ONE year to perform well if she wants to have more opportunities later in life.

She is 11!

‘Thank God I didn’t grow up in Germany’, I thought to myself. At that age I had lost the ‘oh how nice it is to go to school’ feeling and was more interested in boys and dealing with drama among my girlfriends.

A few months ago, when I asked permission to take my daughter out of school for six weeks, the same head teacher wrote me a long list of reasons why it wasn’t a good idea.

One reason was that it was in the middle of ‘that important year for the kids’. But as he mentioned, ‘maybe we are not so stressed about our child’s grades as other parents are’.

I had no idea what I had in front of me. I didn’t grow up in Germany.

Should I be stressed?

Will I regret taking my daughter on an adventure at the beginning of her most important school year?

Maybe.

Will she one day be upset when she finds out?

Maybe.

I leaned my head on the sofa in our villa on Koh Lanta while the headteacher shared numbers and percentages during the Zoom presentation.

I waited for the anxiety to kick in. I waited to feel regret.

Life skills

Instead, my mind wandered off thinking about all the things my daughter had learned during our workcation:  

  • The courage to try something new (Thai boxing)
  • Focus and balance (joining me in yoga classes)
  • Confidence (rowing a gondola)
  • The beauty of nature (…everywhere!)
  • Adaptation (new teachers, new classmates)
  • Relaxation (first massage)

Katarina's daughter rowing a gondola boat in Thailand

The anxiety didn’t kick in, and I didn’t feel regretful.

My daughter learned important ‘life skills’ that she will one day need to tackle the world out there.

Skills that will be helpful in any job she chooses.

Skills that will be helpful in all her relationships.

Once the presentation ended, I went back to bed with a smile on my face, feeling proud of myself for taking her on such an adventure. Proud of her for being open and curious about the world.

‘You’re going to have an amazing future girl’! I thought to myself.

Katarina Stoltz's daughter on the beach in Thailand wearing a bright yellow robe

Tips for a successful workcation with kids

  • Plan it at least six months ahead. You need time to get permission to take your child out of school (for families with school-age children), potentially find a local school for short-term enrollment, sort out how to work remotely and find a suitable place to stay.
  • Make a travel budget. Things end up being more expensive than you think. Don’t ruin your stay by thinking about money all the time. Be prepared for how much things will cost.
  • Check with your child’s current school. Ask early for permission to take your child/ren out of school. Make sure to give a good reason in your application letter.
  • Think about your family’s needs. A comfortable home is important for a family’s well-being. How many rooms do you need? Will it be okay to stay in one room all together or do you need more privacy as a couple and for work?
  • Check on the reliability of the internet connection where you plan to stay. Internet stability can vary greatly from place to place. If your work requires a good connection, ask about the internet stability in advance.
  • Decide on the best location for your family. What places do you want to be closest to? Walking distance to the beach? Restaurants? Cultural sites? Depending on the age of your children, your priorities might vary.

Taking my family to Thailand is one of the best decisions I have made in my life. We came here to recharge, refocus and reconnect as a family, and to individually get some alone time.

Have a look at my ‘Take a workcation with kids’ reel on instagram where you get to see our favourite moments.

Katarina Stoltz Life Coach and Therapist on her laptop laying in a hammock on the beach in Thailand

If you need help getting ‘off the hamster wheel’ and start doing the things you love, book a call with me here.

Love,

 

 

Share this:

By signing up to receive my journal, you agree to receive emails from me. You can opt out at any time. I will manage all your data with care and in line with my privacy policy.

Hello, I’m Katarina Stoltz, a life coach and psychotherapist helping international professionals prioritise their well-being so they can achieve fulfillment without burning out.

Welcome to the 'Time To Thrive' blog, where I share real-life stories and offer valuable and practical tips for how to prevent burnout, expand your self awareness and start living your vision.

I don’t offer ‘quick fix’ solutions, but my tips are straightforward and easy to follow. You’re in the right place if you’re looking for some thought-provoking articles and honest life stories.

I’m happy you’re here!