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An Engaging Chat With Hotel Manager Expat & Career Transition Coach, Jessica Morari!

Jessica Morari is an experienced expat and career transition coach who has lived abroad for many years. She recently sat down with Her Expat Life to discuss her journey and insights on living and working abroad. Jessica shared her tips on how to make the transition to living in a new country smoother and more successful, and her advice on how to build a successful career in a foreign country.

1: Tell us how you started your Expat & Career Transition Coaching career? What was

the catalyst for this business development? What does a discovery session with you

entail with clients?

Starting this business has been a natural development of my personal experience - I

have been an expat myself for the past 8 years, and my passion for helping people

with their personal & professional growth. Nowadays, moving to another country is

quite common, yet there are still very few services that help you to face this

transition from an emotional point of view. And this is what I do with my coaching

programs for expats. I help them overcome emotional instability and create their

inner home to strengthen their independence and make the most of their experience

abroad. During a discovery session, we make an assessment of the current situation

to understand if coaching is what the person needs and we see if there is a

connection between us.

2: You have lived in some incredible places like Kenya to Italy, Spain and now Dubai!

Do tell us more of your travels and what were/are some of the perks of living


Living abroad means enrichment to me. You can get to live different lives in each

place you move to, taste new flavours, discover different ways of seeing and

perceiving reality, and get in contact with new mindsets. I have personally become

more flexible and more open-minded towards many aspects of life. At the end of the

journey, you end up creating your own culture, which is the sum of every place you

have lived in. And moreover, living abroad is a real masterclass about yourself. You really have the

chance to get to deeply know you and challenge and improve yourself.

3: What advice do you have for women who may be struggling with emotional


Do not hide your emotions. Many times we expat feel the obligation to be happy all

the time, because we somehow chose it. The truth is that every emotion is legitimate

and you are entitled to feel sad, scared, frustrated, and lonely sometimes. It is

absolutely normal to go through different phases after we move. A coach can help

you to learn how to deal with what you are feeling and reach a stability in your life


4: Where have you traveled/lived that really made a lasting impression on you and


Every place has left something that I still bring with me today. I love the meaning of

food in Italian culture. To me it represents the pleasure of family shared moments, of

cooking as a form of taking care of your beloved ones.

Spain taught me to slow down, to take a break and enjoy life with a simple walk on

the beach after work.

And in the UAE I have appreciated the growth and entrepreneurship mindset. Dubai is

for me one of the greatest examples of how you can create anything from nothing.

5: What challenges have you faced along the way in your career and how did you

overcome them?

I entered the job market right after my master and being a 24 year old woman

working as a manager in a culture designed for men hasn't always been easy. There

are still a lot of prejudices and misconceptions about gender, even if we now try to

embellish them with laws. I have never let this stop myself and I have been lucky and

smart enough to surround myself with other powerful female managers that have

supported and inspired me along the way.

6: You have been a hotel manager for a while now! How did you get into this sector?

What obstacles did you face?

I have always been relentlessly attracted to foreign cultures and languages and I saw

hospitality as a great way of combining this passion with my natural impulse for

leading projects and people. Working in such an international and multicultural environment means that sometimes you need to adjust your communication, both with guests and

coworkers. You have to tune to the person you have in front of you, eliminating

unconscious prejudices and minimising cultural barriers. This is definitely something

that I keep doing as a coach.

7: How do you juggle work, coaching and your spare time?

I set priorities and I have learnt to rest. There has been a time, many many years

actually, when I used to want to get to everything. I was overworked, frustrated and

unhappy. Now, at the beginning of each semester I set priorities and goals and

organise my months and weeks accordingly. Remember to schedule some rest time


8. What is/was life like in Dubai and working there?

Dubai is an extremely fast paced city. It offers great opportunities in terms of career

development and an infinite choice of activities for your spare time. You can find the

best restaurants and hotels in the world, as well as the most bizarre things you might

see - like snowboarding and skiing slopes inside a mall.

It’s a very vibrant destination, which offers security, stability and a dose of


9. What advice do you have for women who are looking to advance or change career

paths while living the expat life?

During a career transition process, I always suggest starting from the inside. Know

yourself inside out, your strengths and your flaws, what you can bring from your past

experiences, even if it’s a different sector, and what differentiates you among the

rest. Knowing your real value makes it easier to communicate it when the time

comes. Set your goals wisely - they have to be challenging, yet realistic. And finally

design your roadmap to get where you want. Remember that you don’t have to do

this alone. There are plenty of professionals that can guide and support you through

this journey and speed up the transition.

10. Where would be your dream place to live and work?

I have a shameless preference for nature and green places, but then I ended up in

Dubai…so I am not sure that I really have a dream destination. There are so many

places where I would love to move to for different reasons and I feel that as I evolve

as a person, my dream place to live and work evolves too. I like being open to any

destination and feel the freedom to pick the best option when it comes.

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