There is Power and Connection in Finding Your Tribe

“Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much.” – Helen Keller

Being a part of a tribe as not only a human trait, but one in which the richness and meaning of our life is intimately and richly connected. Beyond the safety of familial tribes, the one’s we develop throughout our lives have the ability to restore and heal, support, inform and inspire us. Tribe, in fact, is a vital, essential aspect of our health and our well being.

Women for Women Program is built on the concept of finding and building your tribe. In the program Influential local women, open-up their network and mentor young international women professionals in a 3 month program designed to get them closer to the labor market. It is unique because it is a far-reaching effort by Expat Spouses Initiative & the LIvingIn Program (Holland Expat Center), where women ambassadors  lend their time and voice to close the gap faced by other women who accompany knowledge migrants and are unable to kickstart their career in the Netherlands. The program is a resounding success with more than 80% of talent in past editions now working.  

Women for Women Program emphasises that your social and professional networks are the most important piece of any career change. But exchanging business cards and a LinkedIn connection is just scratching the networking surface. Many of these superficial connections will have no impact on your job search. The people who make a difference are your Tribe.

A tribe is the difference between the quantity and quality of your network. It’s fine to have 500+ LinkedIn connections. But it’s crucial to have a group of people with whom you have an actual relationship, who are interested in helping you reach your goals and depending on you to help them reach theirs. I have a rather large network, but my tribe consists of about 150 people.

“I define connection as the energy that exists between people when they feel seen, heard, and valued; when they can give and receive without judgment; and when they derive sustenance and strength from the relationship.”― Brené Brown

Your tribe is the group of people who will get you through your career pivot. Your tribe is also the group you can call on for an introduction or some advice over coffee. And they can call on you, too — whether for themselves or for a friend who wants some intelligence about your areas of expertise. It’s like the barn raising communities where you all help your neighbor build his barn, knowing — without asking — he’ll show up with lunch and a hammer to help you raise yours.

The thing about a tribe is, you have to cultivate it — like a garden. You need to weed it from time-to-time of people you have no real connection with. You have to water it when there’s no rain. You may need to apply fertilizer. Most importantly, you should not neglect it. You need to cultivate a habit of giving it Tender Loving Care. It needs to be part of the way you think and live, or it will wither.

Why Women for Women is unique and gives you access to your tribe

It is a strong space, not just safe space. Besides letting us feel accepted as we are, they encourage us to show up generously in the world. They give us courage as well comfort. That is why we end up feeling that it is our tribe, rather than a tribe that owns us.

It cares about your settling, growing and thriving. These tribes let us take risks to try something new, rather than force us to keep doing our best. They are there even, especially, when what we are doing is hard, feels clumsy, and has not yet shown results.

It is a source of questions, network and not just advice. More than a pool of experts serving as resources when you need them, these tribes raise the questions that help us explore the edges of our competence and identity, or send us in new directions.

If you are an international and looking forward to build your tribe, please connect with Expat Spouses Initiative, and join the Women for Women Program

Women for Women is women lifting other women up. Even in this day and age, it is women who mostly make the critical decision to accompany and very often it costs them their career. It probably cost societies more dearly, as we put more women out of the workforce, even as we strive to enable more opportunities with global mobility of talent. 

Also, these are experienced women who step out of the workforce, A recent survey by EY and Netexpat revealed that more than 95% of relocating partners worldwide are highly-educated and  77% of them were working and contributing to the family income before their move. Far from a problem, we believe, it is a tremendous opportunity for the local ecosystem and companies, to tap into this pool of talent. It not only directly addresses the sharp talent shortage the market experience, but contributes to one of the key United NationsSustainable development goals in address gender imbalance in the labor market.  

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We Are Not Alone Campaign, is presented in collaboration with Expat Spouses Initiative – Eindhoven, LIVING IN, Holland Expat Center & Brainport Eindhoven. Through this campaign, we aim to bring the International community together and engage them actively.


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