Thursday, April 07, 2011

Interview with Megan Fitzgerald, founder of Career by Choice

Megan, can you tell us a bit about your background prior to founding Career by Choice? What made you decide to start your own business and what services do you offer?

Ever since I was in high school I had a passion for exploring other countries and cultures. That passion translated into a bachelors degree in International Relations, living, studying and working in Paris, and a job designing professional and business training programs for entrepreneurs from developing and transitional countries on 4 continents. My career in international education and training continued for many years until I returned to school get my Masters Degree in Multimedia Communications. While pursuing this degree I worked for the university career center running their local and international job fairs and their recruiting and employer relations programs. This is what gave me my first taste of formal career development methodology. After my degree I continued to work for international organizations doing professional and organizational development work. Upon moving to London I continued doing professional, organizational and business development work on a consulting basis. I have been fortunate that my work before and after my Masters degree has allowed me to work with professionals, entrepreneurs and organizations in many countries in North America, South America, Europe, Africa and Asia.

It was when my husband and I decided to move to Rome that I realized I would have some real hurdles to overcome professionally. I did not speak Italian, had no network in Italy to speak of, and I was sure that securing a work visa in Italy was not going to be easy. It was then that I decided I wanted to start my own portable business.

Career and business coaching seemed like the perfect choice. All of my previous education and professional experience had prepared me for just such a line of work. In fact I’d been helping professionals, leaders and organizations grow and improve their performance for years - I just didn’t know it was called coaching. It was also aligned with all of my values - freedom, empowerment, growth and development and being of service - and allowed me to support other people like myself who wanted a satisfying career that would also support a life overseas. So I pursued several certifications in career coaching, executive coaching, and personal branding and Career By Choice was born.

Today Career by Choice offers career, personal branding and business coaching services to expats looking to build a career that fits who they are and their international lifestyle. Specifically I help expats create a clear vision for their life and career abroad, understand their unique value and what they offer and communicate that value in a compelling and differentiating way on and offline. I also teach them how to leverage online networking and social media to build their brand and reach and apply the right tools and strategies to reach their goals. By applying their new skills and taking ongoing strategic action these expats will be set up for long-term career or business success.

What are the main challenges faced by expat professionals trying to build a career abroad? How do you encourage your clients to meet those challenges?

There are many challenges expats face when building a career abroad...

Interview continues:

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