I am in Europe right now. Each year for the last decade, my family travels to different countries, usually in Europe, and each year I come away with a deeper understanding of how to provide career counseling for our clients in the US.
My largest observation this trip is how many non-Europeans are now in Europe. General immigration as well as the refugee crisis has created a Europe that no longer is clearly delineated by country lines. When I went to Italy in the late 1980s, I believe I only met and saw Italians. When I went to Greece in the early 1990s, similarly, I only recall interacting with Greeks. In the mid 2000s, early 2010s, France, Germany, Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Spain, Portugal seemed to have distinct cultures dominated by natives. This, of course, is still true but my experience in Ireland as I write tells a different story. The wonderful Irish predominant but different ethnics are sprinkled through our interactions.
Why am I bringing this up in a career counseling website? Because my Connecticut brethren are worried. Very worried about job stability, career transitions, and struggle. I understand. I really do. Having been cultured with the same expectations of those along the Connecticut shoreline and city suburbs, I used to get anxiety about career issues regularly.
But when I am reflective, I realize how lucky we are comparatively. 60 million people – please pause to think about that number as it is essentially 20 times Connecticut’s population – are refugees due to political struggle. Those new immigrants that I have met in Ireland did not come “affirmatively”. They escaped war torn countries. You, on the other hand, have the ability to AFFIRMATIVELY empower yourself to make your career path. From the eyes of those 60 million, you are very lucky. Make the most of your luck.