November 26th • 2 min read
#Career #People #New Caledonia #Expat life

Three Secrets to a Happy Life as an Expat

Sometimes a small action has a big effect. Like a lake surface after a big splash, the ripple effect can last for a while and rock the boat. Today, COVID-19 is the splash and the lake is our lives. The turbulence shakes things up, causes confusion and eventually taking us to new places. Usually unexpectedly clarity arises after the chaos. This is the journey of our colleague Cécile and on her second anniversary with Easy Skill, we’re celebrating exactly what brought us together.
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Adventure drives possibilities. 

Wide-eyed and full of courage, at 17 Cécile decided to spend a year in the USA. She sampled life at an American high school in Pennsylvania. She had a taste of life abroad and couldn’t wait to do it again. After graduation, she returned to US soil to begin her career. “I had a thirst for knowledge because it always precedes clarity. I was eager to work with as many different departments as possible so that I could find my true calling,” she explains.


Vacation creates time for reflection and insights. 

After spending two months in Costa Rica, she realized she needed a career change. So she embarked on a new journey in France enrolling in new studies. Right before she started, she heard about New Caledonia and learned about a new southern mining plant project, so she changed her mind. She arrived in Noumea in 2007 and never looked back!

When we asked her what the key to success was for expat life, she shared 3 secrets.


  1. Keeping family values close to heart. 

    Did you know that 1/3 of international assignments fail because of family issues? As it turns out, family is critical for success. Cécile always prioritized her relationship with her family throughout her adventures. “When I first left in 1992, we relied on the postal service for letter communication. Thankfully technology has evolved to make staying in touch so much easier, » she states. Although the pandemic has hindered her ability to travel home right now, Cécile is relying even more on online communications with her friends and family.
  2. Work-life balance is necessary to thrive. 

    When surveying our workforce, work-life balance was ranked as one of the top two career goals. Cécile agrees wholeheartedly that achieving a high quality of life is the secret to creating a life worth living. Having amassed an impressive list of professional achievements, she’s now focusing on personal goals and family life. “Life goes by in the blink of an eye. For me having a well-rounded life includes achieving success in both professional and personal aspects of life, the latter of which is too often overlooked in the pursuit of career success,” she shared.
  3. A strong person-organization fit. 

    When your alignment is off, it’s like having unbalanced wheels. The car drives funny and will eventually break down. When it comes to work, it’s the same. Alignment between the person and company is not optional. You need to feel the fit in your gut and trust your instincts. “I’ve found a challenging workplace and this makes my work life better. My personal style is a perfect match for the company’s values. Having work synergy is the key to be successful,” confessed Cécile.


Keeping an open mind allows you to seize opportunities. It was this very sense of adventure that created an appetite for life as an expat and is the reason she’s still in New Caledonia. “It’s been an exciting journey to grow with the company and be a part of its evolution. Even after two years and I’m still learning new things every day, which keeps me happy,” she exclaimed. We’re delighted she took that first step to try life out in the USA. Sometimes it’s one small seemingly insignificant decision that can change your whole life.

Zoé Braun

Content marketing specialist

Brand storyteller in more than just one language. She writes moving human stories and translates technical topics so they're easy to understand. Pretty nifty. She considers business is about building trust and long-lasting relationships. She gets jumpy if she doesn't get at least 3 weekly hours of sport, running, yoga, kitesurfing, - you name it!

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