Career Development & Life in Balance in The Netherlands

This week I’m in The Netherlands, visiting my younger goddaughter, Gabriella, a law student at Oxford University in England, who’s spending a year studying international law at the University of Leiden this year.  It’s wonderful to see how she is broadening her scope as a lawyer-to-be who will probably be working in Europe, engaged in a new culture, making new friends and contacts.  Since she’s still exploring the kind of law practice she’d like to be part of, she’s also busy setting up mini-internships with barristers and judges in London during the summer.

     I’m also enjoying meeting in person for the first time Louise-- one of my favorite people from my certification training with the Coaches Training Institute (CTI), which was all done by phone.  It’s so great to get together at last!  I so admire the way Louise brings a very relational quality to her corporate coaching and training business-- and how she is building a wide network of professional contacts to enrich the quality of her work and expand her clientele potential.

      From both my goddaughters and Louise, I also find a wonderful European quality of life in balance.  For one thing, there are so many scheduled holidays in the northern European countries.  Also, people stay connected with their families and share many activities together intergenerationally-- holidays, child care, dinners, and trips.  Even when people are very busy with work, there is a structure in the culture that mandates more time with family.

      In my coaching, I see many people wanting to connect more and build stronger relationships within their families, have more quality time together.  It’s wonderful over here to see that happening more organically.

      What do any of you readers feel about my perception that northern Europeans seem to have a better balance between work and family/personal life?  I’d really enjoying hearing some of your thoughts on this matter.