Updated: Oct 19, 2021
This was one of the most difficult Discovery/intake calls I have ever done. She was determined and could even find the means to fund not only her migration but to pay my coaching fees but if I took her on as a client, my conscience would never allow me to live with myself.
The risk and challenges far outweighed the benefits and opportunities and that’s exactly what I would like to discuss with you all today in this blog.
So, what is the best age to migrate and why?
I have come up with 3 groups of first-generation immigrants between the ages of 18 and 45.
Group 1 -18-27 years
The key characteristic of this age group is the search for their own identity flexibility and high energy levels.
Most people in this age group have not yet decided what they want out of life and that’s perfectly normal.
Eric Erickson a famous developmental psychologist describes this period of life as a time when we are challenged to either define our identity or be resigned to fall into confusion. Young migrant adults from this age group are no exception to this challenge.
Impressionability in this age group is probably the biggest weakness and risk factor. Falling in with the wrong crowd, destructive and/or toxic friend circles can lead to unfavorable decisions or habits that could potentially destroy their future while shattering the hearts and hopes of parents and family back home.
The truth is most young adults, especially under the age of 25, still need a substantial amount of support and guidance especially when they are exposed to the fast-paced life of bustling European cities. There are many distractions that even the most hands-on African upbringing won’t prepare you for.
A wide range of Drugs and alcohol most of which are cheap, readily available, and sometimes even legal and used recreationally meaning that falling into addiction and abuse is an actual possibility. It takes a strong will and conscience, a good upbringing, and added skills like Goal setting, Emotion Regulation, and Assertiveness to keep a young adult focused on their goal without being distracted by the noise of these vices and substances. Learning to deal with difficult emotions will help them look for healthier coping alternatives when faced with difficult situations while being assertive will help them stand up for themselves and say “No” without feeling guilty or falling victim to manipulation and abuse or and maybe human trafficking.
Because of the energy levels and adaptability of young adults in this age group, this is probably the best age to migrate and there are several opportunities to establish a life abroad if you are part of this age group.
Depending on your level of education you could investigate migration for studies, Bachelor, master, and Ph.D. programs are a great way to discover Europe while pursuing an education, discovering opportunities and alternatives for future employment and personal relationships. Its also possible to find partially or fully funded scholarships to help finance your education if you know where to look.
If you don’t posses an Advanced level education or the means to fund a university degree, the Au pair program or social work programs are ideal entry points for young people in this age group. Europe and most first world nations have a high demand for care workers. From childcare to special needs care and elderly care if you have a passion for serving, there are many opportunities especially if you are in this age group.
In my opinion, the best migration path for this group is the study route which includes university or technical college, but Au-Pair and social work can be used as entry points to a life in the diaspora with the intent to further their education once they complete these programs.
If you happen to be the holder of a degree and within this age group, then you have a bonus advantage. Depending on your field of study, you may be eligible for entering the job market directly as a skilled immigrant. This means you migrate from a position of strength and independence because your financial stability is already guaranteed, plus you will have more time and energy to focus on the other dimensions of life and livelihood in your new home country.
...To be continued