“There is a crack in everything, that’s how the light gets in.”

Leonard Cohen

Where is “home”?

Being a world citizen may bring an immense sense of freedom; but the castle of such a person may be a bit too windy and not terribly cosy. You do not have friends of long standing; you cannot meet up with your sister (closest mate) for a coffee (beer); you may not be able to find your favourite meals; or you do not understand the local jokes (and the locals do not get yours).

With relocation, you lose your daily routines and the stability of your usual environment. However, what you gain is a city with an amazing quality of life, especially if you like swimming in the Danube or cycling. You gain the opportunity to start with a “blank sheet”, where you can create fresh routines and new guiding principles for your life. You can reflect on where you are heading. You gain an opportunity both to forge new relationships and to reflect on your previous difficult ones with greater clarity. You have a chance to become who you really are at this moment. You can become a conscious creator of your inner home.

Challenges and opportunities in your life situation in Vienna

Do one or more of these statements hold for you? Which ones?

  • You may be working late in the evenings, as there is nobody waiting for you at home;
  • You may be working late in the evenings, even though there is somebody waiting for you at home;
  • You may find your new leadership challenge overwhelming;
  • You may not want to share your doubts, fears, feelings as you think that you have to appear “perfect” and to suffer no failures, and this is all too much of a burden;
  • You have a challenging decision to make, but find that there are no “right people” around you who could support you;
  • You may feel lonely and misunderstood;
  • You may feel that the role of an accompanying spouse is too limited, and that places a burden on your relationship, on you and on your partner;
  • Being a mother and remaining an attractive woman is harder than you thought;
  • You want to make the best of your current phase of life;
  • You would like to let go of the past, learn the lessons you need to learn, and be ready for a new start;
  • You want to have deeper connection to your purpose in life and want to live accordingly; you feel that it is time to live a full life.

Having spent over 16 years away from “home” I share many of these feelings and experiences. As a coach, economist and happiness researcher, with over a decade’s experience of working in a United Nations-affiliated institute, I am ready to support you in taking the right steps and making adjustments to your life in Vienna.

My methods and approach

Brief coaching with a solution focus, using specific relevant methods from sociometry, psychodramatic constellation work, role development theory, or systemic couple- and family counselling, depending on the specific case of the client. I am ready to work with individuals, couples and work teams.


One-to-one coaching consists of at least one clearly structured, solution-focused session. Usually, 3-4 coaching sessions with an interval of a few weeks are productive, but the actual length of the process depends on the client’s needs and goals.  Each session lasts 60 minutes.


Dr Orsolya Lelkes is a coach, economist and happiness researcher with over 15 years of leadership experience and a variety of multicultural experiences. She obtained her PhD degree at the London School of Economics, and lived in London (in beautiful Bloomsbury) for five years. She has been living in Vienna since 2005. She also spent three months in Washington, DC on a training course at the headquarters of the World Bank and the IMF. She led the research department of the Ministry of Finance in Hungary and was deputy director of the European Centre for Social Welfare Policy and Research, a non-profit organization in Vienna that operates under the auspices of the United Nations. There she had colleagues from over a dozen nations and collaborated with international teams right across Europe. She has been involved in coaching and counselling since 2004. She has qualifications as brief coach, psychodrama leader and couple counsellor (currently under supervision). She likes to give people space, to inspire and encourage the New being born in someone, and to bring awareness of existing resources and successes.