Wednesday, 27 August 2014

Career prospects for the trailing spouse

How did you become an expat? Perhaps your husband or wife was offered a big promotion, or a career move came up that your partner just couldn’t resist. Faced by the prospect of taking a step into the unknown or dealing with a long distance relationship, you chose to give it a go too… If that sounds familiar, no doubt you’ll be already firmly strapped into the expat rollercoaster! 

Moving was a new (and very busy) adventure - from visas, packing and goodbyes to finding a property, settling in, maybe even placing the kids in school – but what are you doing now? Below are a few suggestions for how you can kick-start a career in your new home, make the most of the opportunities there. 

Creative commons/Flazingo

Use your language skills: Living somewhere with a different native language? Why not look into teaching your mother tongue as a foreign language? There are plenty of courses to get you started and private arrangements for language lessons can also lead to friendships too! Alternatively, if your destination country is popular with those back home as a holidaying spot, why not check out any opportunities in the tourism industry? Even if you’ve never done anything like this before, your language skills could well be in demand and seasonal working could offer flexibility if you’re also juggling a young family.

Work remotely: Who says moving needs to entail giving up your old job? Many careers allow you to work remotely, so explore the possibilities before you go. You might have a few late night or early morning conference calls, or have to take the occasional jet setting business trip, but, if you’ve moved abroad for a partner, your career doesn’t have to suffer.

Make a difference: Maybe your move has brought you to an emerging market, where growing prosperity hasn’t eradicated all problems for the local population. Maybe you can help – volunteer, support an NGO on the ground and see a different side to your new home! Volunteering can be a wonderful way to get back into working after a career break, wherever you’re living, so ask around and use your skills to support a cause.

Launch a digital career: Guess what? It’s not just friends and family who are interested in your expat life! Why not blog about your experiences? It could be just for fun or it could become a fulltime job. And the best thing is, you just have to be yourself. Why not check out the stories of our expat guest bloggers?

How has your career fared since moving abroad for a partner? Let us know – by commenting below or tweeting @expatexplorer!

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