Career Planning for Expat Spouses

Looking at ways how companies support expatriate spouses, “the top three choices were language training, educational assistance, and company-sponsored work permits. Furthermore this year, “assistance with career planning” moved up from sixth to fourth position. (The quotation is taken from the current Brookfield Global Relocation Survey. For a link to the survey, please click on the image.)

Career planning, not having a job, or wanting a new one causes levels of stress that can be diminished by an appropriate coaching process. An international assignment often presents itself as the perfect moment to take stock and figure out what they truly want to do for many spouses.

The work we choose and why we choose it says a lot about ourselves and our attitude to work in general. We are more likely to accept a fulfilling and deserving position when we believe in ourselves and in our strengths. At the same time, limiting beliefs like “time is money,” “only the early bird catches the worm,” and “hard work never hurt anyone” influence our attitudes.

Both career and life coaching involve further dimensions and layers of complexity when dealing with change across different cultures. Taking the example of Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, adults simply aren’t used to operating on the levels of basic uncertainties like security and belonging, but those are exactly the ones they find themselves in when moving internationally. Most expats experience that the understanding of one’s own identity is brought into question, be it due to change in roles within the relationship or the inability to communicate with locals.

If you have any question about adapting internationally and planning your career, please leave a comment, drop me a line or call me. If you’re interested in finding out more about how coaching can help you or your spouse adapt to a new culture while planning a new career, you can read some more about how we could tackle that together, here.

Thanks and til next time!


Image by Denis Vrublevski, Flickr, Creative Commons License