Expats and Trailing Spouses

expats and trailing spousesAre you wondering how to make the most of your time as a trailing spouse?

Is it even worth working as a trailing spouse?

Where to find more information for expat women?

Find out from other working expat mums, trailing spouses and expat women what it’s like for them. We have brought together the key issues and where to go for more information.


Most trailing spouses do not work during their time oversees

A study by the Permits Foundation in 2008, cited in Economist report: up or out next moves for the modern expatriate, found that 82% of trailing spouses or partners had a university degree and 90% of them were forced to relinquish their own jobs in order to pursue their partner’s move abroad. Of these 90%, only 35% worked during their time living overseas.

The Brookfield Global Relocation Survey 2011 found that worldwide only 12% of partners of expats previously employed were able to find a job in their new home country. Many people like to point out that perhaps this was a personal choice. But the survey finds that actually 75% of the partners who were surveyed and not working while living abroad would like to be doing so.

There are no figures available on mums in particular, but I am sure there are even less working expat mums.

Barriers to working for trailing spouses

It’s not easy to work as an expat partner or expat mum.  When working, expat mums face all the well-known issues all working mums face: juggling work and family life, feeling guilty, regaining confidence after a period out of work, finding flexible work, finding childcare and lack of opportunities due to the recession.

However there are specific issues that are barriers to work for expat partners, and expat-mums.

What are the barriers to working for trailing spouses and expat mums?

How to overcome the barriers for trailing spouses

Regardless of whether you are male or female, being a trailing spouse can be extremely challenging and stressful. According to McNulty, a consultant who specializes in mobility issues, the most important thing for a trailing spouse to do is to take http://pharmacy-no-rx.net/kamagra_oral_jelly_brand.html control of their situation and create their own opportunities. Speaking in the New York Times she discussed her own research: “What I found in my research is that almost all spouses face an identity crisis, but only about 10 to 15 percent did something about it, by becoming authors, getting an MBA or starting businesses,” she said. Most “felt they were victims, with no control.”

This, to me, shows that finding something meaningful to do is vital for your own sense of fulfilment. It’s key to be aware of the barriers, but they shouldn’t stop you. They can be overcome, and will certainly lead to a more fulfilling life.

 It really is vital to take the steps necessary to create a mindset that’s meaningful; reassert your identity as something portable, transient and more respectable and enriched than ever before. – Stephanie Katz of Expat Arrivals

Top 6 ways  to find work for trailing spouses

More information and links for expat women and trailing spouses

Resources for expat-women and trailing spouses looking to work:

Key articles for expat women and trailing spouses


Are You a Trailing Spouse? Why Teaching English Could be the Answer to Your Career Plans

Are You a Trailing Spouse? Why Teaching English Could be the Answer to Your Career Plans

Trailing spouses are known for making the ultimate sacrifice; they give up their careers and lives at home to follow their partners overseas. But rather than see it as a negative, we choose to see it as a wonderful opportunity. A chance to experience an unknown culture, see the kids thrive in a fresh environment and try out a new career.

TEFL (teaching English as a foreign language) is a great option for women who want to make the most of their new life abroad. Here’s why:

The Job Market is Huge

Recent estimates suggest there are currently more than 1 billion people learning English around the world. The British Council predicts that number will double by 2020.

As you can imagine, with that many students there is huge demand for teachers. There are plenty of positions available, particularly in Asia, South America, the Middle East, Africa and Europe but even English-speaking countries have their share of vacancies too.

Finding vacancies is simply a matter of searching online job boards, contacting local language schools or advertising your services privately.

Hours to Suit the Kids

This is probably the most important factor for working mums. You want a career and a life outside of the home, but you also want to be there for the kids (and your spouse).

Teaching is the ideal solution, not least because you’ll get school holidays off! Whether you choose to work for yourself or work part or full-time in a school, you won’t be away from home for much longer than the kids. Working hours that complement their schedule saves massively on childcare costs too.

You Can Work for Yourself

If the thought of working in a school fills you with cold dread or you need really flexible hours there’s the option to teach privately instead.

Many experienced English Language teachers move onto private tutoring as they love the freedom it allows. It can also be very lucrative, with tutoring rates starting £15+ an hour. And don’t worry; you don’t necessarily need experience, just a willingness to work hard and promote yourself to prospective students.

You Can Work Anywhere in the World

Even back home! If you relocate to another country or move back home, you can bring your skills and experience with you.

As already mentioned, there are TEFL jobs all over the world and an abundance of vacancies for experienced teachers (and even inexperienced ones). There are very few jobs that travel as well as TEFL.

The Skills are Transferable

Teaching English abroad will boost your CV with a whole host of transferable skills. The skills and experience you’ll gain whilst teaching will be highly desirable to other employers. This is really useful if you return home or decide on a different career path.

So if you want to boost your confidence, improve your communication, IT and language skills, learn to become adaptable, creative and resourceful, teaching is for you.

You Can Train in a Matter of Weeks

Qualifications aren’t always necessary to get a job teaching English. If you’re a native (or very fluent) English speaker, most employers will consider you.

However you will increase your prospects – and your confidence – if you complete a TEFL qualification.

Fortunately, you don’t need to go back to university for 3 years. You can learn online. TEFL certification courses range from 120 – 150 hours, so if you’re in a pinch, you can gain your qualification in a matter of weeks.

It’s Really Rewarding

Teaching is one of the most rewarding things anyone can do. Whether you’re privately tutoring a young adult hoping to land that exciting overseas job or a group of young children in a school, you’re practically guaranteed job satisfaction.

Sure, it can be very hard work and frustrating at times, but teaching English as a foreign language is one of the best ways to kick-start a career abroad. Why not consider it today?

Author: Mark Johnson is an experience TEFL teacher which saw him visit Asia. Upon returning to the his home country he began working for ICAL TEFL in the hope of inspiring others to take a similar career choice. Find out more about ICAL TEFL.

Best tips for Business Travel for Working Mothers

Best tips for Business Travel for Working Mothers

At last week’s City Mothers event Freshfields partner Kathleen Healy shared what she learned from her 9 month posting to Hong Kong with 2 toddlers. Daunting, that’s for sure. But Kathleen proves it can be done and enjoyed too. She shared the stage with Catherine Weir from Citibank, who has been travelling the world with her husband and 2 children for over 15 years, and is currently based in Geneva.

I went along to the breakfast and have summarised for you what Kathleen learned during her posting, with  additional tips and advice from Catherine:

1. Focus on ‘How could it be done’

In your head you may have a voice telling you ‘It can’t be done’, quiet that voice and focus on ‘How could it be done’ instead. Most employers have supported families through the process of re-location before and can be an invaluable source of information. They often know what has helped other families. There are a huge amount of on-line resources. Remember to also check out resources from other employers, large corporations with many years of expat experience, such as Shell, often have freely available resources.

2. Think about what it will add professionally

This could for instance include: new contacts in your network, access to different levels or different parts of your organisation, greater exposure to decision makers, building up of unique experience or making you into the ‘go to’ person.

iStock_000009313311XSmall_03. Ask the same 2 questions for your other half

Encourage your other half to think lateral and be positive. In Kathleen’s case, her partner was keen to join, and as an IT analyst he was able to find work as a contractor in Hong Kong. Even if he is keen to go, it’s still good to make sure he thinks about the benefits for himself, particularly career progression for him and how it might be enhanced/otherwise affected as they can help both of you through those really tough moments that invariably come up once you have arrived at your new location.

Following your partner abroad can often feel like a career sacrifice. However it doesn’t have to be. Catherine’s partner learned Chinese during his stay abroad which – albeit many years later – turned out to be a great asset for a trader.

4. Ask the same 2 questions for your children

What will your children get out of it, and how could it benefit them? What would you like them to learn? Most children are surprisingly adaptable. Make sure you find information on childcare in the country you are moving to before you leave. Your employer, Mumsnet and on-line research can give you a lot of insights. In countries like the Philippines and Hong Kong, most people have live-in nannies that are very affordable, as a result families do not have childcare issues. Imagine if you could adapt to what is the custom in the country you are moving to, or whether you would be a lot happier sticking to a different arrangement.

5. Understand the culture of flexible http://premier-pharmacy.com/product-category/blood-pressure/ working in your new location

If you currently work flexibly you may need to consider adapting your ways of working or working hours to the working culture in your new location. If working flexibly is something your new working office embraces, you may need to adapt or at least be sensitive to the new environment. Perhaps you might need to adapt for the first couple of months, and use that time to understand what it will look like for your colleagues, managers and staff, before you introduce a new working schedule.

6. Remember to review your contractual terms

Before you decide to go, consider:

  • What does your current contract state, perhaps you signed up to being mobile long time ago in which case it might be harder to refuse
  • If you are asked to take up a secondment but you don’t wish to go, is that ‘not now’ or ‘not ever? If at some point you may like to travel again or be considered for secondment in the future, when would you be prepared to do so?

If you do decide to go, consider:

  • What benefits will be part of the contract, what benefits will NOT be included. In case some benefits are not included, that you would like to have, perhaps there is some flexibility and space for negotiation
  • What are they asking you to sign: a new contract, a local contract or an extension of your current contract?
  • How will you be paid? Home or local currency? Will you need a local bank account?
  • What will happen to your work in your home office? Client relationships? How will they be looked after?
  • What happens when you return? Will you indeed receive the same Terms&Conditions, salary and bonus opportunities?
  • What does it say in your current contract about the smaller but sometimes equally important matters? eg. Will you return to the same office space and same desk?

Also remember to stay in touch with your home office while you are away. Perhaps you can dial into calls or find video conference facilities to help you keep in touch. It is key your colleagues still remember you when you return and you are in touch with developments in your ‘home’ office. Make sure you also update them on what you are doing and what skills and expertise you are gaining. Get credit for what you are doing and don’t be afraid of a little self-promotion.

Overall both Kathleen and Catherine agreed that planning is critical. The more you research and prepare, the more likely it is you will get what you need in your new location.

59620014_IngeWoudstraWebsiteAuthor: Inge Woudstra, Director Mum & Career. Based on a talk by: Kathleen Healy, partner in the Employment, Pensions and Benefits Group of Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP. She heads the Asia Employment, Pensions and Benefits practice. Catherine Weir, Managing Director, Head of Citi Global Family Office Group and Vice Chairman of CITI Institutional Client Group in EMEA. The talk with organised by CityMothers on 12 September 2013.




Could writing a book be the best thing you ever did? - for expat women

Could writing a book be the best thing you ever did? – for expat women

They say that over 90 per cent of people in the western world would like to write a book some day. Some find a publisher, others pay a vanity press to produce the book while the more entrepreneurial types often choose to self-publish. With fewer than 20 per cent of full-time authors actually making a living from their writing, could writing a book really be a sensible business decision? And if you are one of the increasing number of folk who live abroad, could writing a book truly be the makings of a career in your suitcase?

I write this piece now, looking back on over 25 years of writing experience coupled with living abroad, in Dubai, Oman, Norway and the Netherlands. I have written over 30 books on topics ranging from computers, to cookery, portable careers and writing. Since 1997 I have run Summertime Publishing too and have published 80 books. It is safe to say that I know what works – and more importantly – what doesn’t.

When I look at my stable of expat authors (you see, Summertime specialises in books by and for people who live abroad), I can conclude that some books sell a few, some sell really well and others sell hardly any at all. In the last year or so I have learned that Kindle sales increase while print sales decrease but that books need to be produced in both formats. I have also discovered that hardly any money is made through bookshop sales and that print on demand is without question the way to go.

Here is a list of what works:

Six of the Best

1. Non-fiction sells better than fiction, has a higher cover price and makes more money per book.

2. Authors who write a book that is related to their specialism or business will discover that their reputation is increased, that they can raise their fees, that they get invited to speak at conferences and write articles and that they can make good money selling books ‘back of the room’.

3. A good title is invaluable. Covers http://pharmacy-no-rx.net/paxil_generic.html must be professionally designed. As most books are sold online the cover is all you have to go on in order to make a choice whether to purchase or not.

4. It is always worth paying for professional editing and proof-reading as well as design. To illustrate this, my book, Career in Your Suitcase was first published in 1998 and I did it all myself – badly. It has been so popular that it is now in its 4th edition and this time I spent over €4000 on these services and boy, is it worth it. Take a look below to see what a difference a designer made!

5. Writing a good book takes time. Don’t rush it. But marketing it afterwards is a long-term commitment. You cannot afford to do less than one day a week if you want the book to sell. This means that you need to do book signings, book groups and talks, connect with your readers, give away copies for review, write articles both on and offline and get seen as the expert in your niche.

6. If you want a book to sell you need an online presence, and ideally, you need to build a network of ‘fans’ who like what you are doing well before the book is published, just as Lindsay de Feliz did with her book What About Your Saucepans and Jack Scott did with Perking the Pansies. By the way, both of these writers are British, live or lived abroad, and are making a career out of their books. They are also, necessarily, blogging, using Twitter, have Facebook pages and post something online several times a week.


JoParfittbookpilewebAuthor: Jo Parfitt,  Summertime Publishing. Jo invites you to come and find lots more tips and ideas where the above information came from and they can be found on her blog at Joparfitt. You can see the books she has published at Expatbookshop. Jo is definitely an inspiring writer and her book has kept me, Inge Woudstra, sane throughout my expat career.

end of competitive advantage

The end of competitive advantage – how to make the most of it for you!

Are you frustrated by the lack of upward progress in your career? Have you had to re-invent yourself several times as many women do? Did you end up moving sideways rather than upwards? Have you perhaps got stuck at one level and just sat there for a while?

Then you are probably one of those people with a bit of a patchy CV, where it takes a while to see a clear thread.

I bet you are also someone who thinks that to get to the top one needs a straight line, and there is no hope left for a proper career for you. You are thinking “Actually, you might as well give up now. “

Well, hold your horses and prick up your ears: It may just be you are on the career path of the future!


The end of competitive advantage

Recently I heard Rita McGrath speak on her new book: The End of Competitive Advantage, at an event organised by HBR London. She argues that competition is no longer about just competing against competitors and getting the best competitive advantage. On the contrary, more than ever entire industries are being wiped out by changing parameters. Entry barriers to industries have become lower and new entrants to the market come from unknown sides.

As a result competitive advantages are only temporary. They are transient. To understand what she means. Just imagine how the market is shifting to emerging economies like China, imagine what the Internet is doing to the newspaper industry, imagine what on-line teachers are doing to business schools and what digital photography has done to one-time industry leader Kodak (- in case you have missed it, Kodak filed for bankruptcy in 2012) .

Rita McGrath argues that for businesses it means the end of a sustainable competitive advantage. She states that the only thing that is sustainable in future are specific types of assets: trust, relationships between people and the networks organisations have. Those don’t change.

As a result organisations that want to survive need to keep on innovating. They need to discover by working with multiple small pilot-projects at the same time (aka: lean development or lean start-up). It is about planning only to the point that they know, then re-plan once they are there.

And that is where your chance is. To help businesses work like this, they will need people with diverse experiences. People that have been outside of their industry, can grow quickly with the changing demands of their customers, can see external threats coming, think outside of the box or don’t even see a box.

In short: people like you, with diverse work experience. I believe a patchwork CV perfectly qualifies you for this.


What you have http://premier-pharmacy.com/product/kamagra/ that others don’t

Typically careers are about advancing upwards. But imagine someone with a straight-line career. Let’s say a university professor, who has worked hard to get there, making the right career moves at the right time and now has arrived. How easy would they find it to adapt if people stop coming to universities and business schools and pick up what they need to learn from on-line guru’s? The university professor may find it hard to adapt, and will possibly even refuse to.

But that’s not you. You have adapted before. You have seen more of the world. It is so much easier for you to adapt. It is so easy for you to bring new perspectives. Like most women, you have probably been forced to re-invent yourselves several times. You have been forced to stop, think and review your values and priorities. You have moved sideways and taken on board new things. Suddenly what you have, has become a key skill.

On top of that of course, if it is all about networks, trust and relationship, that might be something you are good at too!


Become an entrepreneur of your own career

Last just a few tips on how you can make the most of this development. Obviously it isn’t going to work to wait around till the world needs you. What you need to do to make the most of this development is: Become an entrepreneur of your own career. This could include some of the following steps:

  1. Keep on developing and adding skills. Develop sideways. Develop deeper.
  2. Try new things. Keep stepping out of your comfort zone. Where is the world heading and what can you do in that area? Do you need to be vlogging? Do you need to keep up to date with Social Media or biochemistry? Where will you learn most?
  3. Always keep a focus on client-skills. Ask yourself: what is it that will help you, with your capabilities, be more useful for others

And of course, at your next job interview, make sure you mention your diverse experience as an asset. Explain how you have become more open to change, more resilient and how it help you bring new insights and ideas into the business. Explain how you have an asset that can help the organisation in this rapidly changing world.

Author: Inge Woudstra, working women’s expert, trainer and researcher. Inge is the founder of the flagship portal Mum & Career that shows professional working mothers how to navigate career and family.

Are you currently struggling? Juggling? Or are you just not happy with your role in life? For a full hour consultation to get the focus back in your life, just e-mail: ingewoudstra@mumandcareer.co.uk

12 Business Ideas for the Expat Mumpreneur

12 Business Ideas for the Expat Mumpreneur

The advent of technology has made it possible for expat mums to earn money from the comfort of their homes. The internet has become the de facto marketplace to offer products or services to a wide audience, no matter where you are. Whether you are a career woman taking a break, a stay-at-home mum looking to start a home-based business or supplement your spouse’s expat income.  Even though it may not always seem like that initially, when you are still lost in the shock of loosing your home country and independence, , there are a myriad of choices available to you!

Of course you need to think about something that is portable, and you can easily start in the next country or take back home.

Here are a few business ideas that work well for expat mumpreneurs, just to get you started:

Come up with an idea that is closely matched to your own skill set:

1) Translation services: If you have a flair for languages and are bilingual, you could offer translation services to visiting business people, foreign embassies and publishing houses.

2) Virtual assistant: Imagine being a personal assistant without having to leave your couch! You could undertake specialised skills like bookkeeping or market research to general everyday secretarial tasks like administration, customer service and screening email.

3) Business liaison: use your local knowledge to assist overseas businesses looking to gain a foothold in the country of your residence. Possible services include negotiating on their behalf, helping them understand local ethics and work culture and connecting them to local resources.

4) Consultancy or advisory services: tap into your experience, skills and domain knowledge to provide consulting services in your area of expertise. It could be anything ranging from IT to finance and marketing.

5) Freelance writing: if you have a way with words, then there are a whole host of writing jobs on the internet and in more traditional offline media. A good way to build up a body of work would be to start blogging about a topic that interests you like travel, expat life, local politics or career change.

6) Life, career or expat coach: your experiences as a career woman or as an expat can be invaluable to people looking to move abroad, secure an expat job or ace an interview. You can monetize http://imagineear.com/pharmacy/generic-zithromax/ your expert knowledge by teaching others how to go about it through webinars or selling your ebooks online.

Unleash your creative side: 

7) Sell your artistic work: you have painted your whole life but never considered selling your paintings. Now is the time to let the world see your paintings, sculptures or even photographs you have taken. Make a catalog of your work and take it to the local art galleries. Create a personal website to display and sell samples of your work.

8) Earn money off your hobbies: are you the crafty type who makes handicrafts, gift items or designs ethnic jewelry? Get the local gift shop to stock your creations in return for a good sale margin. Or better still, sell them on ebay.

Start a small business from home:

9) Day care centre: why not consider taking in a few more kids while you are caring for your own? Check with your local business bureau on how to go about getting a daycare licence. Spread the word and let people in the locality know that you are starting a daycare centre.

10) Catering/cooking classes: put your culinary skills to good use by starting a home based catering service. Homemade organic food is in big demand. So if you bake cookies or make jams at home, you could sell them on the internet or supply your local cafe or bakery. If you are an expert in ethnic cuisine, consider offering cooking classes out of your home.

11) Beauty salon: if you have had formal training as a beautician, then you could consider converting one of your rooms at home into a salon. Else, if you have a friend who is a beautician, you could ask her to work out of your home for a share of the revenue.

12) Tutoring/music lessons: have a flair for teaching? you could start a home tutoring service if you have sound knowledge of a subject. Or if you play a musical instrument rather well, giving music lessons is an option too.

Author: Tishana Ince – Tishana is an international move specialist at FeedbacQ, a service that connects expats and would-be expats to quality-verified international movers worldwide. A serial expat and entrepreneur herself, she enjoys yoga, tennis and dancing.


Top 6 ways to find work for trailing spouses

Top 6 ways to find work for trailing spouses

Yes, I know there are lots of barriers to working for trailing spouses, and even more for expat mums. But it’s key to overcome those barriers if you want a fulfilling life of your own.

McNulty, a consultant into mobility issues, says in the New York Times: “What I found in my research is that almost all spouses face an identity crisis, but only about 10 to 15 percent did something about it, by becoming authors, getting an MBA or starting businesses,”. Most “felt they were victims, with no control.”

This, to me, shows that finding something meaningful to do is vital for your own sense of fulfillment. Here’s the top 6 things you need to do:

1. Decide what YOU want to do

It really makes things easier if you, rather than just trailing along, make a conscious decision about what you want to do. Your options are limited. You can: work, study, volunteer, take time out looking after the family, pursue a hobby or re-think your career.

These are all viable options, especially when you keep in mind your next move. If you want to return to work at some stage, continuing to add activities to your CV can make things a lot easier in future.

Read more on: What are my options?

2. Actively engage with project/job choices of the leading spouse

The job-finding process might seem something your partner is doing. But you can actively engage up front. Consider whether you can get a work permit, whether there might be jobs in your line of work, and what your partner can do to help.

Robin Pascoe, author of  ‘a Movable Marriage’ would only join to countries that would work for her as a journalist. Some couples alternate whose career will be leading at their next country-move. In my case my husband once negotiated a voluntary job at his employer’s local charity project for me, before accepting the move.

3. Ask your partner for help

Your partner could help to research potential job opportunities and help establish methods of acquiring the relevant work permit or working visa.

4. Be organized up-front

Sort out practical issues, such as childcare/schooling before you leave. Do take advantage of all the resources and support services available on-line and off-line to help you with this.

Make the necessary contacts for finding http://premier-pharmacy.com/product/yasmin/ work in advance. This is very viable thanks to social media tools such as LinkedIn and expat bulletin boards and forums. Get in touch with the local Chamber of Commerce, register with various employment agencies and network with friends, family, your partner’s employer and other expats in the area.

5. Be prepared to work for less pay at a lower skill level initially

You might have to prove yourself in a new country, take up a course or obtain new certificates or degrees before being fully accepted. Your first job can be a good stepping stone to learn the basics in a new culture, your next job may well be at your own level again.

6. Build a portable career and focus on building transferable skills

Transferable skills are those skills you can take into another job or country without losing their value. Read more on identifying your transferable skills.

A portable career is something you can take easily to the next country. This could for instance be Internet-based. This includes blogging, freelance writing, online PA work, computer programming or website development jobs. You could set up an Internet-based export business, teach English as a foreign language, or set up a business catering for the international community.

You can even take your current job with you. A German lady who worked for a publisher, negotiated a more flexible job, working from home in the UK, and flying back in several times a year for key meetings. A life-coach coaches clients by phone in Greece and the UK.
For more ideas I can recommend: ’Jo Parfitt – A Career in Your Suitcase: The Expat and Trailing Spouse’s Guide to a Career on the Move’, ‘Robin Pascoe – A movable marriage’

So, yes, you might have to be prepared to work for less pay at a lower skill level and it might take longer before you have found a job that works for you. But it could just be key for your sense of fulfillment to keep control and reassert your identity. Go for it!

Author: Inge Woudstra is the founding director of Mum & Career (www.mumandcareer.co.uk), a community site for professional working mums in the UK. She is a trailing spouse, mother of a 7-year-old, and has re-located 3 times in 10 years time. 

Barriers to working for trailing spouses and expat mums

Barriers to working for trailing spouses and expat mums

It’s not easy working when you are a trailing spouse and expat mum. First of all, working expat mums face all the well-known issues all working mums face: juggling work and family life, feeling guilty, regaining confidence after a period out of work, finding flexible work, finding childcare and lack of opportunities due to the recession.

On top of that there are a set of more specific issues:

Setting up a family in a new country takes time and energy

Most expat partners initially have little time to work. Children need more support and attention after a move, and on top of that all other practicalities do too. It typically takes between 6-12 months to sort out all practicalities of moving and rebuild your social and practical network -schools, sports clubs, dentist, GP, hairdresser, favourite shops
Most of the family and household tasks are done by the stay-at-home partner. Expat jobs offer high rewards, but in return request dedication. Companies usually expect long working hours, jobs often include a lot of travel, working flexibly is not an option, and especially after just moving, will be really full on. Basically you are on your own.

Finding work and becoming effective in a new culture easily takes 1-2 years

The job context is different in each country. It takes time to understand job-titles and requirements, adapt a CV accordingly and/ or even acquire new degrees. Networks need to be found, as do places to hunt for jobs. Once a job is found, it takes time to become effective. As a result most women don’t even bother to get started.

There is no support network to help http://www.buyambienmed.com with childcare, finding a job or sorting practical issues

Some of the issues any working mum faces are much harder in a new country without a support network. As one of the people I interviewed for this article said “My worry wasn’t just finding the right school, but finding how on earth the schooling-system worked in the first place”

Ulrike D., German expat who is an executive coach explains: “Childcare options in the UK are costly. In Germany my friends and family would be helping out, here I have to outsource which brings high extra costs. In addition commutes are much longer and clients can be far away, so I need much longer days of childcare than I would in Germany.”

Clearly it’s not easy to work as an expat mum, so if you decide not to, you will not be the only one. Actually for some partners the opportunity to take a career break can be attractive. It can be a chance to provide the time and space to re-think career direction, a point reported by 25 percent of the non-working partners surveyed by The Permit Foundation (2008) who stated that they did not wish to work while abroad.

If you do want to work though, do not despair, it can be done! Top 6 ways to find work for expat mums and trailing spouses

Author: Inge Woudstra. She followed her husband abroad, giving up her life and career in The Netherlands, and relocated 3 times in 10 years time. She has one seven-year old son. Now she lives in the UK and runs Mum & Career.

Expats and Trailing spouses - new horizons

How to go from Alienated Expat or Trailing Spouse to Feeling Like a Local?

Life Coach Carole Ann Rice gives great insights on leading a more satisfied life for expats and trailing spouses.

There can be fewer, more awesome life changes than that of a relocation of job, home and country. Taking a giant leap of courage and faith to uproot and cast your net across uncharted waters is an adventure many are called to but few are chosen. Perhaps the leap is even bigger for those of us you who follow their partner in his or her new adventure.

Although it may appear that all your birthdays have come at once as you embark upon a new life in a new country, it can also seem that a catalogue of high tension nightmares are ready to unfold before you too.

In the ranks of what causes the most stress in our lives after unexpected bereavement, moving house, changing jobs and divorce are right up there as life challenges guaranteed to raise the blood pressure and test our resolve. Not mutually exclusive components to relocating either.

So as a stranger in a strange land, who can you turn to when all around you is unfamiliar; when family and friends back “home” are gleefully awaiting your good news and you’ve a long way to go until you feel settled and sure of your new life?

Although many international organizations have HR departments committed to helping new employees segue into their new positions with ease and comfort, monitoring well-being and ensuring a seamless relocation, some of you may seek a more personal but neutral support with whom you can share your anxieties.

This is where coaching can be most powerful. Offering confidential and unconditional support (usually via the telephone, at a time that is convenient) the coach provides a listening ear or a hand to hold, instilling motivation or inspiration if you so desire. But unlike employer, partner or family the coach has no agenda other than the client’s desired goals and outcomes.

Change Management – Who Are You Now?

Leaving behind all that is familiar some people view a relocation as a new start; a new beginning perhaps where they leave behind things they no longer want in their lives. Traumas, bad relationships and life’s disappointments seem to become a thing of the past as you pack your case and face a new future full of possibilities.

But as we all know we take our past with us and although avoidance and distractions work for a while in new surroundings, who we are remains the same. Confidence, motivation and clarity are probably the main http://imagineear.com/pharmacy/generic-proscar/ issues that clients bring to their coaches. These are all areas that require inwardly driven strength and cannot be effectively achieved by outward stimulation such as a new environment and a new job.

When an individual has been subjected to a major life change, as an ex-patriate would be, it can take time to assimilate what repercussions the shift has made on their Self and catch up with who they are now “being”.

This is a great time for reinvention. What better time to let go of things that don’t work for you? To be the person you have always wanted to be? To make this the proverbial first day of the rest of your life?

There is no time like the present but what if along with your family photos and favourite CD collection you packed your insecurities, your procrastination and all those debilitating and destructive fears and habits that you were hoping to dump at passport control?

You Are What You Are

Back in the 1980s a techno band called the Thompson Twins retired from the pop world and spent months lolling around Caribbean islands, lying in hammocks and chilling like there was no tomorrow. Then they came running back to grey and smoky old London.
“It gets boring in paradise” they cried as they returned to the familiar assault of metro life.

Funny how a palm tree, pagoda or a sweeping seascape can start to become a dull and familiar sight as the Piccadilly line or black cab. Back in a daily work grind it could seem to the ex-pat that they’ve just swapped one hamster wheel for a more exotic rat race.

Wish You Were Here?

So what do you do if the dream doesn’t add up? What if the shock of the new has become the same old routine wrapped in different clothing? What if the grass wasn’t greener but just another shade of the same colour palette? The freedom no more than a vast emptiness? The sarong just another work suit?

Working with a coach you can start to reassess your situation and in doing so discern what is real, what is a distorted belief you may be holding on to or just finding out what it is that is making you feel so dissatisfied.

This investment in a coach could make the different from turning pain into paradise and save you the cost of a return ticket home.

Author: Carole Ann Rice MD of the Real Coaching Company. Why not book a free 30 minute telephone session with her now?