Expat Spouse’s Employability
It is no secret that expat spouses wishing to find a job abroad face numerous obstacles. Aside from the fact that many of them are not granted a working visa or a residency permit with the possibility of being employable, which obviously disqualify them from even starting to look for a job, the ones that are allowed to work, usually encounter significant and demoralizing challenges that disrupt the job search process.
Firstly, when expat spouses arrive to a new destination, they are obviously not familiar with the local job-hunting practices. In that line, they would greatly benefit from getting in-situ advice, coming from of a professional coach or an intercultural trainer, to adjust their resume or LinkedIn profile according to the local market’s expectations and customs. Additionally, this coach/trainer could also help adequately prepare the expat candidate for potential interviews with local employers, so that misunderstandings and potential cultural clashes are avoided.
Secondly, considering the importance of networking and building a strong contact base while looking for a job, expat spouses, already in a natural disadvantage as “foreigners”, are encouraged to join social and professional organizations, as well as to participate in seminars, workshops or academic courses. This will inevitable help candidates extend their network, while also nurture their resume with valuable memberships/professional affiliations and/or studies.
If the job search takes longer than expected, expat spouses should consider volunteering as a way of keeping active (avoiding long gaps in their CV), polishing or acquiring valuable skills and getting to know interesting people/increasing their social network. In fact, in many occasions volunteering creates or facilitates remunerated job possibilities.