Expatriate Spouse: the mistake to avoid when you want to get back on the job market!

You’re an expatriate spouse and now, after years out of work, you’re starting to think about getting back on your feet professionally.

Perhaps you’re facing a turning point? Are you planning to return to your home country? Are your facing a change of country? Do you have more time for yourself (with children growing up or having left home)? Does the need to regain your financial independence grow?

Or may be, you simply feel the desire to get back to work?

Whatever the reason, you want to get back on the job market.

How will you get back on the job market?

The question I want to ask you today is: How do you plan to begin with this professional transition? How are you going to get a job?

If you’re like most of the spouses I meet, you’re probably thinking that you need to rewrite your CV, look at job offers, create a LinkedIn profile, and start applying.

Yet, just thinking about it, you’re already discouraged. You see this job search like climbing Mount Everest!

But why do you feel that way?


  • You’re not sure how to write your CV, where to look for job offers, how to present yourself at interviews, how to activate a network.
  • You don’t know how to justify those years out of work, how to enhance your professional and personal path, and how to identify the skills you’ve developed over the last years. Maybe you’re even a little ashamed of having taken on the role of expat spouse? Or you regret not having been more involved in voluntary activities, finding yourself with nothing to write on your CV?
  • You don’t know what you really want, you’re wondering what’s possible or unrealistic. Above all, you want to make sure that your return to work doesn’t affect your family balance.

So let me reassure you, what you’re feeling is perfectly normal! Why is that?

Because at this stage, you’re simply not ready to start looking for a job!

The mistake to avoid when you want to get back on the job market!

The most common mistake expat spouses tend to make when they want to get back on their feet professionally is skipping crucial steps! For exempla by starting with writing their CV and applying for jobs randomly, without a strategy and action plan.

Before writing anything, and applying anywhere, your priority should be to clarify exactly:

  • Who you are,
  • What you have to offer,
  • And what you really want!

It’s obvious, but it’s a step that’s often neglected, while it will predetermine everything else!

By clarifying who you are, what you have to offer and what you really want, you’ll gain invaluable information for your professional transition! And this is particularly important for you, an expatriate spouse, who has been cut off from your professional identity for some time!

Wondering how to do it? Here are a few ideas.

The 4 levers to activate before getting back on the job market.

To get back on the job market, you need to activate the following 4 levers:

  • Remove your label of expatriate spouse. It is full of stereotypes. It should not define you. And yet, I’m sure it has an impact on your self-confidence and the image you have of yourself and your professional path. To begin with, you need to reconnect with that part of you that you no longer see. The part that, in her role as expat spouse, demonstrated a great deal of courage, curiosity, leadership and adaptation skills (contrary to what you may believe now).
  • Identify exactly what you have to offer. I’ll bet it’s a lot more than you realize right now! You’ve developed a whole host of valuable skills in your role as an expatriate spouse, and you have incredible experience to draw on. By identifying your strengths and gaining a clear understanding of who you are today, you’ll be able to identify what you have to offer and how to communicate it naturally in your job search.
  • Clarify what you really want, both personally and professionally. It’s not the job market that has to define what you’re going to do. It’s you who’s going to make sure you find the job that suits you! The job, the one, where you can deploy your strengths and assets, while maintaining the right life balance.
  • Define your strategy and action plan to make sure you get the job you really want. Thanks to the 3 previous levers, it’s going to be possible to define your strategy and action plan.

All the spouses I accompany go through this process. By reconnecting with who they are, what they have to offer, what they really want, they can then naturally clarify how to communicate it and how to land that job that’s right for them!

Everything they were afraid of before, suddenly becomes simple to implement. They know what to write in their CV and clear about how to apply for jobs and prepare for interviews. All the while enhancing their profile, their career path and their assets as an expatriate spouse!

And I’m telling you, that’s how they land a job, and not just any job, but THE one that thrills them, the one they didn’t even dare to dream of!

I know that this is the result you get, if you take the time to make this inner journey!

If you’re curious about how it works, you can find a description of my program here: 4 levers to navigate with agility the professional and personal transitions of your life as an expatriate spouse.

And if you’d like to talk about your situation and see if working with me would be the right choice for you: you can contact me here.

If you found this article interesting, share it on your favourite network!

Leave A Comment