Are you wondering about your career as an expat partner? Do you ever catch yourself thinking thoughts such as
- Nobody will want to hire me after moving back home
- I’ve been out of a job so long, I’ll never be able to find another job
- I’ve only been caring for the children abroad, there is a huge hole in my CV
- I’m already over 30/40/50, my career is effectively over
- I’ve been abroad so long, I will never be able to fit back into a regular 9 to 5 job
Yes? Then you are not the only one.
Many of us will think this at some point or another. And that’s fine, as long as you pick yourself back up afterwards.
But if you stay in this negative thought pattern, you may be creating a self-fulfilling prophecy for yourself.
Never Never Land
You are sending your career to Never Never Land.
And I don’t mean Peter Pan Country here. I am talking about that mythical place where you will be jobless, moneyless, unloved. Where nobody will hire you and everyone will laugh at you. Where you will live miserably ever after.
You will not take on even a new studies, volunteering position, or low paid job, because really, what’s the point? Why would you want to personally and professionally develop yourself if nobody is going to hire you anyway? You might as well hang around watching Netflix all day already now.
You are right
And you will be right.
Yes, you get to be right.
Nobody will hire you if that is the negative energy you will be bringing into a new location. Nobody will hire you if you do not take any action to stay employable, or if you do not even spend energy to enjoy yourself when living overseas, where you blame others or your situation and do not take responsibility for your actions, or rather inaction.
And you are wrong
Most people I know who wanted to go back to work, either in their current location or when they moved back home, succeeded in finding a job. Yes, they got back on the ladder.
Even after 4, 8 or even 10 years.
Sometimes they secured a position in the field where they worked in before moving abroad, with a former or new employer. Sometimes in a completely different career, using the knowledge and skills they developed abroad- also when they were not “working” but caring for the kids, volunteering, studying or having a good time.
People make career switches back home too
Even people who do not live abroad make career switches. Few people still work for 40 years at the same company and receive a gold watch for their anniversary. Many people succeed in changing careers on the way, even when they are 50 or 60 or even older (yes, really). Even moms who have been out of a job for years when caring for children can build a career again or all over.
New careers and professions
While we speak, new career fields are emerging.
Who had heard about online language or maths teachers, social media managers, business coaches or SEO specialists even 10 years ago?
And new careers do not have to be online careers. In many places there is also a shortage of experts to support children with autism, dyslexia and other special needs. Food enthusiasts are introducing new foods from international kitchens, building Bento brands and (I hope) Yunnan restaurant chains, the very same kitchens you have introduced your children to when living abroad. And there are many other options.
Not just for young people
And no, these new expat careers are not just for young, tech savvy millennials. One of the leading Facebook experts in the Netherlands is a 50 something year old lady who changed careers 6 years ago and is now wildly successful- in part because she is not your typical Facebook expert (and in the other part because she knows her stuff obviously). A Dutch fast growing online business coach is also a mother of 3 young kids.
What’s the difference?
People who get back in the game, who even become very successful in their new ventures, keep being curious about the world, keep developing, keep experimenting, keep failing, changing course, learning from mistakes and keep moving forward. They take courses, volunteer, network, work from a distance for a (former) employer et cetera.
They take charge of their own path.
–> What are you choosing? Never Never Land or your Own Career Path?
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