A PARTNER AND A CAREER?
It is possible although not easy to achieve « success » both in your relationship AND in your career when you are an Expat…
Most of the time, couples choose expatriation from their home country because of a job opportunity… for one of the partners…
What happens to the other one (often the woman) who most of the time has to give up or put on hold a satisfying professional life?
Happiness for Expat couples often means one has to « sacrifice » their professional carreer.
A survey carried out by Expat Communication indicates that 49% of Expat partners looking for a job declare they have sacrificed their professional life for their partner/family. Out of the ones who have managed to find one, 24% are still disappointed, either by the level or by the salary of the job, and still consider they have sacrificed their professional life. The survey also reveals it is easier for them to find a suitable job in Canada, Australia or Russia, compared to Thailand, Brasil or Italy.
1. Do you find yourself in this situation as an Expat partner?
Are you the one who was hoping you would have a chance to pursue both a good career and a good relationship while moving abroad with your partner? Have you found yourself in a different reality when you landed?
As a result of feeling left behind professionally, you might experience a deep sense of inadequacy, failure and frustration.
Not knowing how to handle this situation can have devastating consequences on your psychological health and as a consequence, on your relationship and on your family.
However, acquiring peace in this situation to overcome frustration and find meaning, purpose and balance CAN be done. It just requires a little bit of practice with the appropriate « tools »…
I have unfortunately witnessed extreme suffering among some of the Expat couples facing this challenge, this is why I feel the urge to share the tools I have gathered on my journey with Ancient wisdom and Health.
You will be able to learn more in the upcoming free webinar “the expat rescue remedy” and in the online coaching programme “the meaningful expat life” I am currently putting together (I suggest you subscribe to my newsletter if you want to be notified).
But in the meantime, if you find yourself in this situation and are finding it difficult, I need to say that however awkward this may sound, there is great hope in times like these because new opportunities, insights and shifts will show up if you are receptive enough to notice.
Eventually, you might even be ready to « create » the professional life you need.
Before that, an inner shift needs to happen!
Everything starts inside. Outside circumstances will never be totally fulfilling and satisfying if the inside isn’t!
2. It all comes down to Identity and Self-worth.
The aim will be to shift your perspective on your situation, and most importantly, to shift the way you are looking at yourself in this current life context.
A lot of us have built our identitities around a professional image, or a role we have undertaken. However, what appears as a loss can end up being an extraordinary and rare opportunity to discover your real you and create a different life for yourself, a life that is more attuned to who you really are…
Your reality today and the big plans you had for your professional life may seem miles away from you at the moment, but, anywhere you may be, nowadays, you can manage to twist your destiny in your favour, by shifting your perspective.
3. That requires flexibility
When your mind becomes more flexible about the unexpected twists and turns you may encounter, you become aware of and gain access to your inner ressources (that were always there) and can start designing your life.
- by designing a different job for yourself
- if you do have a job « by default », which doesn’t match your criteria, by learning how to be happy in this seemingly unglamorous job
- by developing new interests unrelated to work
- by accepting to have no professional life and find self worth and value as a stay at home woman (or man) or mother (or father).
These are just a few examples, there are numerous ways to start designing your life, feel free to share your ideas or experience in the comments below, it might help others.
4.How to get started on the road to self discovery?
The first steps will require Faith and Trust that it is OK to let go of controling the situation or wanting things to happen in a fixed kind of way.
Life has other means to offer us what we really need but when we are not open to receiving, they will pass right through us.
The very first step however, before you can let go of expectations and you can trust, is to accept and acknowledge the difficult and strong emotions you might be facing and to take great care of the vulnerable part within you, in other words, be gentle with yourself, with your limitations, and embrace your feelings whatever they may be.
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