Overcoming the cultural barrier

workbook, expat partner, expat partner career, sharethelove

HOW TO OVERCOME THE CULTURAL BARRIER WHEN APPLYING ABROAD?

When you decided to move abroad, you will face some obstacles that you planned for, and you will encounter some that will catch you by surprise. While this is normal, we as human beings tend to prepare as much as possible to minimize the chance of failure. Planning ahead might be working in some areas of our life, but it is especially hard when moving abroad. The reason for that is simple: you don’t know yet what to expect. You might be familiar with your new home through movies, research, and even vacations at that destination but at the end of the day living somewhere else way is something entirely different.

Differences between the Expat and the Expat Partner

While Expats face cultural challenges at work, they are already in the comfortable position to have a job abroad which provides them with a network and a certain structure. The Expat Partner however mostly has to start from scratch and find a job on her/his own. Statistically, this is a tough thing to do! Only 20% of Expat Partners are working during the time abroad, and 70% of Expat Partners rate the job hunt as hard, challenging and lengthy. Cultural difference in the work environment and job application process is only one of the many obstacles Expat Partners face. However, it’s a great obstacle to overcome as you work on it straight away

HERE ARE MY TOP 3 TIPS REGARDING CULTURAL BARRIERS AT THE WORKPLACE. YOU WILL FIND MORE INFORMATION IN MY COMPREHENSIVE EXPAT PARTNER CAREER GUIDE WHICH YOU WILL FIND HERE:

Let's connect on Social Media

Want some good vibes in your mail?

TIP 1: MAKE YOURSELF VISIBLE

No matter where you are going you will most likely do not know many people and hardly anyone will know you. Try to make yourself as much visible as possible by signing up to as many job portals and networking events as possible. Put yourself out there and try a different version of presenting yourself and your skills to get a feeling how your own culture differs from your host culture and how to adopt.

TIP 2: MAKE THE MOST OUT OF YOUR INTERNATIONALITY​

The fact that you are coming from a specific country adds a new skill to your CV. You are fluent in that language and have a deep understanding of the culture and communication tactics as it’s your home country. Some Expat Partners don’t stress where they are coming from, but there is a particular strength in owning it and put it as a skill on your CV.

TIP 3: GET A FEELING FOR THE FOREIGN JOB MARKET​

Nothing is as devastating as applying for hours and hours just to not hear back at all. Gather some information on the internet about the labor market situation and some industry insights. Most of all, try to speak with people that are actually working in the area you want to apply for and learn how they did it. In some cultures, networking is more important than others. Also, have a piece of knowledge about how hard it is for locals to land a job will give you some peace of mind to start with!

Overcoming the cultural barrier is a HUGE topic, and there are many different approaches to tackle it. If you want to find out more about this, check out my career guide for Expat Partners to prepare yourself for that great adventure of living and working abroad. 

Thanks for sharing the love and stopping by

Kate from Share the Love, expat, expat wife, expat life

3 thoughts on “Overcoming the cultural barrier”

  • Hi Kate!
    Very useful post, as always!
    May I ask where did you find the statistics about that 20% jobless expat partners?

    I also write on a blog (in spanish) about living abroad and I was searching that kind of data. Unfortunately I couldn’t find it. It would be very interesting if you could provide me some source.

    Thank you and schöne Grüße! 😉

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Share this article with a friend and share the love:

Share on facebook
Share on whatsapp
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on pinterest
Share on xing
Share on email

You also might like:

HOW TO GAIN THE CONFIDENCE TO BECOME A PUBLIC SPEAKER​

Moving abroad can have an impact on your confidence. Especially if you have trouble in getting back into a routine or in some work right from the beginning. In this article, I want to introduce you to Khethiwe, a confidence coach located in South Africa. I interviewed her about her approach to start a couple of portable businesses, her advice for expat partners, and how to regain confidence after moving abroad. She shared her experience with being a public speaker and a coach. If you are interested in getting started in that field, stay tuned for her tips!

Read More »
interview, entrepreneur, expat

How to start your own company? Interview with Umamah

The phenomenon that some expat partners take the plunge and start their own business abroad has interested me since we moved countries a couple of years ago. I have already talked about the phenomenon of Expat-Preneurship here. Today, I want you to introduce you to an inspiring entrepreneur who actually started a business that might be of benefit to a lot of us before moving places.

Read More »
florida, travel, travel guide, usa, facts

10 insights into our vacation to South Florida

We just came back from a one week vacation to Florida, and there have been a couple of things that caught my eyes. We loved the sun after a brutal winter in Chicago tried to do a more relaxing vacation. So we concentrated on the South of Florida visiting Fort Meyers, Sanibel Island, Naples, Key West, and Miami (Beach). Spending some quality time there I could not stop realizing some interesting things, and I thought I had to share it with you to see if you had similar experiences.

Read More »

Career Planning for Expat Partners: Insights Career Survey

In this post, I want to share with you the results of my very own survey I did with about 200 expat partners around the world. I have asked them about their job situation, work permit situation and how they are evaluating their career after moving abroad. In the following, I will share my top 5 learnings as well as an infographic with more details.

Read More »


3 thoughts on “Overcoming the cultural barrier”

  • Hi Kate!
    Very useful post, as always!
    May I ask where did you find the statistics about that 20% jobless expat partners?

    I also write on a blog (in spanish) about living abroad and I was searching that kind of data. Unfortunately I couldn’t find it. It would be very interesting if you could provide me some source.

    Thank you and schöne Grüße! 😉

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *