How to find your professional identity abroad


When I was a fresh Expat Partner, I was absorbing all the many new things around me, the different culture and all those new facets of our way of life. Everything was changing and no day was like the day before. However, I lacked some guidance on how to continue with my career abroad. Many contacts and plans did not work out as planned and I was longing for some advice or guidance. When my original intention of continuing my old career path did not work out, I needed to think differently. 


We as Expat Partners face not only the challenge to deal with cultural differences and a new daily life, but we also have to ask ourselves:

  • Am I allowed to work abroad?
  • Can I take my career with me?
  • How can I maintain my professional network back home?
  • How to make the most out of my time abroad?
  • How do I sell myself abroad?
  • How can I enter the foreign job market?
  • What will I do?

Let's connect on Social Media

Want some good vibes in your mail?

With the goal to give some guidance that I myself missed the most when starting this adventure, I decided to write about it and dig deeper into the topic on how to find your professional identity abroad as the Expat Partner. 

I read into academic studies on expatriation to get an understanding of how this topic developed over time and where the whole industry of working abroad is heading to. I talked to so many inspirational Expat Partners worldwide and asked them about their story, learnings and guidance and top tips for finding meaningful work abroad. I also questioned what it takes to apply overseas, what mindset, what qualifications and what attitude. We need to sell ourselves differently. Still too often we find the terms “trailing spouse” or “independent partner”. Some employers might think we have chosen family over career and are not really job focused. However, the opposite is the case. We have put ourselves outside our comfort zone and have been ready to give everything up to learn something new. As the Expat Partner we need to get better in our storytelling and to accomplish that it is my belief that we have to address some very fundamental questions first: 

  • What is important to me?
  • How did my former job/career reflect that?
  • What do I value in life?
  • What is missing? It what direction do I want to explore more?
  • How do I define a successful expatriation to me?
  • How can I build on my career and not only take on a job?
  • Do my old life goals still match?

Because of this transformational part of moving abroad, I find it essential to not only put all the information together in one book but to also add valuable exercises to it that make us think and provoke some fundamental questions. I, therefore, designed it as a workbook which you can either print out to put pen to paper or work on it digitally as all fields are interactive and can be filled out. 

When we start to realize that this is our time for reflection and change instead of caution and de-prioritization we can begin to act and take our faith in our own hands. Put your explorer hat on and start prioritizing yourself!

Thanks for sharing the love and stopping by

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

1 thought on “How to find your professional identity abroad”

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:

moving, expat, container, moving overseas

Mastering the international move

Moving overseas is a stressful time, especially when the two Cs (Children & Container) are involved. With our own move shortly ahead, I want to summarize all the tips and tricks I received from other experienced expats and that helped me the last time we have moved countries. This list of tips is tailored to families moving with a container. Often there are professional moving companies involved and while that is a huge help in can also lead to many misunderstandings and hiccups along the way.

Read More »
expat, flug, flight, plane, repatriation

Repatriation is a bitch

Repatriation is one of the most underrated and intense phases of the whole process of temporarily living abroad. In this blog post, I want to show why that is, what you can do to prepare, and what you can expect. As always, I have used a mixture of academic papers, articles, and personal stories from within the expat community to create a valuable and comprehensive resource for you.

Read More »
expat, living abroad

Life abroad: Perception vs. Reality

The perception of our lives abroad often differs tremendously from reality. While life abroad definitely brings along a lot of joy, happiness, opportunities and exciting experiences, it also comes with a price tag. Like everything in life, there are two sides to a coin.
The idea of us sitting along the pool sipping a margarita might feel far away for you. For your friends and family back home, this might be the picture that they have in their heads.

Read More »
intrernations, expat, study 2019

Internations Business Solutions Study 2019

Recently, InterNations Business Solutions published its new survey about expats around the world. This time they dedicated a whole section to the relocation spouse and presented her demographics, personal situation, needs, and wishes for their time abroad.

With over 1,300 relocation spouses interviewed, it is one of the most comprehensive surveys out there. That’s why I find it highly relevant to talk about the results – so let’s have look inside.

Read More »
baby, expat, pregnancy, miscarriage, expat family, parenthood

Pregnancy Troubles as the Expat

I want to stress an important topic that most of expat partners are confronted with at some time or the other: Is expatriation a great time to become pregnant? How does motherhood change your expat experience? What if you can’ get pregnant? What if you just opened the chapter of the infertility chapter? This blog provides different perspectives on this topic, aiming to give you comfort and support.

Read More »
step, comfort zone, expat, sharethelove, podcast

Stepping outside your comfort zone

Every once in awhile, we get triggered to step out our own comfort zone. For me personally, this often involves public speaking or sales pitches. Those are things that are just not meeting my core strengths. While others love to present themselves, I prefer to put the content in the spotlight instead of me as a person. However, when you are seeking to grow personally and professionally, stepping outside the comfort zone is a vital method and can’t be neglected!

Read More »

1 thought on “How to find your professional identity abroad”

Leave a Reply

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