Career planning for expatriate partners involves navigating unique challenges and opportunities.

Here are some key insights from recent research:

Labor Market Challenges for Accompanying Partners

Accompanying partners of highly-skilled migrants often face significant difficulties entering the foreign labor market, with varying strategies for finding work and integrating based on pre-migration career plans and post-migration cultural capital conversion (Föbker, 2019).

Changing Career Identity for Partners

Expatriate partners often experience a transformation in their career identity when moving abroad. This change can range from feeling a sense of career progression to experiencing a loss or shift in their career path. Effective career self-management and active engagement in the new environment are key to navigating these changes and making the most of the expatriation experience (Kanstrén, 2019).

Expatriate life isn’t just a journey across borders; it’s a journey of career growth and skill-building for partners!

Gaining new skills abroad

Living in a foreign country can be a significant opportunity for expatriate partners to develop new skills, build professional networks, and enhance their career capital. The type and extent of career development depend on whether they are employed and the nature of their jobs abroad. Such experiences can contribute positively to their personal and professional growth, but the outcomes vary greatly based on individual circumstances (Kanstrén & Suutari, 2021).

International Dual Career Couples

Gender influences the experience and outcomes of international careers, with family issues and cultural differences being significant challenges. Women often face additional challenges in balancing family and work, highlighting the persistence of traditional gender roles (Dolce, Molino, Wodociag, & Ghislieri, 2021).

Your Partner in this journey

As your career coach, I’m here to help you navigate these challenges and opportunities. Whether it’s building your career capital, reshaping your career identity, or coordinating a dual-career path, my expertise and personalized coaching at can provide the support and guidance you need.

Let’s embark on this journey together, transforming challenges into stepping stones for success. Reach out to me and book a free exploration call, and let’s turn your expat experience into a thriving career story.

About your coach

Hi, I am Kate! I am a certified (global) career coach helping clients around the globe to reconnect with their professional goals when life is interrupting the former linear career path. 

I am back in my passport country Germany after spending time in Spain, the UK, Taiwan and most recently the USA. 

Katharina von Knobloch, career coaching, expat partner consulting