Expatriate spouses need career support

"Trailing spouses" are often highly qualified. It's important for them to feel fulfilled professionally for a relationship to last.

75% of expat partners who aren’t working would like to, according to Permits Foundation research. Most of them are educated and work experienced, but have fallen into the role of “trailing spouse” because they’re unable to get work abroad.

Over time, this situation can breed resentment, especially if the employed expat works long hours. It can strain family relationships and even break up marriages.

As a result, Your Expat Partner (YEP), a US-based consultancy founded by two Dutch expats, recently launched a Career Support Service for expat partners and spouses.

The program offers practical advice on creating an American resume, preparing for interviews, obtaining a work permit and even adjusting to life in an American office. It also provides connections with businesses looking to hire people with international experience, helping expats network with potential employers.

Services are based on two key conclusions from the Permits Foundation:

  • “Employment has a positive impact on the adjustment and health and well-being of the expatriate family, as well as on family relationships.”
  • “80% of expat partners/spouses would welcome information and support services to help them find employment or other developmental activities in the host country.”

Karen de Groot, Co-Founder of YEP, said she hopes the service will help expats develop a compelling goal or overarching vision for their time abroad.

The only downside we see is that YEP limits its activities to the Atlanta, Georgia area–there’s certainly a need for this kind of service all over the world. Do you know of any others? Let us know in the comments!