Expat Twitter Round-Up:...
Expat Twitter Round-Up:...
Entrepreneurship for the Trailing Spouse
31 December, 2013 11:00
If you are a trailing spouse (wife in particular) then you probably have experienced something along these lines.
Got excited about moving to a new country thinking how great it would
be to get to know their culture, learn the language and make friends
with the locals.
Had to leave your job, whether it is one you loved or not, thinking
that it’s an opportunity of a life time to take such a long and well
paid (by your other half) break.
Arrived, settled in, after initial excitement found yourself hanging
out with other expats, speaking English, even if it’s not your first
language. The new language turned out to be impossible to even get a
grasp of and for some odd reason those locals simply doesn’t notice you.
Suddenly you feel left out. Maybe even alone.
On some level you might even be blaming the universe for bringing you
here and your partner for ruining your life and taking away your
independence. You have no sense of belonging, you don’t have a job to go
to, you feel that slowly but surely your brain is turning into ...how
to put it nicely.... porridge?
Even if you have kids (and supposedly being a parent a full time job)
you still think that you’re wasting your life and no one understands
You think, what is the point of it all? Wasn’t I once well educated,
career driven, independent, flexible, beautiful (yes, gents think this
There could be many reasons why going back to proper employment is
not an option for you, for example: you don’t speak the language, you
are only there for couple of years so what’s the point you might ask,
they don’t hire foreigners from inside the country, they don’t hire
women (yes, we see this all over the place), you just had a baby
(congrats!) or about to have one (hold on in there) or simply can’t find
your ideal job. (By the way, the list goes on and on).
So what are your other options?
(Because many of us want just that).
I found my answer to this in entrepreneurship.
I am someone similar to what you’ve read just now, a mum of two
little ones whom no one wanted to hire because I’ve been out of work for
three years and had the so called ‘baggage’ (yes, it’s very normal in
some countries not to hire new mothers and often it’s quite openly
My values and priorities have changed and I now wanted more out of
life but different from what I wanted in my pre-kids times and I wanted
it all on my own terms.
And I did exactly that.
I took time to work out what it is that I wanted to do. What it is
that I could do that would tick all my boxes but most importantly
something that was meaningful to me.
Me. Not my husband, my parents, friends, kids (though at this age they don’t care much).
Lots of hours have been put into developing what I have now, but
considering I do what I love, it’s been one fun and very smooth ride.
My business has become my third baby. I never stop thinking about it
and it adds so much joy to be able to share my life with my family,
watch my kids grow, attend their special events, meet friends for
breakfast and still run my own gig. And… make money. Yay!
Seriously, I wish I was brave enough to do this earlier in life.
I’m not saying entrepreneurship is for everyone, but if my story
resonates with you and you think that independence, flexibility, being
in charge, living life on your own terms, having a happier family,
loving relationship and extra income is for you, and then ask yourself
What do I want to gain from this experience?
What can I do to get there?
That’s enough to get you started. In fact, it’ll probably make
you think for a good few day. But when you are ready to come out of your
thinking zone, talk to someone about it. Do your research; see what
you can find to answer your own questions.
There’s a way out of every situation. You don’t have to struggle alone, there’s plenty of help out there. Use it. Only then will you make the most of your unique international experience.
For more tools on how to get started, consult our article on Guide to Becoming Location Independent and Guide to Finding a Job Abroad.
Katya Barry is an International Business and Expat Coach
and expat mum, international speaker, entrepreneur and a business
lecturer who works virtually from her current home base in Germany. Find more on her website: http://www.katyabarry.com/.
We've had the opportunity to host many excellent guest posts on our services site, Expat-Quotes. We are posting some of the best here on the last tuesday of every month. Interested in contributing a Guest Post? Contact us with your idea!