5 Ways to Stay Relevant in Your Field Overseas as the Accompanying Spouse

Posted on Nov 4, 2015 | 0 comments

5 Ways to Stay Relevant in Your Field Overseas as the Accompanying Spouse

When living overseas, the accompanying partners are often forced to give up their job or in the very best scenario, take a sabbatical. But, just because you’re not working at the moment doesn’t mean you have to (nor should you) disconnect. Sometime spouses are in situations where they can’t find a job or they are not allowed to work on the local economy. Don’t let that put a damper on your career! In order to be ready to jump back into your field when you’re ready, follow these five easy strategies.


1. Keep any licenses or certifications current.

It can be tricky while overseas to keep your required certifications or licenses up to date but it’s truly worth it. Otherwise, you’ll be forced to go through the whole process when you get back! Research how to renew your license or certification before you go overseas. Pay extra attention to any continuing education credits you may need to earn in order to be eligible to renew your license.


2. Read industry news.

When you do head back to work, you don’t want to feel out of the loop with current trends and theories related to your field. Read the journals, other publications, and relevant websites as an easy way to stay abreast of what’s going on. Also, have a look at blogs from companies where you may want to work. Learning more about your target companies (and therefore your target field) can really give you a leg up when you are writing your cover letter and interviewing.


3. Take a class.

While overseas, take advantage of the millions of online courses and degrees that are now available. You can take a class or earn another degree or certificate that will improve your qualifications for your next position. If you want to get creative, check out the No Pay MBA which provides guidance about how to earn your MBA by taking online classes offered for free. For more information, check out the Passport Career’s Global Topics chapter on Continuing/Online Education.


Use skills you have that are related to your career and volunteer during your time overseas. Are you a chef? Consider teaching free classes. Have a background in accounting? Offer to help a non-profit manage their accounts. Research volunteering opportunities in Passport Career’s Country Portfolios – especially the chapter on local NGO Employers which lists organizations that not only hire employees but also work with volunteers. Also, make sure you read the Passport Career’s Global Topics chapter specifically on volunteering.


A lot of expats start blogs reflecting on their experiences overseas. If staying connected to your industry is important, consider writing articles for online or print publications in an area related to your field. Then, when you’re ready to go back to work, you can list these publications on your resume or LinkedIn profile to demonstrate how you’ve been staying connected even though you weren’t working. For more details about writing opportunities, see the Passport Career’s Global Topics chapter on one of the global career options as an Independent Writer.



Passport Career provides more detailed career information and extensive resources about networking, finding a job, internship, or alternative career opportunities. If your organization, embassy, university/college, library, or other institution would like access to our country portfolios (15,000+ pages of expert content for 80+ countries and 250+ cities) to share with your students, employees, spouses/partners, and others managing a national or international career transition, please contact us (or send email to: info@passportcareer.com) regarding a free, live, online demo and details on how to obtain a license to access Passport Career.

Anna Sparks, Expert Global Career Consultant

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