70 per cent of failed assignments down to family problems

Published:  9 Mar at 6 PM
Want to get involved? Become a Featured Expat and take our interview.
Become a Local Expert and contribute articles.
Get in touch today!
Recent studies have revealed more than 70 per cent of failed assignments are due to trailing spouses’ inability to adjust to their new lives.

The majority of women moving overseas aren’t expatriating to further their own careers – they’re following their husbands or partners to unfamiliar lands due to an overseas position being offered to their menfolk. The ‘typical’ expat woman is many times more likely to be a ‘trailing spouse’, a description which a good number of wives find offensive. A proportion of expat wives will have given up or put on hold their own careers in order to accompany their husbands, thus taking on the equally unpopular labels of ‘housewife’ or ‘stay-at home parent’.

Given the above, and noting that only 16 per cent of expat women working prior to relocation are in employment in their new countries’, the high number of assignments failing for family reasons is hardly surprising. After the initial excitement of a new culture, sorting out accommodation and unpacking all the boxes has subsided, how can expat women beat the blues and create a life for themselves outside the family?

Relocation specialists are aware of the problem as well as the challenges faced by wives suddenly finding themselves on the edge of the expat community, almost as spare parts. Prospective employees are hit with a hard sell when considering a relocation proposal, in which their wants are prioritised over the needs of their partners. In their new jobs, expat professionals are faced with their own frustrations and adjustments, but their wives are mostly stuck with invisible and unpaid ‘women’s work’, with resentment the result.

Alternative strategies for expat wives aren’t exactly thrilling, especially for those who’ve given up their own careers for the sake of their relationship, but they may well help as regards battling the expat blues. Advice includes networking with locals rather than just within the expat community, as well as volunteering for local charities and learning the language. Other suggestions are talking an online degree course, discovering new interests and re-examining neglected talents.

Starting a campaign group aimed at forcing prospective employers to pay attention to the needs of relocating employees’ partners and family members might well be a good way for isolated expat wives to use their talents!
Like this news?

Comments » No published comments just yet for this article...

Feel free to have your say on this item. Go on... be the first!

Tell us Your Thoughts On This Piece:

Your Name *
Email * (not published, needs verification one time only)
  • Facebook
  • Follow us on Twitter
  • RSS feed
  • Facebook

Latest Headlines

News Links

News Archive