Career advancement for expat trailing spouses in the Netherlands

Career advancement for expat trailing spouses in the Netherlands

Career advancement for expat trailing spouses in the Netherlands

Trailing spouses determined not to interrupt their own careers face challenging odds in the Netherlands.

Nowadays, the majority of trailing spouses are unwilling to become stay-at-home partners as they’ve their own career advancement to consider. Unfortunately, finding a new job in the Netherlands can be challenging at best and impossible at worst, forcing women to abandon their hopes for a successful career pattern. One recent survey revealed just under half of accompanying spouses were still unemployed and the majority were still seeking work.

It seems employers in the Netherlands believe volunteering is adequate for spouses of expat professionals, as they don’t need the money they’d earn in full-time work. In the real world of women accompanying their partners overseas, it’s not a choice, it’s a necessity. Nowadays, work isn’t just a means to make money, it represents an identity and personality which have taken years to build. For those who can’t find suitable jobs, plummeting confidence is often the result and can damage the relationship itself and even lead to its’ breaking up.

Even getting an interview can be tricky in the Netherlands, as getting the right connections takes a good while, and for those with less than first-class qualifications it’s even harder. Those with career gaps for any reason have even more difficulty being taken seriously. Nowadays, there’s a shift towards the realisation that relocation packages are reluctant to address the needs of spouses, especially as unhappy partners are important in the failure of a reassignment.

Finding the right job for a spouse should be seen as an opportunity rather than a problem, with a few companies now putting into practice schemes which help talented trailing spouses create their own careers in their new home countries.

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