This is our fifth and the last post of the interview with Kate, the expat wife as well as entrepreneur and coach for other expat wives.
-What would you recommend other Expat Partners who are currently looking for jobs abroad but find it more difficult than expected?
Do not take it personally! Rejection during the job-hunting process is common and necessary. Especially as a foreigner you will fall through the cracks. I always recommend to out your energy into creating a professional network than writing the 100th application.
-Any recommended app/website/service for expat wives?
There are many blogs out there and I am sure you will find someone who is speaking to you. However, if you are looking for a place to share your troubles or look for guidance I recommend facebook groups. There are a number of closed Facebook groups for expat partner that has a great community spirit. Test out a couple of them and see what fits your needs. Also, some of them are focusing on a specific city or country and you might be able to gain some new friends abroad.
-How do you like the culture of calling your expat partner your “Joint Venture”?
I was always struggling with the term trailing spouse. In the end, I started to use the term expat partner throughout my work. When stumbling across Joint Ventures for the first time I had to smile. What a great and creative way to put it! In a joint venture, both parties are on eye level instead of being the appendix.
-How does your husband support your life and work in Chicago as JV?
My husband was always very supportive and always made it clear that we would pack our bags if I was not feeling comfortable with this new situation. That made it easy for me to start sharethelove and take the risk of jumping into the entrepreneurial life. It is important to have someone who is understanding. For this to be the situation you have to share your doubts and fear openly. Communication is key in an expat partnership. This is the only way the other person can actually understand what the problem is and react accordingly.
-What was your husband’s first reaction to your decision to start your own business in Chicago?
He was happy that I have found a creative outlet to manifest everything I was learning along the way. We both talk a lot about Expat Partner support and he shares my thoughts on that. It is important to have someone in your life who believes in you and in times I was struggling he was always reminding me of why I have started this project in the first place.
-Lastly, please give the readers of this interview and expat wives across the world your message!
If you are not your happiest self right now and you are confused about your next step, keep in mind you are not alone! We all go through similar cycles and by opening up to each other we will get new ideas to move on. Every great journey comes with its highs and lows and looking back we realize that that is the way to learn. Living abroad is such a unique opportunity to shape our minds and hearts. Let’s walk through the world with curiosity and joy.
Thanks Kate for sharing your experience and great insights!
All of us can learn something from her, who herself has experienced struggles and challenges as expat wife and now becoming expat-preneur supporting people in the same situation.
We hope all the expat wives see their life abroad in a different culture as something special in their lives and grow personally and professionally through this great opportunity!