The concept of a ‘career’ for the partners of globally mobile expatriates is usually not a straight path up a corporate ladder but rather a meander through available opportunities. Although planning a career throughout the uncertainty of an international lifestyle is difficult, there is a strategy that it makes it possible for accompanying partners to have a successful career.
The decision to make an international move is most often the result of an employment opportunity for one rather than both partners within a couple. For the accompanying partner, a move to a new location looks very different. It is true that each new location requires a re-definition of self and an evaluation of locally available opportunities. However, there is a strategy that makes the process more manageable. It has to do with taking a long-term view rather than focussing on the short-term requirements of a new location.
In their book, The Mobile Life: A New Approach to Moving Anywhere, Anne Parker and Diane Lemieux show how moving to a new location is actually about going from one life to another life. You have a normal, happy life where you are now, and your goal is to create another equally normal and happy life at your next location.
The Mobile Life has been awarded the 2014 Nonfiction Authors Association Gold Award.