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Journey not the Destination

July 12, 2012 Job Search,Networking

Finding a portable career direction can be daunting.I’ve been a Trailing Spouse for about 12 years since I chose to follow my wife’s career around the world. Every new assignment is an adventure and a challenge for various reasons, but this chosen lifestyle is not about being a Trailing Spouse, or any of the other pointless labels we use to identify the lifestyle, it’s about being with the one you love and living a life that is fulfilling and productive.

For me, and many people that I’ve observed in the Trailing Spouse situation, fulfillment in our work-life comes about when we are able to achieve two things:

1 – A form of work that meets our passions – Doing what we like to do

2 – A mode of work that is portable or can be relocated easily – Working from anywhere

With a plethora of online resources available, finding portable work is not that difficult if you are prepared to work for works sake and simply trade your time and skills for money. Feedback I’ve had from employers is that there is no lack of applicants for online based jobs, but they have difficulty retaining good trusted people. Hence, if you simply ‘do your job’ in these situations you will be well rewarded, at least in terms of having plenty of work available to you.

Finding work that matches our passions however can be a greater challenge, particularly in a Trailing Spouse and mobile situation.  In many cases, people find jobs more out of necessity than desire, taking the attitude, initially at least that any job is better than no job, but over the course of time, this permeates our life and becomes the way of life. We get locked into a cycle of work for survival and our passions get relegated to another time and place.

If you are committed to the Trailing Spouse lifestyle, whatever your reasons or situation, finding your work passion and making it portable should be your goal. It doesn’t just happen, and you will probably need to transition from what you are doing now to where you want to be. It takes long term patience and persistence and you need to be continuously adapting and revising your position.

The expatriate world is well serviced by life-coaches and others that can assist you in defining your goals and the Trailing Spouse Network is a great starting place to find someone to work with. Keep in mind however, that despite the increasing resources and information available to us, it all comes down to you!

Think about your likes, your passions, write it down. Don’t worry initially about how to turn these things into a job, just get the thoughts out of your head and all in one place. Talk to others, network, read, swap ideas and you will find that patterns start to form, articles of interest will start to appear, others with similar interests will come into focus and you will be on your way to turning your passion into your work…at which point is it really work anymore?

Being a Trailing Spouse and finding a satisfying work-life balance is a journey, it never ends but with the right attitude, continued curiosity, patience and persistence it can be a great ride.