Apart from all practicalities, such as finding a home, school for their children and getting the work permit, many couples are concerned about their personal finances and the partner’s career.
Questions such as these are very common;
– How would the loss of the spouse’s income impact the household?
– What happens to the retirement benefits?
– Will he or she be able to re-enter the home country workforce upon repatriation?
What strategies do spouses use when looking for a job?
We have noticed that the majority of the spouses coming to Sweden focus on applying for advertised jobs. Yet, according to a survey, only about 14 percent get a job that way. And under 10 percent find a job through recruitment agencies. Still 60 percent use this strategy. Also, many of the spouses we meet focus exclusively on permanent employment positions, not giving temporary positions a real chance.
What can be done differently?
First of all, we recommend to activate personal networks. There are plenty of expat groups that can offer enormous professional support and lasting friendships. ( We have a Facebook group for Sweden that is free to join.) Secondly, don’t disregard temporary positions. Thirdly: start early. Getting a job takes time, so start at least three or four months before the move. And, lastly, don’t be too picky.
What can the employer do to help?
Try to handle the questions from the assignees early in the process and act proactively. It could be as simple as having a practical guide or a FAQ for dual career assignments. It could also be more extensive, entailing career related documentation for the new country, giving the spouse access to local professional networks or providing head hunting services.
If you have more questions regarding this don’t hesitate to ask us. We can offer spouse support on different levels.