did you change career when you became an expat?

(17 Posts)

I'm in USA on a H4 visa with a Green Card in process. DC are small (eldest about to start school) but we've been here two years and I'm climbing the walls so looking ahead to what happens when I do finally get my go ahead to start looking for work.

For various reasons I'm not sure about going back to my old (and to be fair very early stages, earning not much more than peanuts) career I had in the UK, mainly through lack of confidence and motivation and it requires a lot of networking which I'm just not able to do to the same level as I did preDC, and I would be effectively starting from scratch again. I'm looking at a few options but honestly don't know what I want to do - I do want to work and I do want a proper career though

Anyone make massive career changes after moving and what did you end up doing? Did the country you moved to have an influence?

PlainBrownEnvelope Thu 13-Feb-14 12:25:14

I'm a chartered accountant and used to work in asset management. Then I was a trailing spouse/ Jumeriah Jane/ Tai Tai/ SAHM for 3 years. Then I went back to my former employer but I now work part time as a program manager for their philanthropy program. Was just a fluke really, as they decided to stick someone in Asia at the time when I happened to be looking to go back to work. I don't regret the change though. It's interesting, relatively well paid (not as good as asset management obviously, but not minimum wage either), really interesting and close to zero stress. Working has also made me feel much more settled and like I could stay here long term. Before I always had one eye on the door.

chloeb2002 Sat 15-Feb-14 12:53:15

I changed career to become an expat. From horse riding instructor/ bar manager to icu nurse...

RaspberryRuffle Sat 15-Feb-14 17:42:19

I became a teacher of English as a Foreign Language, mainly because there was demand for it in the country we moved to, and it was not necessary to be fluent in the language of the country.

desertmum Sun 23-Feb-14 07:19:04

I was in senior management in IT when we moved overseas to a country where women didn't work and IT was basic! Became a SAHM and trailing spouse. Got involved in horse racing and animal welfare - doesn't pay well but is very satisfying. One thing I have told my kids is make sure you have a career that you can travel with and qualifications that will help you get back into work if you take a break for any reason. I was educated pre 'everyone needs a degree to do any sort of job' - had worked my way up to where I was and as IT moves on so quickly am now so out of it my kids laugh at the thought that I was once working at the forefront of technology! I am now back in UK and can't get a job for love nor money - but I wouldn't change the awesome experiences we have had for a career and lots of money.

desertmum Mon 24-Feb-14 11:25:47

PlainBrown - where in Jumeirah did you live ? We might have been neighburs!

PlainBrownEnvelope Thu 27-Feb-14 04:49:28

desert wasnt actually in Jumeriah - we lived in Old Town above the Souk. "Jumeriah Jane" was just a (slightly disparaging) generic expression used to describe a trailing spouse. I used to go to boot camp on Jumeriah beach though. That's weirdly what I miss most about Dubai- I've never found another boot camp as good grin.

thanks all

I desperately want to climb out of the trailing spouse/kept woman position I've found myself in and am only 30 so think it's time for a radical rethink....

Living Thu 27-Feb-14 19:51:56

I'm career changed to become an expat and am currently career changing again. highly likely DH will be the trailing spouse the next time we move countries (if we ever do) grin

MooseBeTimeForSnow Thu 27-Feb-14 19:56:54

I moved to Canada three years ago. I'm a Solicitor by profession. To practice here I'd have to sit four exams to get the equivalent law degree, then do their equivalent of the LPC and training contract. It's like starting again and, quite frankly, I can't be arsed.

I'd have to start from the very bottom too Moose and it's years of working for less than nothing with absolutely minimal guarantee of a liveable wage in one's lifetime - I can't be doing it all agian

PlainBrownEnvelope Fri 28-Feb-14 07:57:50

I was in a similar position re finance positions because I was limited by not speaking Cantonese or Mandarin and I wasn't prepared to work for peanuts. My advice is to treat thr working world as an out of bounds area and 'test the perimeter fence' for signs of weakness. Just get what you can and then try to shuffle across to something you'd rather do.

desertmum Fri 28-Feb-14 19:20:53

Plain - yes I know what a JJ is! Just thought you might have lived in Jumeira. Do you have a copy of the book with all the poems in re JJ's, and Um Suqueim Sally and Mirdif Mary ? Quite funny. We lived near the zoo - used to wake up to the roar of the lions. Happy days.

Twunk Fri 28-Feb-14 19:26:34

I was in marketing in the UK. I still dabble. Now I have "hobby" income but hope to expand my children's clothes business to make a good sized contribution to the household.

It was quite a change as I'd never used a sewing machine before. And the design and marketing experience has come in handy. It's a crowded market place though...

so now I'm looking at extension courses offered by UCLA - apparently there are some that incorporate internships as well which would be a bonus

Fruli Fri 07-Mar-14 11:27:56

I'm stopping work when we move in Aug/Sept. I'm medical now, I'll be doing a distance DPhil but returning to my career when we return.

Kazzaragi Mon 24-Mar-14 23:56:46

Lots of changes here depending on location and life chapter!
I was a marketing manager when we left UK. On arriving in USA I had to find somewhere that would sponsor my visa and worked in HR of a hospital. Then got a green card which opens more job doors. Once I had kids I worked in a pre-school (no qualification needed). Now a realtor, primarily helping expats moving to NJ (had to get a license)

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