My feed

to access all these features

Newbies' corner

Military Spouse - Overseas Posting vs My Career in UK....

1 reply

purplelemon3 · 03/01/2022 13:18

Hello all!

I've really valued the Mumsnet community in the past, so would appreciate any thoughts/insights on my current dilemma.

I'm twenty seven, living in the UK with my fiancé. We are getting married later this year, and have been together for 7 years. He is in the military. He has always wanted a posting overseas, to Cyprus.

For the past few years, I have always asked him to 'wait' until I am ready... by this, I mean - when my career is in a place when I can walk away for three years and feel comfortable taking a break.

Working overseas as a British dependent is a bit tricky, not impossible, but not guaranteed - so I would need to prepare myself for long periods of unemployment, and look for lots of hobbies to occupy myself! One concern.

This being said, a few months ago, I started a job with my dream employer. The employer I hoped to work for in 10+ years, I never expected to be here at this age, in a role which is more senior than I expected myself capable of. The salary is considerably higher than my partners, and all things considered, I should be ecstatic. However... I'm not.

I've realised after calling myself a 'career woman' throughout my twenties... I actually have no idea what I want to do. I've been chasing the money and the job title... I've got both of those things and I'm already bored. I've realised the job isn't what I wanted, the employer is - because it looks good on paper, but the corporate world doesn't make me happy.

I am yearning for some time to truly think about what I want to do. Before I end up sucked into this job too deep... on more money, with more ties, and with a mortgage etc tying me up (at the moment we rent and have no ties).

My dilemma is... he still wants to go to Cyprus, and we discussed it recently again. This time, I am happy that my employer is on my CV - it's a reputable newspaper in the UK, and holds weight in the market.

My fear is... (and this is where I'd love some advice), if I go overseas for three years after only working there for say, 12/18 months... would it being on my CV be wiped out, by the large gap down the line?

I feel that if I could feel reassured that if we return to the UK in three years, I could pick up my role in marketing in another company, on a similar salary I'm on now, and my career so far wouldn't be 'to waste', then I'd feel more comfortable about jetting off into the sunset for an incredible adventure with my partner...

The idea of paddleboarding, meeting new people, time to think, flying my family out to have real quality time, adventures with my partner and incredible stories and memories in the making... are really appealing.

Especially if we do decide to have a family at the start of my thirties... (he's currently 32). Is the best time do to this now? Or, is this just when my career is launching and I should hunker down and focus on that?!

Any advice REALLY appreciated. Would love to hear from other women/men who have been in this situation - "military vs career".

Thank you all in advance :) and happy new year!

OP posts:
The8thMonth · 03/01/2022 13:39

Honest advice: taking a 3 year work gap will mean a pay cut when you go back to work.

I'm a trailing spouse and worked a professional job in London. Moved to Tokyo for 3 years, as a lady of leisure (although I took 2 toddlers and had a 3rd child in those 3 years. Hahah).

When I started working again after the break, not many companies would even consider my resume with a 3 year gap. There's a perception that you've lost relevance and the industry had moved on.

I eventually got an offer (same type of job as in London) for a lower, less paid role than I left in the UK. I've been in this role 2 years. However, my boss, colleagues and I know, that I'm more experienced than my grade. It's really not that big a deal. They are a nice bunch to work with.

When I next move jobs, I'll make the next career step up the ladder, in job title and pay, if I want.

I guess you will eventually make it back up to where you are now, but not without taking a step back for the gap if you try to go back to the same role.

Just my experience, but I know many other expat women in similar situations. I'm still living outside the UK.

Please create an account

To comment on this thread you need to create a Mumsnet account.