expat partners

4 big challenges faced by expat partners

So, your partner’s scored an amazing job offer. The problem is, it’s in a country far from home. You don’t want to hold him/her back, but you’re also anxious. What will following your partner overseas mean for you? Here are some challenges you might face – and how to overcome them.

1. Employment

Unfortunately, your partner’s promotion can mean a job loss for you. If you’re in a career that’s fulfilling, rewarding and enjoyable, then the prospect of leaving it behind might be terrifying.

So, do some ground work before you go. Rather than simply taking off and assuming you’ll find meaningful employment, find out about your prospects. Research the job market and the country’s in-demand skills. Consider “side-stepping” into a related field or think about career advancement in the form of study.

2. Isolation

While your partner is out meeting new colleagues and attending functions, you might find yourself at home, alone. Figure out ways of keeping in touch with close friends and family members. Writing a schedule for real-time contact through phone calls or video chat is helpful to make sure time zones and the craziness of daily living don’t get in the way. Also, most expat communities have social groups where accompanying partners can meet people in similar situations.

3. Resentment

If you’re feeling reluctant to leave home, then you might risk becoming resentful towards your partner. Don’t bottle these feelings up. Admit to their possibility and talk them through. Then, decide how you’re going to work together as a team. Make sure you’re both clear on how the move might change your roles and responsibilities and what you’re going to do about it to keep your relationship healthy.

4. Culture shock

The more contrasting the new country, the bigger the chance of culture shock, which can be confusing and destabilising. Before moving, try to learn at least a little of the language and acquaint yourself with customs and traditions. Once overseas, seek out courses or groups that can expand your understanding.

As long as you prepare for potential challenges, travelling abroad with your partner can be one of the most stimulating, exciting and adventurous times of your life. And when it comes time to file your expat tax returns in Australia, we can help.

Shane Macfarlane CA
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