The unspoken challenges Dual Career partners are facing on the job market.

When we imagine ourselves relocating our career into a foreign country, the very first challenge that comes to our mind is the language.

Of course, speaking the local language(s) is greatly facilitating the job search however, there are other major pitfalls that Dual Career partners learn to overcome on the way:

Dual Career partners are more affected by the negativism of people crossing their way as they would have been back home because:

  • When in your country, in a familiar setting and a culture you know, a recruiter tells you “it’s not going to be possible”, you think “Well, he could be wrong, it’s only his own opinion, I will seek for more feed-back”. But when you do not know a thing about the local job market and that you do not have tons of opportunities to get alternative sources of information, you might let this one-person opinion destroy your confidence.

Dual Career partners do not have a supportive friend circles to cheer up their mood and encourage them in their efforts because

  • Friends left abroad are not aware about the relocation challenges and might demonstrate little empathy for the issues Dual Career partners encounter in their new location and might be sometime resentful for their departure. They might even think or say “if that’s so difficult, you should have stayed here with us” which obviously is not really helping,
  • It takes time to build a new circle of friends and most people who have not developed new friendships outside the working place for many years are a bit overwhelmed with the process.

Dual Career partners tend to misinterpret a rejection to a job application as a result of a gap in their profile and tend to quickly feel discouraged:

  • Because often, they are not sufficiently aware of the local job market reality and have a biased vision,
  • They can only rely on statistics and official numbers although a low employment rate might not always be synonym of an accessible market for outsiders.

Other challenges Dual Career partners are facing include missing the working life structure and its socializing opportunities, being overwhelmed by relocation domestic activities not providing much in terms of intellectual challenges, feeling disconnected from the working partner who is busy with getting up to speed with a new job, etc. The challenges are numerous.

Overcoming these obstacles is an incredibly powerful source of person development which greatly contribute to make the relocation worth it, however it sometime requires time and an outside help to get the best out of it.

Sandrine van den Oudenhoven

About the author:
sandrinepicture_contactSandrine van den Oudenhoven helps dual career couples to make their relocation in Switzerland a project for both. With the job4U2 programs, she is supporting the accompanying partners’ professional integration by sharing her knowledge of the Swiss economic network, of the recruiters’ expectations and custom, but also by deploying her ability to nurture individuals’ motivation and positive energy during this period of major changes.


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