Being an expat spouse can be an incredibly enriching experience, allowing you to immerse yourself in new cultures, make lifelong connections, and broaden your horizons. However, it can also pose unique challenges, particularly when it comes to maintaining a fulfilling career while living abroad.  

The good news is that with a little creativity, adaptability, and determination, you can create a portable career that allows you to continue your professional growth no matter where you are in the world. In this post, we will explore some effective strategies to help you build a successful portable career as an expat spouse. 

1. Identify your skills and passions 

The first step in creating a portable career is to identify your skills, strengths, and passions. Take some time to reflect on your professional background, experience, and the activities that genuinely excite you. Consider both your formal education and any other skills you may have acquired over the years. This self-assessment will help you determine which career paths align with your interests and abilities.  

2. Embrace remote work and freelancing 

Many industries now offer remote positions or project-based work that can be done from anywhere with an internet connection. Explore online job platforms, freelance websites, and professional networking platforms to find remote work options that match your skillset. Consider fields such as content writing, graphic design, virtual assistance, online tutoring, translation services or digital marketing. These types of careers can provide you the flexibility and freedom you need as an expat spouse.  

3. Network with expat communities 

Expat communities are a fantastic resource for support, advice, and networking opportunities. Attend local expat event, join clubs, and participate in expat spouse associations. These groups often provide a platform for sharing career insights, connecting with like-minded individuals, and even accessing job opportunities specifically tailored to the expat community. Engaging with fellow expat spouses can offer a sense of camaraderie and create valuable professional connections that may lead to potential job prospects or collaborations.  

4. Explore entrepreneurship  

Creating your own business can provide you with the ultimate freedom and control over your career. Assess your skills and interests to determine if starting a business or offering freelance services aligns with your goals. Research the local market and identify any gaps or opportunities you can fill. Think about who you can support using your knowledge and skills and how you can do this in a portable way (i.e., online). Think about what challenges you have faced and overcome as an expat, and if there is a way you can capitalize on those challenges and turn them into opportunities to help others navigate the same.   

5. Build an online presence 

Establishing a strong online presence is crucial in today’s interconnected world. Create a website or blog to showcase your skills, portfolio, and previous work experience. Utilize social media platforms such as LinkedIn to connect with professionals in your industry and join relevant groups and communities. Actively engage in online discussions, share valuable content, and demonstrate your expertise to build credibility and attract potential clients or employers. Developing a compelling personal brand will greatly enhance your visibility and increase your changes of securing portable/remote work opportunities.  


While being an expat spouse presents unique challenges when it comes to maintaining a career, it also opens up a world of opportunities. By identifying your skills, embracing remote work, building an online presence, networking within expat communities, and exploring entrepreneurship, you can create a portable career that aligns with your passions and allows you to thrive no matter where you are in the world. Remember, adaptability, perseverance, and a positive mindset are key to unlocking the limitless potential of a portable career as an expat spouse.  


This article was written by Shannon MacDonald, one of our partner coaches who supports women in reaching their full potential by working together to clarify what they want, build confidence and unlock resources within to make transformational changes in life and career. You can book a freed discovery call with Shannon to find out more about coaching with her or get in touch via her profile page