How to make it as a trailing spouse


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Being a trailing spouse can be stressful as you quit your job to follow your partner’s career. However, with perseverance it can work. 

When Saba Menezes, 32, decided to marry her childhood sweetheart Richard, a petroleum engineer with Shell, they knew one of them would have to give up their career.

Menezes, a Delhi-based litigation lawyer, had been unhappy with her job, and decided she would take a break. After marriage in 2013, the couple moved to Rio de Janeiro; by 2015, just as she was becoming proficient in Portuguese, Richard took up a job in Brunei. “Even though I knew this was going to happen, it took me time to accept that law as a career option for me was over as we are going to keep moving,” she says.

Shruti Khattar with her husband Saket Kumar in Switzerland.
Shruti Khattar with her husband Saket Kumar in Switzerland.

According to a September 2017 study released by InterNations, an international community of expatriates, only 45% of the spouses who move with their partners to a new country end up finding work. More than 80% of the spouses are women. Work permits, education degrees, language, or the career itself are some of the challenges these trailing or travelling spouses, as they are known in business parlance, come up against.

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