Research project with & for expat spouses

For the last 5 years we’ve had a dozen or so expat spouses who inquired with Career Angels as to whether we could support them in their job search / career management. Only one decided to ultimately work with us – despite the fact that some of us, Career Angels, had experienced exactly that. We want to do a better job. And we want to do it properly. Looking for a job per se is already increasingly tricky – even more so for the +1s who join their partners on international assignments, especially, if the career break has been one of several years.

A little bit of data (if you’ve already bought into the idea of participating in a research project in Warsaw, please skip through to the end):

InterNations, the leading social platform for 3.4 m internationals, has been conducting a survey since 2014 called Expat Insider. In 2018 the survey was “one of the world’s largest and most comprehensive surveys on life abroad, achieved a major milestone for its fifth anniversary: the number of respondents reached a new record high. In total, 18,135 expats from across the globe took part in the survey. They represent 178 nationalities and are living in 187 countries or territories.” Impressive.

In 2018 they identified 6 types of expats:

  • 16%: The Optimizer – moved for a better quality of life, finances or political / religious / safety reasons
  • 12%: The Explorer – sought an adventure / challenge / general appeal of life abroad
  • 10%: The Foreign Assignee – sent to work abroad by their existing employer’s
  • 21%: The Go-Getter – found a job, started a business, or was recruited locally (also called Self-initiated expatriation)
  • 8%: The Traveling Spouse – moved for their partner’s job or education
  • 12% The Romantic – love / joined their partner in their home country

The results in 2016 & 2017 enlisted an additional 4 types:

  • The (Ex-)Student – (initially) moved to go to school or university
  • The Family Expat – moved for family reasons
  • The Career Expat & The Foreign Recruitee – both under The Go-Getter in 2018

In 2015 the results also said that, among others, about Traveling Spouses:

  • The majority of is female
  • Many of them are dissatisfied with their job situation and income
  • 65% didn’t like being financially dependent on their partner
  • 60% struggled with giving up their previous career

It has been our personal experience, and professional observation that +1s start with a desire to find a job / professional activity, but then give up / indefinitely postpone for a variety of reasons. We’d like to fully understand the influencing forces, in order to be able to better / more effectively support expat spouses.

Contact us if you are:

  • living in Warsaw and (thinking about) looking for a job (if you have given up or changed your mind, contact us as well – we’d like to understand why); if you find this initiative interesting, but are outside of Warsaw, contact us as well – we’ll arrange for a Skype call.
  • have 1.5 hrs for a coffee with our researcher Uta
  • open to answer questions regarding your career plans

Email us your CV / profile (or whatever you have) and a brief description of your current situation to

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