One couple - two careers?

Both you and your partner want to feel professionally fulfilled. Not just one, but both of you work, or have the goal of working, in international cooperation. Is it possible?

Two people, two dreams and two sets of professional goals, with some overlaps but also some incompatibilities. Generally speaking, it is often very challenging to simultaneously conduct two careers in international cooperation (IC).

IC activities tie one partner professionally to a particular location, which influences the conditions for the other’s professional practice. Further, a career in IC often involves relocating every few years: in cases when the accompanying person has finally managed to establish themselves professionally in the new location, they have to start again in the next.

A sabbatical or a parallel career?

Sometimes the accompanying partner is not at all unhappy about a break in a demanding career. However, for most, questions about their career arise sooner or later.

When the accompanying person’s work and experience match, a joint international career seems to be the solution. But, in practice, it is often difficult. To be possible, the profiles of two people must fit two vacancies at the right time and place.

Maintain, transfer and develop your competencies

It is important that non-salaried partners maintain their skills. This does not have to take place in the same profession. Many accompanying persons in these situations discover a new path in which they can use existing skills from their previous professional life. Many partners become temporarily involved in voluntary work. While this may be unsatisfactory in the long term, it can be a useful way to remain active and connected. It nearly always pays off in the long run.

Professional activities that are not bound to a particular location are ideal for accompanying partners. However, the challenge remains to maintain and develop your professional network.

Partner time

Many couples swap between periods of being the salaried and non-salaried partner. However, this may result in missing out on good career opportunities. Communicating well and having sufficient time with each other is extremely helpful to discuss suitable solutions.

Discover IC Panorama

What does international cooperation mean? In the panorama of the IC working world you will find definitions, actors and career examples.

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