“Hands up who would like a review copy of the 4th edition of A Career in Your Suitcase? … ” read the tweet next to its thumbnail, of a composed looking Jo Parfitt sitting next to a colourful pile of books.
“I’d be happy to review!” I waved back into cyberspace.
Shortly after that, the revised and updated fourth edition of A Career in Your Suitcase, a collaborative work by Jo Parfitt and Colleen Reichrath-Smith, appeared in my inbox.
For the expatriate family, a new posting to another corner of the world can often be seen as a lucrative move for the family. This, however, doesn't always take into consideration the plight of a trailing spouse, who may often find re-adjustment more difficult to cope with. She, or in some cases he, will often have to leave behind a career in full swing, and, if upon arrival there is no organized employment or a permanent position available, some of the sparkle of the new host country may lose its allure. Without prior knowledge of a country, its language, or a solid network, the initial experience can be unnecessarily distressing, especially when embarking on a search for new opportunities.
Start again? Yes, you may be disgruntled that all that hard work you’ve put in, to reach where you are in your career is literally going to be swept away, but once you’ve made the move, with a little bit of determination and self-analysis and a copy of A Career in Your Suitcase you can start along the road to self-re-invention. The career you will create will not only be suitable for that posting alone, but one that can continue to travel with you, remain current as well as engaging, and will only need tweaking and updates now and again.
A Career in Your Suitcase is a collation of information by its authors, from more than twenty years of living abroad, into a comprehensive directory filled with: advice, tips, exercises, references and soul searching. This can be used as a starting point on which to build a portable career. One that has the advantage of being adaptable into an international career, and is perfect for use within the global community, as well as utilizing Internet and social media communication to the full.
Whilst reading, you are actively encouraged to participate: ask your circle of friends and family to support you with advice, or summarize your strengths and weaknesses; analyze your past, your family, and follow Internet links to discover hidden personal characteristics, which will ultimately help to build a fuller picture of who you are. It is, however, suggested when doing exercises from the book that you note down thoughts, answers, or make lists, using a pen and paper instead of a computer. This may sound laborious, but there’s a reason for it – physically writing uses the creative half of the brain (right), as opposed to the analytical half (left) when a computer is used. By doing this, you will tap into the creative in you, patterns will emerge, and you will discover actual capabilities along with what your subconscious desires really are.
For some, the process may be simple when it comes to re-inventing skills, thinking out of the box, or updating qualifications. Whilst for others, the journey may be a little longer. A Career in Your Suitcase gives you the opportunity to make a more in depth search to discover your inner passions, which can then be developed and nurtured. Why not try and pinpoint the gap in the market and provide the solution? Should inspiration not be forthcoming, it is suggested that volunteer work could be an interim and rewarding choice. This will allow you the space and time to think about your next move, and, more importantly help with cultural integration, as well as the start of building a new network of friends.
An expatriate myself, living in The Northern Netherlands I wish I had come across this book earlier. The process of repeatedly adapting to one’s situation is a theme I know all too well, regardless of whether you speak the language or not. Changes in my circumstances always came as more of a ‘knee jerk’ action as opposed to being actually planned. With this book in my possession, I find I am not alone and will be able to make more informed choices in the future.
With an already insecure work climate, and in Jo’s words: no career is for life anymore, A Career in Your Suitcase is not just for the mobile expatriate, but is relevant to anyone wishing to take part in finding their direction, discovering new opportunities and realizing their goals comfortably, all the while contributing to the much needed transformation of the global working environment as a whole.
Want to discover your true passions and take the world by storm?
If you buy A Career in Your Suitcase online 12-16 May on Kindle, it’s absolutely FREE!
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