How To Keep Your Career ‘On’ When You Need To Move For ‘Family Reasons’

Posted: May 19, 2015

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Moving for your husband’s or partner’s job? Don’t give up your career yet! Career continuity resources for working women in India. 

Relocations for work, whether within a country or to a different one altogether are very common today. Working women in India are often hit hard in their career during relocations due to the husband’s job. (While this is rarer, some Indian men today also move locations for the wife’s career).

Looking at the overwhelming demands of the transition, to maintain the stability of their family, many working women in India decide to quit work altogether.

With increasing flexibility in working spaces, various new types of jobs on board, a lack of skilled and trained employees in technical fields, relaxing of labour regulations in many countries, it is not imperative for Indian working women to put a full stop to their career for the sake of family relocations.

While we may have to adapt both in our attitudes and in the nature of work, relocations should not be allowed to become the dead end to our career.

Be aware of your options

It is important to actively participate in the process of relocation from the beginning and gather information on the new location. If it is in a different country, then be aware of the dependent visa facilities and the work related rights if you get a dependent visa.

Start looking out for opportunities that are similar to your present job. Use job sites or professional sites like LinkedIn to identify people with similar jobs in the prospective cities you are willing to relocate to. This preliminary research has helped me to make up my mind about an upcoming relocation.

If there are multiple options available, it is important to keep the interests of both partners in mind and avoid taking a skewed decision where only one gets the best opportunity whereas the other has to halt her career.

If there are multiple options available, it is important to keep the interests of both partners in mind and avoid taking a skewed decision where only one gets the best opportunity whereas the other has to halt her career.

Discuss it with your present employer

Companies in India and abroad are gradually opening up to the flexible and remote model of working owing to advancements in Internet connectivity and the global nature of work that companies are involved with. If you are moving anywhere in India you can always reach out to your employer and discuss the possibility of continuing with your job as a remote employee.

In case of an inter country relocation, if your company has a branch in the new country where you intend to move, then too you can approach them for a transfer. This may require negotiating, independent visa processing and changes in the job agreement but it is worth the pain to retain the job in hand.

Network, network!

If there are no options to continue your present work in a new place, then you need to look for a new job. It appears to be a daunting task to find a relevant job in a new country or city. Being Indian, we are lucky to have friends and colleagues based almost everywhere. Networking with friends and colleagues can be the first step to start looking for a new job in a new place.

This networking exercise can bring up new openings of your interest in the new place. List out the companies or organizations of your interest and check the job opportunities page on their websites. This is a difficult task but can open a new door at times.

Associations and new certifications

Looking for a network or associations in your field can be a good starting point. Investing some money in a membership of an authentic association and reaching out to its members can boost your confidence.

Investing some money in a membership of an authentic association and reaching out to its members can boost your confidence.

I have reaped the benefits of joining a renowned association when I was looking for a career transition into scientific writing; I could get a certification for the new domain I wanted to enter into, found a mentor and many friends. This certification enabled to get a suitable job upon relocating to a new place. Getting a certification in the field you desire is the next best thing to actual experience in the job market.

Where else can your skills and interests be used?

Often, the new place doesn’t offer the exact positions you have been working in. It is a catch 22 situation and interviewers take a narrow approach for filling up the position. It becomes a challenge for us to prove our capability during an interview for a slightly different role.

It is important to look into the job description you are applying for and find out the skills and interests required for the new job and align them to yours. Make changes in your CV according to the positions you are applying for. For example, teaching experience will take priority in the CV while applying for a lecturer position and research skills should be highlighted in the CV for research jobs.

Reach out to recruiters and job portals

Sheroes, Jobsforher, Relauncher are a few job portals working specifically for women and specialized in finding jobs for women who go through career breaks. Normally, they are aware of the market requirements and can provide you information, training and the guidance that you might not find from general sources.

Volunteer, freelance, and learn

The toughest situation is when you need to accompany your spouse to a country where your dependent visa status does not allow you to get a salaried job. This is a challenging situation for any working woman. In this situation, if possible, you can join several communities or groups as a volunteer and keep adding to your skills.

Freelancing is another option to keep your CV updated. Learning new domains can also be another option for women to keep updated with the job market demands.

To have a career or not is a personal choice for women, but women who want to continue with their career need to find ways and show ways to others to pass through the tunnel of challenges, relocation being one of them.

Couple with moving cartons via Shutterstock

CP

A science researcher finding ways into broader science careers. A women enthusiast to the core

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