Photographs: Copenhagen Media Centre - Maria Sattrup
Text: Kathy Borys Siddiqui
One of the big topics currently discussed is Diversity and Inclusion. It goes hand in hand with the need to retain highly-skilled international talent. Internationals know the ins and outs of Diversity and Inclusion - they have first-hand experience. It is not just professional experience; it is life experience. International Spouses/Partners searching for jobs are the ideal candidates when it comes to increasing Diversity and Inclusion. They are the other Talent Pool, and one that is often overlooked.
Make some waves Relocating Spouses/Partners are very highly educated, and guess what? There is more good news, you do not need to relocate them - they are already here in Denmark. Here are some interesting statistics according to Business Internations 2019: “Expats moving abroad for work are highly educated, with 91% of Foreign Assignees, 90% of International Hires, and 87% of Relocating Spouses holding bachelor, postgraduate, and Ph.D. qualifications. Of these, the largest shares hold post-graduate, masters, or similar degrees.” Relocating Spouses: - 81% of relocating spouses/partners are female - 57% not working - 25% working full time - 18% part-time
What is more, of the Relocating Spouses that do hold positions, a large share have senior or specialist positions. This means that the potential to hire even more highly-skilled internationals is at the tips of our fingers. As always, there are some challenges, but they can be overcome. For the businesses, it may not always be an easy task to make amendments and introduce a modified work culture, to say the least. The highly skilled Relocating Spouses/Partners have to make themselves visible and learn to navigate through the vast sea of networking hacks, coffee meetings, job offers, etc...
"Relocating spouses/partners are very highly educated, and guess what? you do not need to relocate them - they are already here in Denmark."
Dive in and be seen
You may ask, “ How do I make myself visible?” There are quite a few tools available, the most effective one in Denmark is LinkedIn. If you decide to explore your options and focus on the type of career you would like to explore, I would combine LinkedIn with creating a personal brand. The way to make yourself visible is to show what you are capable of by providing knowledge and value. This is also how you start building your brand.
If the awareness of this huge talent pool is low, it is up to us to raise it. Of course, we, as international Relocating Spouses, must be active, using the tools that have been given to be seen. If no one knows of your skills and talents, it will be hard to get a job. We have to put the work in to stand out, knock on doors and hopefully get acknowledged for the global, multicultural experiences we can offer.
I have often heard and seen how the search for jobs by Internationals is misunderstood. Let me give you an example. If you, as a local, have ever been unemployed, you know how tough it is. However, you are in your own country, speaking your language, you are familiar with the culture and you have a network. Now, let us try this in a foreign country. As a Relocating Spouse/Partner, you find yourself in a foreign country, not speaking the language fluently, not being familiar with the culture and having no network. Being unemployed is hard and it can be a really difficult task to keep the motivation high. It takes a lot of effort to put yourself out there and keep going. Kudos to all of you networking, building your brands, applying for jobs, keeping your head above the water and paddling as hard as you can. Keep going, do not give up!