GLOBAL SURVEY 2017 BY EXPAT COMMUNICATION FINDS THAT 33% OF EXPAT SPOUSES
CLAIM TO HAVE SACRIFICIED THEIR CAREERS BY GOING ABROAD
« The impact of expatriation on couples and dual careers »
2nd wave exclusive survey by Expat Communication / Caisse des Français de l’Etranger (CFE) / Humanis.
Paris, June 2nd 2017 - When more than 4 out of 5 French couples expatriate, what happens to the career of the "follower" spouse? What impact does expatriation have on the family? Where is the cursor positioned between satisfaction and frustration, benefit or sacrifice? How best to accompany those hundreds of thousands of French expats posted abroad each year (1.7 million registered in the consular registers in 2016)?
Through a large international study, Expat Communication reviews the 5 key lessons and draws up, together with its partners the CFE (Caisse des Français de l'Étranger) and Humanis, its recommendations for a successful expatriation as a couple.
The Paradox of Expat Couples
This study reveals that almost 60% of expatriates view their professional experience abroad as a promotion, when their spouses perceive it as a regression of their own career. In addition, job positions found by spouses are often below their expectations. More disturbing is the fact that over 30% of them claim to have "sacrificed" their career for their spouse’s; a percentage that rises to 50% among expat spouses in search of employment in the host country.
Expatriation, a source of wealth for the family and children
Predominantly; for 81% of those surveyed, living abroad is considered a source of wealth and they intend to remain abroad for the entire stay. In addition, surveyed expats rate the impact of expatriation positively for both their relationship as a couple (score of 7.7 / 10) and as a family (score of 8.4 / 10). Finally, for more than 90% of parents interviewed, expatriation is very positive for their children.
“Children are a factor of integration. The expatriates who were able to take all their children abroad were the most satisfied (36% very satisfied) vs 28.5% satisfied among those who took some of their children or none at all.” Alix Carnot, Head of Expat Intelligence at Expat Communication.
Parity, a sweet dream ?
Over 90% of expat spouses are women. This shows that for the vast majority of expats, the man’s career is still leading mobility of among couples.
“Women who have followed their spouses seem to be weakened by a choice they made as a couple, but for which they did not anticipate all the consequences. In preparation, information and accompaniment is required for spouses, both men and women, to no longer feel wronged!”. Alix Carnot, Head of Expat Intelligence at Expat Communication.
Returning Home, Expats #1 concern
43% of expat couples feel "very worried" and even "extremely worried" about their ability to find employment after their expatriation. 30% of them are concerned about their ability to readapt after returning to their home country.
Other concerns such as pollution (23%), health care (18%) and cost of living (18%) are also revealed by this study.
Work-Addiction, Expats are exposed to Burn-Out
For 37% of working expats, their professional life interferes considerably with their personal and family life (far too much for 16% of them). In addition, 31% feel that their company is barely concerned with their situation.
RECOMMENDATIONS AND AREAS FOR EXPAT COUPLES TO WATCH OUT FOR
REQUEST INFORMATION before leaving on the benefits and sacrifices associated with expatriation. Ask mobility experts for professional coaching and training, such as that from Expat Communication.
DISCUSS EXPATRIATION WITH YOUR SPOUSE : What goals are being sought from expatriation? What risks are acceptable? How to remedy the discrepancies in the couple so that no one feels “wronged”?
ENQUIRE ABOUT HEALTH AND SOCIAL SECURITY ISSUES with the CFE and Humanis: anticipate and plan both expat and spouse’s health and retirement protection. (Check offers by Caisse des Français de l'étranger and the Humanis group – this does not apply for non-French expats).
KEEP THE RETURN IN MIND : Its success is strongly related to how it was planned for before leaving. For more information see www.femmexpat.com
ASK FOR SPOUSE PROFESSIONAL ACCOMPANIMENT : through the Expat Value platform, Expat Value Facebook group and page or through Expat Communication professional coaching.
NETWORK DURING EXPATRIATION : mainly through expatriate networks (this does not apply to non-French Expats).
Together, we care for expats. This is our motto at Expat Communication. Since 2001 we assist global companies in the international mobility of their employees. 3 departments : Expat Intelligence (expatriation research through international surveys, publications and conferences), Expat Network (a french speaking expat web magazine Femmexpat.com and an expat spouse professional platform expatvalue-leblog.fr ), Expat training and coaching (training department on international mobility and career for expatriates, their families and HR: preparatory courses for successful departure and return, accompaniments to job search and coaching). www.expatcommunication.com