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THE FOREIGN SERVICE JOURNAL

|

SEPTEMBER 2015

49

O

f the myriad changes that moving

with the Foreign Service causes,

FS spouses are most often startled

by having to give up their careers.

Some spouses have the opportunity

to telework—if you do, don’t let it

go! The rest of us are catapulted

into a new country, culture and,

sometimes, language, unaware of

how the local job market works. We may feel that the skills and

certifications or licenses that we have will be worthless in our

new home.

Because of the incredible upheaval and transition that

moving to a new country implies for us and our families, many

make the decision to stay out of the workforce for a time—to

raise children, to explore the new country we are living in and

to give our time to other pursuits. Sometimes we don’t actu-

ally have a choice. According to a 2008 study by the Permits

Anna Sparks is a career coach and Foreign Service

family member who helps expats find the job of their

dreams. She’s lived in six countries in the last 15 years

and worked in all of them. Sparks currently lives in

Quito, Ecuador.

FS KNOW-HOW

Going Back toWork:

A Step-by-Step Guide

for Foreign Service

Spouses

One of the great challenges of

Foreign Service life is how an FS

spouse can maintain or develop a career.

Here are some practical tips.

BY ANNA SPARKS