As we showed in Accompanying partners by the numbers statistic information about traveling partners is hard to come by. Most surveys focus primary on the expatriated partner, the one with the contract and the new job abroad.
Therefore we have invited our members and friends to participate in here we are’s own global professionals on the move 2017 survey. The numbers show interesting stories.
88 members and friends of here we are helped us by taking the survey. Out of these 52 were people who currently live abroad or had within the last 3 years lived abroad because they had followed a partner with a new job. The accompanying partners that participated in the survey were 10% men and 90% women.
Here we are numbers versus Global Mobility trend
As we showed in Accompanying partners by the numbers the BGRS’ Global Mobility Survey indicated that 16% of traveling partners and spouses were employed before and during assignment, while 49% were employed prior to assignment but not during the assignment.
As the figure shows below the numbers for here we are members and friends are a little different as 54% were employed before and during assignment, while 40% were employed prior to assignment only.
The here we are survey also differs greatly in the number of participant who were not employed prior or during assignment. For the Global mobility survey that number was 31%. Here we are’s survey show that only 2% were not employed prior or during assignment.
It is however not surprising that a network like here we are, focusing on dual career opportunities, attracts traveling partners who worked at home before an assignment.
In total 94% of the partners who answered the here we are survey worked in their home country before going on an international assignment.
Where do accompanying partners work?
When asking our participant about their worklife before and during assignments we learned that traveling partners come from a variety of professional backgrounds and employments.
We also learned – and as the numbers show below – that many traveling partners change the sector they work in, when they work abroad:
An interesting observation for us is that partners who are self-employed at home stay self-employed abroad and that a great number of partners who are employed at home choose to become self-employed abroad. The reason for this cannot be found in our questionnaire, but we could assume that the self-employed lifestyle goes well with the change and flexibility that comes with and can be needed for global dual career couples.
What we also know about the the traveling partners worklife abroad is, that of that participated in our survey, 53% worked locally in their new host country, 16% worked long-distance for a company in their home country or other location, 13% traveled for work in different locations and 6% worked online.
Why do accompanying partners not work?
40% of the traveling partners who participated in our survey did not have any form of paid work while living abroad. We asked them why not, and:
- 43% states that this was out of choice since they wanted to spend their time abroad on other priorities,
- 29% Stated that they could not obtain a work permit,
- 19% stated that they had looked for work but not found any, and
- 10% stated that they had not looked for work since they found it unlikely that they could find paid work in their host country.
What we also learned in our 2017 survey was, that a great number of partners spend their time abroad volunteering – please read more about this in the post: When accompanying partners volunteer. Also learn more about here we are members and the 2017 survey in Wonder what here we are members look like?