Imagine having your career in your suitcase?

By Trine Tveen Nielsen | Business Abroad

Feb 09

One of the biggest hurdles of an expat spouse is to find employment that matches her interest, education or skills during each relocation. It’s often stressful and frustrating to start over professionally over and over again. In an ideal world, you will have the freedom to move anywhere in the world with minimal career disruption. Now imagine having your career in your suitcase, checking in and out with you! In today’s digital world, it’s possible…meet the ‘portable career’!


A portable career is not bound to any specific geographic location but can be pursued anywhere and anytime. This concept has opened up new opportunities for expat spouses to pursue their personal and professional goal in a variety of occupations. A few examples are a translator, photo blogger, writer, web designer, copywriter, yoga instructor, teacher or life coach. The portable career – or being your own boss – gave you the freedom to maintain your professional identity while enjoying an international lifestyle.


A laptop, an internet connection, the skills to network online and offline and you are all set to conquer the world. If you are living or planning to move in a country where you don't speak the language, where it’s difficult to get a work permit, where your credentials are not accepted or recognized… As markets become more global and technology evolves, more and more portable career options become available.

The common denominators in finding and developing a ​portable career is to look for services or skills that are generally in high demand such education and training, healthcare and IT , to choose a profession that is not heavily regulated such as law or medicine, to work or sell services and products online.


We all have our unique qualities, strengths, as well as our knowledge, and experience. Developing or enhancing skills that are used and needed universally is a must to finding and building a portable career. Most expat women masters multiple languages, have a deep understanding of cross cultural communication or handling diversity in workplace to name a few. See yourself as a unique combination of qualities, skills, strengths and experiences that you can put to practice wherever you go. If you commit to lifelong learning and engage with today’s technologies, the world is your oyster. Just remember, every exit is a new entry somewhere.

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About the Author

Since her conception of Boosting Business in 2008, Trine Nielsen’s success with the brand bureau in her homeland of Denmark has inspired her to aid and teach professionals and entrepreneurs, helping them understand what becoming an authority in their field takes to hit a global breakthrough. Since then, she has co-founded LinkFacility, launched in Qatar in 2016, to further her vision in providing guidance and changing mindsets in relation to networking and personal branding. Her experience in establishing powerful brand identities has solidified her belief that communication is the most powerful tool for both people and organisations, and she’s got two decades’ worth of industry experience to back that up. Trine Nielsen has also made her mark as the co-founder of Women in Business, one of the most popular professional networks for women in Denmark. This, along with her previous endeavours, has been Nielsen’s move in advocating and implementing entrepreneurial business growth solutions across professional settings all over the world. With LinkFacility, Nielsen continues to target and expand focus on international strategic networking, market positioning, and business growth. As a member of the Board of Directors in the MDBC (Malaysian Danish Business Council), her mission is to even out the playing field for individuals and small-to-medium enterprises while sparking more awareness about the Danish industry in Malaysia from where she operates on daily basis. Trine Nielsen was in 2019 awarded as Malaysia Women Icon for her excellence, influence, and her innovative approach to global entrepreneurship.

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