The Expatriate Partner: Create Your Own Life Purpose

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Your partner gets yet another opportunity that uproots your lives and drops you in a new country full of exciting yet intimidating unknowns ahead. Unlike your partner, you are not here on an assignment you are here accompanying them. What do you do now? The expatriate world is made of those who work and those who accompany them to their assignments. Moving abroad for your partner is brave, trusting and can be quite terrifying. You may fear you are not taking actions to create your own life purpose. More often than not the expatriate partners cannot find the same or similar terms of employment they had in their home countries or even in a country where they were previously assigned. The dilemma re-surfaces with pretty much every move- what am I to do now? Museum trips and local culture exploration behind me, how can I satisfy my professional and career goals?

Considering that we are almost always insanely busy, this time away from work and professional engagements may be your chance to create your own life purpose and to figure out what you are here for. What is your reason for being on this planet? They say that we are born with a life purpose — our gift to this world. Far from being about a job, a career, a profession, life purpose is about things we are meant to accomplish.


Some people look for their life purpose, others never find it. To try to find yours, see if you can answer the following questions. Take a large piece of paper and jot down the answers as they come to you. Try to see what concepts are a reoccurring in your answers.


  1. Think back to a time of crisis in your life or the life of others close to you. To create your own life purpose you need to see what your innate actions are during life’s most important moments. The kind of event that had an apparent shift in who you were before and who you became after. What did you do during it or immediately after? Most likely you did what seemed most vital and real to you and your actions would be a strong indicator of your life purpose.
  2. Think of yourself in the old ripe age with friends around you. What are they saying about the impact you’ve had on their lives?
  3. Imagine that someone gave you a large billboard to use however you want. Thousands of drivers pass by that billboard every day. What would you put on that billboard to influence them? What would you say? What images would you use?


Having worked through the answers to these questions you’ll see a common theme emerging, the theme of the impact you want to create. Whether it’s helping people in need, creating something big, learning everything there is to know, or something entirely different, the words should point you in the right direction to create your own life purpose. Now what do you do to get there?

Everything we do in this life could be looked at as a game. What is the game you are playing at the moment? Is it helping you create your own life purpose? Is it taking you any closer to it? Are you good at the game? Do you like the other players? If the game you are playing does not in any way reflect your life purpose, what would be the game that will?


Wherever you are on your journey towards your life purpose, use small actions to get there. To create your own life purpose ask yourself what can you do every day, every week, and once a month to get closer to what you want? Make sure those small steps add up to your end goal. Your everyday actions, however mundane they may seem (like cleaning the house or doing taxes), are the preliminary building blocks in accomplishing your life goals. As long as you do not use them as an excuse to postpone the actions that really matter, those building blocks are what takes you to create your own life purpose.


And most importantly- have fun along the way. If you are moving towards something that will make your whole life matter, that is how to create your own life purpose. All the best in the journey.


Written by: Cultural Business Consulting in collaboration with Margarita Gokun Silver

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