• Buy the 11th edition of Know-it-all passport
  • Cirieco Design - Graphic Design and Marketing Services

Melitta workshop

© Marta Villacampa, Family Photographer, Gland

By Melitta Campbell www.melittacampbell.com

Being a trailing spouse can be an exciting and enriching experience. You get the chance to not only visit a new country, but to live and experience its people, culture and language on a deeper level than you ever would as a tourist. Exciting as this is, as a trailing spouse myself, I know that it can also be frustrating, lonely and isolating!

One of the biggest frustrations can be finding work. In a land where you don't know the culture, speak the language or have a network, finding employment is no easy task. Being away from friends and family, and having no clear direction or purpose, can lead you to lose confidence in yourself and your abilities – which certainly does not help the job-seeking process!

Since moving to Switzerland 15 years ago, I’ve discovered that I’m not alone in feeling the excitement, but also the frustrations of expat life. That’s why I wanted to share what’s worked well for me, in case it could be the perfect career solution for you as well – becoming my own boss.

My experience of running a business as an expat

When I started out on my own 11 years ago, I barely spoke the local language, I had a small network and I had no experience of running my own business. I also had a bonnie 5-month old baby on my hands!

Starting my own business was not the easy choice. But today, I’m proud of the confident businesswoman I’ve grown into, as well as the many other women I’ve helped to launch their own successful business too.

I’ve seen first hand that even if you have little or no experience, it is very possible to start a business here – if you have courage to commit to your dream and take the first step.

Here’s why I feel owning your own business can be a great work option for trailing spouses…

Why trailing spouses should consider starting a business

Melitta kids

© Marta Villacampa, Family Photographer, Gland 

You own your own time
With no support network around you and lots of unexpected demands on your time, working the traditional 9-5 job can be difficult and stressful.

With your own business, however, your time is 100% your own. If your kids are sick, you can work around this. If you have a random appointment in the middle of the day, you can work around that. If you want to take a travel break – even a long one – you can work around that too!

You can fulfill more of your potential
When you work for someone else, you are always working to what they believe your potential is. As an entrepreneur, you’ll soon find you have way more potential than you ever realized. You’ll often find yourself pushed out of your comfort zone and learning and doing things you never thought you could.

It’s thrilling, exciting, a little bit scary, but overall it will help you grow into a person you can be proud of.

If you’re a parent, there is also the added benefit that you’ll be inspiring your kids to pursue their dreams too.

You can work from home… or anywhere
The flexibility of modern business means that you can work from anywhere you like. That could be from your kitchen table, a co-working space, coffee shop, beach, bar…anywhere you choose. Just pack up your mobile and your laptop and off you go.

You can align your approach to your own values
As an employee, you have to align with the company’s values.

As your own boss, however, you are free to decide who you want to work with, who you want to help, how you want to approach your business and which market place you want to be in – and that is very motivating and rewarding.

Melitta 100 ways

© Marta Villacampa, Family Photographer, Gland 

You attract like-minded, inspirational people
In my experience the entrepreneurial community in Switzerland is vibrant, supportive and full of good energy.

Personally, I love learning about and following other people’s journeys to success. It gives me so many insights, lessons and inspiration that I can apply to my own business and share with my clients.

I’ve also noticed over the years, how the more I support others, the more that support and inspiration comes back to me – right when I need it most!

It can travel with you
Many people in the expat community move from country to country regularly.

When you own your own business, this can be a real advantage. Not only can you take your business with you, so you never have to worry about finding work again, but you can also build a global business!

Depending on the type of business you start, you can build a local client base, and then continue to serve those clients as you travel the world. The more countries you visit, the more clients you can pick up!

Could starting a business work for you?
I’m aware that most people starting out in business are doing so for the first time and can benefit from some guidance.

Therefore, I’ve created a Free Masterclass to show you five steps to take to start building your own business and attracting your first clients.

You can access the free training here: https://melitta.mykajabi.com/Dream-Clients

I’ll share not only what I believe are the 5 keys to entrepreneurial success, but also what to avoid and what to focus on first.

Accelerate your entrepreneurial endeavours with Melitta’s Free Business Building eBooks 

Author's bio

Melitta Campbell copyMelitta Campbell

Melitta is a Business Coach and Mentor with nearly 3 decades of business experience and a passion for helping women confidently build a business they love. 
She is also the founder of the Swiss Entrepreneurs Club and president of the Swiss Riviera Toastmasters Club in Montreux.
Originally from Wales, she now lives in Montreux in a chalet she has renovated with her husband overlooking the Swiss Alps.