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Building the perfect expat portable career

Article published by Isabelle Litzler on June 07. 2018

How can you build a sustainable career in 2018?  A career where you do not have to search for a job each time you change locations with all the hurdles, frustrations and complexity.  A career that you can take in your suitcase is the best option I find in 2018 if you want to be an international professional.  I wanted to share some tips with you on how to build this international portable career:

Have a sense of what you want in life in general - Career assessment

In eBook my career, I share some method in how to match your skills to a career.  This is the first step.  I share practical exercises to walk you through your options and decision making.  You should include travel/ expatriation projects if you have some as part of the deal early on. 

Jobs that dont export well:

  • Legal & medical fields (high in local qualifications)
  • Public office & administration (linked to your home country)
  • Boutique retail work in your specific country with specific products
  • Manufacturing, country resources specific (oil, mining, agriculture)

     Jobs that export well:

  • Anything digital: Marketing, webmaster, online consultant, graphic design, copywriter
  • Web Development, IT security
  • Some functional jobs: HR / Finance / Administration as long as you take additional credentials once you moved
  • Teaching English as a second language
  • Artistic / creative work in general: Design
  • Entrepreneur, online entrepreneur.  Note that most countries will offer a different work permit process when you enter the country as a business owner rather than as an employee.  It is usually much easier.  If you have a business idea, it may be worth testing it and see if you could make it a business.

      Biggest growth areas in Switzerland

  • Ecommerce
  • Fintech
  • Digital marketing
  • Engineering
  • Information, R&D and innovation
  • HR Management & Training

       Final Recommendations

Choose a digital career.  Whether it be marketing, IT or engineering, consulting

Choose a job that is not linked to a country-specific environment (Legal, medical and teaching fields tend to be linked to country specific regulations)

Choose a job that you can do from anywhere.  Look at your job now, could you do it online with a bit of re-engineering?


Choose a job where you have growth potential.  You want to have options to grow the job rather than changing it later because it is too boring.  For example, administrative jobs tend to quickly become boring and the transition to something more professional may not be easy.  Pick something more technical from the beginning of your career where you can get additional certifications with time and grow the job.

You would like to know more about building a "portable* career and whether this is something you could do: Send me a message with your situation: contact@pleiadeshc.com and I will reply to you with a diagnostic.