Dozens of trailing spouses who interrupted their careers to relocate to Luxembourg and now find themselves jobless and frustrated have formed a make-believe job marketplace in which they still have value.
The group’s main activities include interviewing each for imaginary jobs, pretending to hire one another for these non-existent positions, and play-acting that they are going through the onboarding process and meeting the new team.
“I had a very promising career in human resources when we moved here for my husband’s job,” said group member Orelia Gibbs, 43. “I said no problem, I’ll find something in Luxembourg, especially taking into account my international experience and degree from a top university.”
“That was nine years ago and I still haven’t found a position,” she said. “Which is okay, because my friends in the trailing spouses group make me feel like employers still want me.”
While most gatherings involve only six or seven people, sometimes dozens of members show up, enough to organize ego-boosting job fairs in which everyone takes a turn being a candidate over whom all the companies fight.
“Looking your CV, I see you haven’t worked since, whoa, five years,” said trailing spouse Liam Foreswear to trailing spouse Gabriella Utanki at a mock recruitment stand. “It says you don’t speak French or German, and that your hobbies are picking up your kids at the creche and posting in expat forums.”
“That’s exactly the profile we’re looking for,” he added. “Congratulations, Ms. Utanki. You’re hired.”
“Thank you, but before I accept the offer, I’ll have to give it some thought,” Utanki replied. “I’ve got 17 interviews scheduled this week. Headhunters are camping outside my house.”
“Would a new Mercedes, a hiring bonus of 50 grand, and an instant promotion to VP of Sales be enough to get you to sign?” Foreswear said.
In another play scene, several members pretended to be colleagues welcoming their new boss Timothea Calastrucki, who in the outside world is an increasingly unemployable former interior designer. However, in the play world, she’s just been hired as the new director of a prestigious studio.
“We could never have imagined finding a new director as awesome as you,” said long-time trailing spouse Pol Rando, 34, pretending to be the head of HR. “Not in a million, billion, gajillion years.”