mmmintroduction Introduction - Career in Your Suitcase
Career in Your Suitcase
A practical guide to creating meaningful work... anywhere


This is a preview to the Introduction from the book Career in Your Suitcase by Jo Parfitt.
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Since I first conceived this book, back in 1996, in Stavanger, Norway, I have watched the idea of a career in your suitcase evolve, pick up speed and grow into what I consider to be the number one solution to finding meaningful work wherever you may live in the world. It has been well over 15 years now and many people, from all over the world, have inspired me and added to my vision. However, one person in particular has to be held responsible for this book. Back in 1996, Kit Prendergast asked me to tell the members of the professional women’s group she chaired about the career I had sustained while I had lived abroad in three different countries. She then encouraged me to develop my knowledge into the first ever Career in Your Suitcase workshop. Kit made me believe I had something to say. She gave value to my experiences.

Thank you to the contributors to previous versions of Career in Your Suitcase, whose footprints are still to be found scattered throughout this fourth edition: Galen Tinder, Mary Farmer, Gail MacIndoe, and Huw Francis. The Expatriate Archive Centre, The Trailing Spouse, and provided many pertinent quotations but the majority came from the mentors and bloggers at and our gratitude goes to Andrea Martins who sourced them for us.

Inevitably, I give huge thanks to my husband, Ian, for making my career in my suitcase possible in the first place. I have immense gratitude to my children, Sam and Josh, for respecting the fact that I often work from home and for always being supportive. But it is my parents, Peter and Jenny Gosling, who have believed in me and shown their pride in even my smallest achievement, since the day I was born. And that has made all the difference.
Jo Parfitt
March 2013

I am extremely grateful to have met Jo and been offered the gift to build on the success of Career in Your Suitcase. It has been more than a two year journey from our initial discussion to the realization of this fourth edition. I appreciate Jo’s flexibility and collaborative approach which has allowed this edition to unfold in a natural way. In coming up with examples from my own life to share, I was reminded of many other gifts I have received along my career journey; gifts from colleagues and mentors and ultimately my parents who continue to be role models for me in life. Most of all, I thank my husband, Sven, for his belief in me and my abilities as well as the gift of time and space in which to follow through on this dream. And of course it is because of him that I have developed a portable career. This book truly is the realization of what, when I first moved to the Netherlands seven years ago, seemed like a wild and crazy idea.

Colleen Reichrath
March 2013

"Jo’s workshops and book provided me with the tools, realisation and independence to operate outside “the conventional box”...."

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