08 Dec Career, family and relocation
Accepting a promotion abroad or being headhunted for a new position in another country can have a dramatic impact on your career and your future prospects. For families, however, there is more to think about than just the effect on the family member who is changing role.
Emotional considerations are likely to be the first that spring to mind; children and adults alike will have to cope with being away from friends and family and tension at getting used to a new culture is to be expected. In some cases, serious practicalities can be a stumbling block. For example, in a dual-career couple, one spouse might find it difficult to get a work permit in the new country or may have to take a step back in their career. If a teenager is preparing for exams, how and where will they sit them?
Companies often bear the financial burden of a relocation, but when it comes to other matters, the assistance they provide in the relocation phase can differ greatly. However, firms recruiting from abroad have begun to realise just how important it is to help not only their new employee but also their new employee’s family in the relocation process. This, in turn, helps the new employee to settle in quickly and perform well at their new job.
Nowadays, many companies offer a range of relocation services. Families, for instance, may have the chance to visit their new country for a short period before moving there to familiarise themselves with their surroundings. Young children can have a telephone conversation with another expatriate youngster at their new school, which reassures them that they will meet children with the same native language and a similar background. This gives them a greater sense of security about the move.
Of course, it depends on the company – but with so many possibilities now available, it is always worth asking!