Archives for October 2013

What About Me? A Common Question from the Relocating Spouse

What About Me? A Common Question from the Relocating Spouse
by Heidi B. Ravis, Global Services Team Leader, REA (Ricklin-Echikson Associates)

Relocating employees and their families often receive assistance from numerous sources, including realtors, movers and cultural trainers. Research shows, however, that career and acclimation support for the accompanying spouse/partner are critical elements in the success of a relocation. While the employee has a sense of purpose and structure upon arrival in the new location, the accompanying spouse often encounters feelings of isolation resulting from career interruption and/or loss of professional identity and social ties. In addition, the spouse may feel overwhelmed by the challenges of adapting to a new communityor culture and helping children to cope with them as well.

The International Mobility and Dual Career Survey of International Employees conducted by the Permits Foundation (2012) supports this perspective.

The survey indicates that if the spouse has given up a job that provided success, income and identity, their new jobless status may contribute to dissatisfaction with the new location and negative feelings about the move. These factors may have a significant impact on the success or failure of the relocation and, ultimately, the employee’s future with the company. In my experience as an International Career Consultant, I have found that successful support for the accompanying spouse includes the following:

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