Need a Brexit Visa?..here’s what you need to know, now!

By Marie Haraburda

On February 19th, REA Coach Jutta Konig participated in a Roundtable discussion sponsored by the Permits Foundation, which is a non-profit organization in The Hague committed to improving work permit regulations for accompanying partners of expatriates around the world. The meeting was hosted by Deloitte at the Brussels airport where Julia Onslow-Cole, Partner, Global Government Strategies and Compliance, discussed the upcoming March 29 European Union (EU) Brexit decision in the United Kingdom (UK) and potential outcomes on immigration policies

Tips for those seeking Visas in the UK

  • With this crucial decision coming, it is recommended that those headed to the United Kingdom do so before the March 29 deadline to avoid potential complications with immigration applications.
  • Those already in the United Kingdom should encourage family members to file for documented immigration status as soon as possible, before the March 29 decision.

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‘Tis the Season!

Tips for making the most of the Job-Search during the Holiday Season.

by Marie Haraburda, Global Career Coach

With December being a festive* month: Should job-seekers take a break from the job search?

It’s a myth that employers stop recruiting in December. Many recruiters have vacancies to fill before the end of the year to avert budget cuts. So while some job seekers lighten up on the search, this opens up more opportunities for those who continue looking. Whether seekers lighten up the search or forge ahead is up to each person. Here are some ways for seekers to include job search activities into their enjoyment of the holidays.

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We’re Moving WHERE?

Job-related relocation can be quite a leap for the ‘accompanying partner’.It’s also the number one reason assignments fail. You won’t believe the price tag.

Imagine coming home from a day at work, starting dinner, throwing a load of towels into the washer, running one kid to soccer practice and dropping another off at ballet, then getting a text from your spouse: “How would you like to move to London?”

Even for those individuals for whom this is a long-awaited adventure, the question might just as well be, “How would you like to completely uproot our lives, sell the house on short notice, pack up all of our worldly belongings, move our kids to a new country where their best friends since nursery school won’t be, where people talk with a different accent, our medical records aren’t easily accessible, they drive on the other side of the road, and we’re a 12-hour, trans-Atlantic plane ride away from our aging parents? Oh, and by the way, you’re going to have to quarantine the dog and quit the job you love.”

Sign me up, right?

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Lend a Hand. Leave Your Mark. Land a Job.

Once the dust has settled from moving pets and personal belongings into a new home, volunteering may also offer an appealing way to settle into a new community. Lending a hand where it’s needed is a good way to boost self-esteem, demonstrate a strong work ethic and help leave a lasting impression.

Another benefit of voluntarism is that “doing good” can often contribute to “doing well,” long-term. Job interviewers surveyed by Deloitte (Fortune, 2016) observed a connection between unpaid work and finding a job.

In fact:

82% of interviewers stated that they prefer applicants with volunteer experience;

92% say volunteer activities build leadership skills;

The same study noted that, despite the favorability of volunteer work among potential employers, only 32% of job seekers mention unpaid community-service experience on their resumes.

Here are some other benefits of volunteering:

  • Purpose: Volunteering allows individuals and families to immerse themselves into a new community while supporting a meaningful cause and providing a sense of purpose.
  • Flexibility: If schedule management is an issue, the time spent in volunteer work can be as flexible or as structured as needed.
  • Healthy Outlook: Change can be difficult, and boredom can wreak havoc for individuals who are predisposed to depression. Doing something for others is good medicine.
  • Skill Development: Keeping active through volunteering can enhance existing or develop new skills for future career opportunities…or while waiting for visa issues to be resolved.
  • Career Redirection: Volunteering is a creative way to try out a new line of work. When considering a career change, working in a non-profit organization or as an intern in a target company can help to test a new application of skills for long-term career development.
  • Networking: Few networking experiences are better than meeting people through voluntarism. Many corporations encourage their management team to support communities through service. Volunteering alongside professionals who are in a hiring capacity can be quite beneficial to landing a dream job.

As the Chinese proverb says, “A bit of fragrance clings to the hand that gives flowers.” For relocating partners, volunteer work can help support the sweet smell of success.

Check out REA’s Pinterest Board, Volunteer Your Way to A Job, for “best-of-the-web” resources on this topic.

Millennials: On the Move

Dolly-COUPLE-MOVING-THOUGHT-BUBBLES-EMOJIS

Most information presented today regarding Millennials indicates that this is a population that has a global mindset and is largely open to adventure and new experiences, especially if they offer professional growth and interesting challenges.  If a company is concerned about retaining Millennial talent, investing in their professional growth is essential and should reap gains for the company as well.  Using strategic international assignments for developmental purposes is key to successful talent management and having a flexible relocation package to support these assignments is a clear competitive advantage for corporations today.

 

According PricewaterhouseCoopers’ report Millennials at Work: Reshaping the Workplace, 70 percent of Millennials want or expect an overseas assignment at some point in their careers. And with 1.8 billion Millennials predicted to make up 50 percent of the global workforce by 2020, employers need to ensure their relocation programs are attractive to this generation.

 

Many companies offer lump sum relocation packages, assuming the employee would rather self-manage their funds.  But a lump sum benefit without guidance in its proper usage, can be quickly spent on services and items that do little to assist the employee, and especially a spouse, in the cultural and professional adaptation to their new location.  Companies cannot assume that millennials know what to expect, or know how to manage a lump sum budget.  And because they are accustomed to being transparent in their social commentary, employers can expect that they will openly discuss and compare their experience with others.

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Going Home Again. Six Strategies for Successful Repatriation.

 

Living abroad can be an exciting, transformational experience for a family, as immersing in a new culture exposes family members to a different style of living and often requires relating to one another in new and different ways.

 

Returning “home” though may turn into a disappointment as family members realize that much has changed during their absence: A favorite restaurant has closed, neighbors have moved away, close friends have formed new relationships, new stores have replaced familiar haunts, new neighborhoods have emerged from a cornfield. The result is a home that is somewhat familiar, but not exactly what the memory holds.

 

Further, employees assume that overseas assignments will enhance their career opportunities within their company. While on assignment, they often develop new skills and competencies, but they return home to positions that make no use of their development and growth or, worse yet, find that there really isn’t a plan for the next step on their career path with the company.

 

The Repatriation, returning to one’s home country and settling back into “regular” life — can pose challenges as daunting as those encountered with expatriation, the process of leaving home. Also known as “re-entry shock”, every aspect of life is affected: social, physical, occupational, emotional, intellectual, and spiritual, and change may manifest itself in difficulty adjusting to either home or career—or both– for the employee and family.

 

Recognizing the changes that have occurred for both the individual and the family is key in supporting a successful return to the home country. Based on a wellness model of various aspects of adjustment, here are six strategies to help with repatriation:

 

  1. Stay Social: Encourage families to use social media and Skype to keep in touch with the world that they will be re-entering…AND the one they are leaving. It’s important to continue relationships with family members and friends, even when separated by distance. New technologies make this process much easier than it was a decade ago. Once the family has returned, scheduling time with friends they haven’t seen helps to re-establish bonds.
  2. Be Physical: Changes in diet and activity can alter well-being, for good or ill. If, for example, the family is moving from a location that provides many opportunities for walking to one that is automotive-reliant, building exercise into the schedule helps to fill the void. Establishing new routines that honor recent life changes may be helpful, as well. Yoga or meditation can provide other options for balance.
  3. Acknowledge Change: Helping families to intellectualize the reasons behind the stress they are feeling can help to dissipate some of the dissonances. Encourage them to identify causes of stress, then employ strategies to counteract it.
  4. Find Meaning in Work: Employees who are returning home have developed new skills and perspective. They may need help to identify new challenges and growth opportunities to apply their newfound knowledge, or risk being frustrated and unfulfilled in their work. Relocation and repatriation may affect employment of an accompanying partner, as well. Partners can benefit from assistance in preparing to re-enter the job market.
  5. Honor feelings: Recognize that moving involves a loss, and any loss may be accompanied by a grief cycle. (Denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance.) If relocating individuals find themselves struggling to function through normal activities, working with a counselor or coach who specializes in life transitions may help navigate this process.
  6. Keep the Faith: Many individuals and families are comforted by a spiritual grounding of a faith-based community. If this applies, rejoining or seeking a home in their faith tradition may be a remedy.

 

Thomas Wolfe famously said, “You can’t go home again.” Repatriating families can go home, but they will never be the same as they were before their international experience.  Once conquering the reverse culture-shock phenomenon, families realize how enriched their lives had become as a result of an international assignment.

 

Amy Connelly is the Manager of Training and Corporate Communication for REA – Partners in Transition, a leader in spousal assistance for career transition during relocation. Follow REA’s Pinterest Board on Repatriation, and check out www.reacareers.com to learn more about available services.

Get Ready!

get-ready-dayToday is National Get Ready Day.

If you are in the middle of a relocation, you may be living this phrase on a daily basis, but today, “Get ready!” has special meaning.  It’s part of National Preparedness Month, and a day designated to encourage everyone to review your family’s emergency preparedness plan.

There are special implications for recently relocated families, especially those who have moved from an area prone to, say, hurricanes, to one that experiences earthquakes or tornadoes.

Here are a few conversation starters for a family discussion: [Read more…]

Resolutions for the Recently Relocated

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There’s much talk of resolutions at the beginning of every new year, and despite the fact that many folks manage to break their resolutions within days of setting them, a new year is a chance for a fresh start.

 

For families who have recently moved, the “new year” can begin in January (even a couple of weeks late), July, April, November, or any other month on the calendar.  As anyone who has ever moved knows, the to-do list can seem never-ending, but if you approach relocation with a plan in mind, it is not only manageable, but can also be enjoyable.

 

Get to know your new community.

 

You may still have dozens of boxes to unpack, a family to settle, and employment to secure, but acquainting yourself with both the physical layout and amenities of your new home base will help you and your family to establish yourself in your new setting and make connections that will help you accomplish the rest.

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Great Organization! Two Ways to Help

Move for Hunger

When people move, they tend to get rid of stuff.

Adam Lowry, part of the fourth generation of his family’s moving company, noticed that some of the “stuff” that people on the move were getting rid of was food…good food that could be used to feed hungry people, if only there was a way to distribute it.

 

Enter “Move for Hunger,” a 501(c)(3)organization founded by Adam to collect non-perishable food items and deliver them to local food banks for distribution to needy families.  You can read more about this organization and Adam and his Crew by clicking on the links, but there are two things you can do right now to support this great cause:

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