Yes, it’s all about relocation!!
In my work owning and running a pan-European relocation company, and now an online global relocation service, I have assisted in the relocation of thousands and thousands of individuals, families, pets, children, aged parents and nannies!
Indeed I have been doing this work for over 35 years from the “olden days” of the trailing spouse to todays partner who only moves if there is work opportunities.
Within my work sphere I have advised HR professionals on policy, on handling the issues that are daily on their desk, from the administrative, practical side to guiding their thinking into improving the lot of the relocatee and their families, both on managing on tight budgets and emotional issues.
Your relocation needs to suit you
However many relocation processes I have put into action each one of them is important, precious and challenging in their own way. Relocation is a minefield of emotions and needs skill, care and practical support not only in the early days but right through the relocation assignment which is usually and sadly enough, when care and support is no longer forthcoming.
The steps of adjusting to a relocation are many and the confusion of making decisions on life-changing matters when you are tired, out of your comfort zone, have children who do not want to be moved, ever and are supporting aged parents abroad.!
When spouses have left good jobs to become occasionally a coat hanger to their partners coat, in a location that has severe extremes of weather or political turmoil, is not an easy option. I have seen it all, heard the tales, listened in on the arguments and been there when partners walk away, back to their comfort zone. When drink or gambling relieve the homesickness and lack of ability to cope.
Making the choice to move to another country in pursuit of a career or for a new start can be a daunting task, threaded with pure excitement and anticipation. Its during the decision-making process where you need to make a correct choice not only for oneself but for those you take with you and even the ones you leave behind! Those decisions need to be made with a good analysis of the legal entry requirements, the opportunities and challenges that await once you arrive, the likely living conditions, housing, security, health, cost of living, transport and lifestyle, as both a local and an expatriate. Last, but not least ,
one always needs local information on customs, habits, language and the best ways to integrate. It’s a lot to take in and when is the best time to get all this practical assistance?. Probably when you are making the decision to move followed by once the decision is needing to understand what life will be like and what it may cost, when one needs to secure a home, or choose schools ,finally settling in, way after arrival, when little things become important and assimilation is key.
Brand new opportunities
I have also seen the friendships, new opportunities never before imagined in the life plan of many people. The fun, the adventure, the new cultural dimensions life abroad can offer. Learning a new language, exploring districts, becoming independent and taking up careers that would never have been thought of before.
In this regular series I will explore the many facets of a relocation process that happen to the people I know and have worked with over the years. Be they HR managers or transferees. Incidents and happenings, falling in love and out of love whilst waiting for a partner to join them in a new country, making and breaking friends, coping in difficult circumstances and even bearing the difficulties and sometimes impossible task of repatriation, when all is the same again, only it never is! I will endeavor open your eyes to the needs and requirements and feelings of those on the move and make you aware of the challenges and rewards of the relocation process.
Michele Bar-Pereg: May 2016