The request to move abroad for the employer often comes unexpectedly and many families are not prepared for the situation.
There is normally a pre-assignment trip (“look and see”) in the host country in order to get to know the local situation, look for suitable accommodation for the next three to five years and find a suitable school or nursery for the accompanying children. In most cases the decision of venturing to accept the posting is then actually already taken on-site. For many it is a case of jumping in at the deep end.
Once actually on-site some people wish they had had more preparation time and know-how before tackling the task. In the vast majority of cases, the wives accompany their husbands abroad and they have to put their own careers on ice to do so. Due to the local provisions in many countries, it is rarely possible to get a work permit for them as well.
And then? At some point in time the new home has been furnished, the new environment has been explored, the children have got used to the new school and spend many hours of the day away from home.
The husband spends most of his time at the office or on business trips and the otherwise so independent and competent expat wife has to try and manage her everyday life alone. She is faced with unexpected hurdles again and again in the process. Whereas before she had taken care of the shopping for the lunchtime meal in between other chores, popping to the domestic market with all its foreign products, their prices that have to be bargained for in a language she is not familiar with, can become a real challenge. Frustrated, she realises that she is trying to make herself understood using gestures and hand signs like a small child. Hardly a trace of the former dignity is now apparent.
Such experiences can be very stressful. And so that the initial euphoria isn’t followed rapidly by the doldrums, “At home everywhere – coaching for expat partners and third culture kids” is there to answer the following, but also numerous other questions, for you.
According to which criteria should I decide whether an overseas stay is the right thing for me and my family?
How can I prepare the relocation so that the entire family remains emotionally stable and masters the sensitive phase of the transition into the new culture?
Who am I beyond my role that I fulfilled easily at home without even thinking about it?
What will I do with all the spare time that I will suddenly have and how will my ego deal with the repeatedly posed question “And what did you do during all that time?”
How can I overcome the many cultural blunders so that I feel as competent and confident as I did before?
How do I go about leaving our host country and arranging returning to our native country so that we really feel back at home there as soon as we have returned?
I will be glad to accompany and support you in the scope of a personal coaching, prior to, during and after your posting. Simply send me an e-mail via the contact form or call me and we can arrange a personal appointment at my office or online.