The needs of a family relocating are ever changing, so how do you ensure that the company you are going to work for can provide for all your needs? It is a life changing decision and while there are not concrete answers to every question you will pose, it is important to consider these fundamental questions in the process.
Why am I moving?
Is it for career development? Who’s career? Is it for a warmer climate, a better lifestyle? Is it for a better family dynamic, health reasons or for financial benefits? Or perhaps it’s for all the above! Whatever it is, when you are a million miles away from home you need to be on the same page as to why you have moved, and what are the benefits for your family.
How can I transfer my skills into a new environment?
Don’t assume everything you know is transferable. Working in another country can be a wonderful experience, personally and professionally, but every country has its own business culture, their own way of doing things, and their own way expressing how something must be done. With this in mind, to ensure a successful transition into your next workplace, it is essential that you ask for support. Effective intercultural training can help you to build new networks, bridge cultures and make you a more effective leader in your new role.
What provision and support is there for my partner?
Some companies are recognising the need to provide allowances for the accompanying partner, including job search support, transition and cultural orientation and training. Remember, after the working partner leaves for work and the kids have gone to school, the accompanying partner is left to create a new life themselves. Often accompanying partners do not always receive the kind of crucial support that will assist them to adjust, but “working with a coach will empower them to create a unique experience that fits with their personal values and objectives”.
What support is there for my children?
A family is a unit and should be considered as a complete package. With this in mind it is important to ask yourself the following: How will this move be beneficial for my children? How will their educational, social and emotional needs be met? How will they be able to settle, find new friends and get the most out of this new adventure?
With 34% of expatriates returning from an assignment prematurely because of family concerns, it is important to plan ahead of departure, and ensure arrival services are set up to assist with the orientation and transition processes for children- no matter the age. Take schools, for instance. What schools are excellent and does their programme of studies suit your child’s needs? Is the curriculum a good fit for future educational plans? Does the school offer quality counselling services for new arrivals?
Am I committed to making this contract successful?
The million dollar question!! Did you realise that international corporate relocation quite literally can cost the employer on average between $500,000 and a million dollars!! They have invested a great deal in you and want to make sure their investment is worthwhile. That is why ensuring you have the right motivation, the right support and the drive to make this cultural adventure successful will benefit everyone!
Make the most out of this incredible opportunity!
For more help and advice with your next move contact Cross-Cultural TransitioNZ!
*Quote taken from Evelyn Simpson- ‘Thriving Abroad.’