Welcome to the first in our next series of blogs about: ‘Relocation – To Go or Not to Go?’ from the perspectives of everyone involved in a relocation. In this first instalment we look at helping the accompanying partner decide. What needs to be considered?
Your life partner has been offered an amazing new job opportunity, but it means you will need to relocate your family…how do you decide what to do?
Many of my clients when they are first greeted with this exciting news are hit with a combination of both excitement and fear. This is perfectly normal!
There is no easy answer…
Relocation is a particularly challenging form of change. Change is challenging:
- Change is the normal process of life. Life is not possible without change.
- It is human nature to resist change because we fear the unknown. Most of us like what is familiar and predictable.
- Change can cause us to question our long held beliefs and values.
- Moving through change can be uncomfortable and feel awkward, but it also can be very rewarding.
- Each time we embrace change we are building our capacity to deal with future change.
- Our ability to change, adapt and move forward often offers us new and wonderful opportunities.
I want to tell you about a client I had recently. Names have been changed to ensure confidentiality.
Joy came to me to get some clarity around what she really thought about her husbands job offer… that might sound strange, but often we have many questions and thoughts floating around in our head that are opposing. This especially happens when we are faced with big, life changing decisions (If you haven’t seen it, check out one of my favourite Ted Talks by Ruth Chang – How to make hard choices) and is compounded by lack of sleep and stress. Joy’s husband had been offered a new job… the down side was that it was 5 hours drive away. This meant if he took the job, their family would need to relocate.
The couple had two young children, and Joy was in the last few months of her maternity leave. On the one side she saw this as a great opportunity for their family, a new start and a great chance for her husband to progress in his career… On the other hand, there were great reasons to stay were they were. Family close by for support, good friends and stability…
No clear choice…
For Joy there was no clear choice, on the one hand she really wanted to support her husband, on the other she didn’t want to resent the move if it didn’t work out. Rather a conundrum, but far from an uncommon story.
Coaching allowed Joy to realise the exciting opportunities that a relocation would provide, not just for her husband, but for everyone in the family. Reflecting on her visit to look at possible houses and schools and to get a feel for what life might be like there, she started to feel more comfortable with the possible change.
Our coaching sessions provided the time and space for Joy to talk through her concerns about the move. It was wonderful to watch Joy’s transformation from a place of overwhelm, to a place of acceptance and excitement as to what was possible. She even explored the possibility of study as part of a career change for her, which would allow her to work more easily around her family.
The right answer?
There is no‘right’ answer, each solution is unique to the individual involved. We help you think about you and the people and things you care about, so that you can make the best decision for you and your family.
Our 7 Tips for Accompanying Partners
- Take your time – You don’t need to answer right away, ‘maybe’ is OK. Take time to process and thoroughly research the possibility and options with your partner.
- Find out what life might be like– Ask to be put in touch with a family living at your possible new location or find one yourself, this will help you get a more realistic idea about what it will be like to live there.
- Discover what local support might be available– Ask your partners company if they have any support for the family on arrival, connection is a basic human need, the faster your family can interrelate into your new community, the happier you will be.
- Get a relocation coach– it is extraordinarily useful to have a trusted, impartial professional at your back during this challenging time. They will be able to hold our vision for you when you are exhausted!
- Make space for everyone to be heard– Keep the dialogue open with your loved ones and think though what the options mean for you and yours.
- Make a decision– Choosing is hard, but most people feel better once they have come to a conclusion.
- Have a plan and have a contingency plan!
- Be brave– you truly don’t really know what you are capable of until you try!
Wishing you all the best whether you decide to go on an adventure or not! If not now, maybe next time!
At Enhanced Relocation we offer relocation coaching, training and community support to employees and families relocating.
In the next few months we will be releasing an online support programme for accompanying partners, helping you and your family to relocate anywhere in the world!
Please contact us if you would like more information about our upcoming Accompanying Partner Programme.