In 2004, my family relocated due to my husband’s job posting. Being my first relocation,
I naively believed it would be as simple as arriving, settling down and picking up my career from where I had left off.
My experience on the ground?
I felt like a fish out of water and like an uprooted plant, all at the same time. Culture shock, language barrier, and new labels.
Spouses who relocate in a supporting capacity are sometimes referred to as trailing, tag-along or accompanying spouses. One feels irrelevant as a professional, leading to low-self esteem.
Accompanying partner challenges – from research
“…I felt like I dropped off a pedestal…”
“…I don’t know how to introduce myself anymore….”
No employment prospects
90% were employed before relocation, only 35% were employed after relocation
Spill over effects of accompanying partner stress - Challenges to the spouse
of assignee and his organization
Deep stress is experienced by assignee.
Reduced productivity at work
Spill over effects of accompanying partner stress - Challenges to the organization
22% expat job offers turned down due to partner’s career
Assignment ends prematurely due to partner’s dissatisfaction
Value for Money
Incurring repatriation costs and new hire expenses to replace the departing partner