Lend a Hand. Leave a Mark. Land a Job.

Once the dust has settled from moving pets and personal belongings into a new home, volunteering may also offer an appealing way to settle into a new community. Lending a hand where it’s needed is a good way to boost self-esteem, demonstrate a strong work ethic and help leave a lasting impression.

Another benefit of voluntarism is that “doing good” can often contribute to “doing well,” long-term. Job interviewers surveyed by Deloitte (Fortune, 2016) observed a connection between unpaid work and finding a job.

In fact:

82% of interviewers stated that they prefer applicants with volunteer experience;

92% say volunteer activities build leadership skills;

The same study noted that, despite the favorability of volunteer work among potential employers, only 32% of job seekers mention unpaid community-service experience on their resumes.

Here are some other benefits of volunteering:

  • Purpose: Volunteering allows individuals and families to immerse themselves into a new community while supporting a meaningful cause and providing a sense of purpose.
  • Flexibility: If schedule management is an issue, the time spent in volunteer work can be as flexible or as structured as needed.
  • Healthy Outlook: Change can be difficult, and boredom can wreak havoc for individuals who are predisposed to depression. Doing something for others is good medicine.
  • Skill Development: Keeping active through volunteering can enhance existing or develop new skills for future career opportunities…or while waiting for visa issues to be resolved.
  • Career Redirection: Volunteering is a creative way to try out a new line of work. When considering a career change, working in a non-profit organization or as an intern in a target company can help to test a new application of skills for long-term career development.
  • Networking: Few networking experiences are better than meeting people through voluntarism. Many corporations encourage their management team to support communities through service. Volunteering alongside professionals who are in a hiring capacity can be quite beneficial to landing a dream job.

As the Chinese proverb says, “A bit of fragrance clings to the hand that gives flowers.” For relocating partners, volunteer work can help support the sweet smell of success.

Check out REA’s Pinterest Board, Volunteer Your Way to A Job, for “best-of-the-web” resources on this topic.

Who’s on First?

Most people rarely think about career development professionals until they’re pursuing a job search.  And, the choices can be confusing.  If this is where you find yourself, here is an overview of the types of career development professionals you may look to during career transition and which ones will be the best fit for you:

[Read more…]

REA Celebrates a PLATINUM Win and SILVER Innovation Award!

(Basking Ridge, NJ) Sept. 26, 2017 — Cartus awards REA-Partners in Transition with its Platinum Commitment to Excellence Award at the 2017 Global Network Conference in Chicago.

REA-Partners in Transition won its 11th consecutive Platinum Award for outstanding performance, at the Cartus Global Network Conference held on September 25-26 during its annual gala celebration at the Chicago Hyatt McCormick Place. The Cartus Global Network is Cartus’ industry-leading worldwide service provider alliance. Each year, Cartus recognizes the companies and individuals in the Network who have provided extraordinary service to its customers and clients worldwide. The theme of this year’s conference was “Innovate: Collaborate, Excel, Grow Together.

[Read more…]

REA Wins Award in APAC

(Basking Ridge, NJ-USA) REA – Partners in Transition earned distinctive recognition in the Asia-Pacific region during the Forum for Expatriate Management’s Excellence in Mobility Management Awards (EMMAs) celebration in Hong Kong Thursday evening, Sept. 7th, 2017.

 

REA took first Runner-Up honors in the Best Family Support category. This marks the fourth consecutive year FEM recognized REA for its quality service delivery. In sharing the news with the REA team, Lorraine Bello, CEO/President, stated, “This acknowledgment highlights REA’s service excellence and commitment to the families of our clients and industry partners in APAC and worldwide.” Edmund Seng, REA partner based in Singapore attended the gala and accepted the award on the company’s behalf.

 

REA provides global career and transition services to relocating companies worldwide. Its expertise supports accompanying partners and families relocating to locations around the globe. More information about REA is available on the corporate website, www.reacareers.com

Millennials: On the Move

Dolly-COUPLE-MOVING-THOUGHT-BUBBLES-EMOJIS

Most information presented today regarding Millennials indicates that this is a population that has a global mindset and is largely open to adventure and new experiences, especially if they offer professional growth and interesting challenges.  If a company is concerned about retaining Millennial talent, investing in their professional growth is essential and should reap gains for the company as well.  Using strategic international assignments for developmental purposes is key to successful talent management and having a flexible relocation package to support these assignments is a clear competitive advantage for corporations today.

 

According PricewaterhouseCoopers’ report Millennials at Work: Reshaping the Workplace, 70 percent of Millennials want or expect an overseas assignment at some point in their careers. And with 1.8 billion Millennials predicted to make up 50 percent of the global workforce by 2020, employers need to ensure their relocation programs are attractive to this generation.

 

Many companies offer lump sum relocation packages, assuming the employee would rather self-manage their funds.  But a lump sum benefit without guidance in its proper usage, can be quickly spent on services and items that do little to assist the employee, and especially a spouse, in the cultural and professional adaptation to their new location.  Companies cannot assume that millennials know what to expect, or know how to manage a lump sum budget.  And because they are accustomed to being transparent in their social commentary, employers can expect that they will openly discuss and compare their experience with others.

[Read more…]

NEW Global WelcomeKit

Our new Global WelcomeKitTM has received rave reviews from our customers.  It is a user-friendly digital resource for every globally-bound spouse/partner using REA services. A platform of carefully curated links, videos and information to help address the challenges of change, we make the application available to customers via desktop or smart-phone and deploy it at the outset of their initiation to set the stage for a meaningful coach-customer engagement.

 

FEATURED CONTENT:

  • What about Me? – This 4-minute video features an expat spouse sharing the story of her experiences on two international assignments, one with and one without spousal assistance.
  • What Challenges will I face? – In blog-format, this resource contains an in-depth exploration of the typical phases of major life transition like relocation. By offering helpful insights and strategies for Managing Change, these posts describe stories of accompanying partners and their families successfully navigating the challenges of international assignments and demonstrating how assignees can maximize their experience abroad.
  • How will I Thrive? – This section offers Expat City and Country Guides, a Forum for connecting with other expats in major cities around the world, information on exciting events to meet other global minds, and practical information and strategies for assimilation designed for the expat spouse/partner.

“I experienced tremendous culture shock and felt guilty that I wasn’t working while my husband was.  The International Welcome Kit video on “Change” expressed precisely what I was feeling and made me less anxious about our international assignment to Hong Kong.  I explored the sections on networking in Hong Kong and began getting more and more involved with the American Women’s Association and meeting new people at their functions. I also found Cantonese lessons, a mah-jongg club and volunteer work in the resources section and am thoroughly enjoying these new endeavors.  I am so much happier now with this new chapter in my life due in a large part to the information I found on the International Welcome Kit website.”

K. Corbin, Spouse of Relocated Employee

Going Home Again. Six Strategies for Successful Repatriation.

 

Living abroad can be an exciting, transformational experience for a family, as immersing in a new culture exposes family members to a different style of living and often requires relating to one another in new and different ways.

 

Returning “home” though may turn into a disappointment as family members realize that much has changed during their absence: A favorite restaurant has closed, neighbors have moved away, close friends have formed new relationships, new stores have replaced familiar haunts, new neighborhoods have emerged from a cornfield. The result is a home that is somewhat familiar, but not exactly what the memory holds.

 

Further, employees assume that overseas assignments will enhance their career opportunities within their company. While on assignment, they often develop new skills and competencies, but they return home to positions that make no use of their development and growth or, worse yet, find that there really isn’t a plan for the next step on their career path with the company.

 

The Repatriation, returning to one’s home country and settling back into “regular” life — can pose challenges as daunting as those encountered with expatriation, the process of leaving home. Also known as “re-entry shock”, every aspect of life is affected: social, physical, occupational, emotional, intellectual, and spiritual, and change may manifest itself in difficulty adjusting to either home or career—or both– for the employee and family.

 

Recognizing the changes that have occurred for both the individual and the family is key in supporting a successful return to the home country. Based on a wellness model of various aspects of adjustment, here are six strategies to help with repatriation:

 

  1. Stay Social: Encourage families to use social media and Skype to keep in touch with the world that they will be re-entering…AND the one they are leaving. It’s important to continue relationships with family members and friends, even when separated by distance. New technologies make this process much easier than it was a decade ago. Once the family has returned, scheduling time with friends they haven’t seen helps to re-establish bonds.
  2. Be Physical: Changes in diet and activity can alter well-being, for good or ill. If, for example, the family is moving from a location that provides many opportunities for walking to one that is automotive-reliant, building exercise into the schedule helps to fill the void. Establishing new routines that honor recent life changes may be helpful, as well. Yoga or meditation can provide other options for balance.
  3. Acknowledge Change: Helping families to intellectualize the reasons behind the stress they are feeling can help to dissipate some of the dissonances. Encourage them to identify causes of stress, then employ strategies to counteract it.
  4. Find Meaning in Work: Employees who are returning home have developed new skills and perspective. They may need help to identify new challenges and growth opportunities to apply their newfound knowledge, or risk being frustrated and unfulfilled in their work. Relocation and repatriation may affect employment of an accompanying partner, as well. Partners can benefit from assistance in preparing to re-enter the job market.
  5. Honor feelings: Recognize that moving involves a loss, and any loss may be accompanied by a grief cycle. (Denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance.) If relocating individuals find themselves struggling to function through normal activities, working with a counselor or coach who specializes in life transitions may help navigate this process.
  6. Keep the Faith: Many individuals and families are comforted by a spiritual grounding of a faith-based community. If this applies, rejoining or seeking a home in their faith tradition may be a remedy.

 

Thomas Wolfe famously said, “You can’t go home again.” Repatriating families can go home, but they will never be the same as they were before their international experience.  Once conquering the reverse culture-shock phenomenon, families realize how enriched their lives had become as a result of an international assignment.

 

Amy Connelly is the Manager of Training and Corporate Communication for REA – Partners in Transition, a leader in spousal assistance for career transition during relocation. Follow REA’s Pinterest Board on Repatriation, and check out www.reacareers.com to learn more about available services.

Tips for Your (Ho-Ho-Ho)liday Job Search

“To search? Or NOT to search?” may be your question as you review your calendar and assess your current or looming job search.

REA’s coaching team recently gathered to reflect on the challenges and potential rewards of a job search during the holidays.  We’ve discussed “Hunt or Hiatus?” and share our collective observations here as a holiday gift to you:

If you are going to HUNT:

  • There’s a PERCEPTION that this is a “slow season,”… but it really isn’t. HR managers and recruiters are typically working very hard this time of year to fill vacancies and to use their annual budgets to avoid cuts in the coming year.
  • Since there is that perception, there are often fewer candidates, and that can translate into less competition for some great opportunities.
  • People seem to be in a better mood during the holidays. As such, hiring managers (and others who have their ear) may be more apt to be helpful. They may also have more downtime, particularly as vacation time stalls group productivity, so it’s a good time to set up meetings.

If you’re planning to take a HIATUS:

  • This is a perfect time for planning! Finalizing a resume, updating a LinkedIn profile, developing a marketing plan, and gathering other tools (BTW…holiday specials on business and greeting cards are prevalent), are all worthwhile activities.
  • There are myriad opportunities to volunteer this time of year, too. Giving back enhances sense of purpose, and we know the value of developing new skill sets and extending networks, right?
  • Clear the cobwebs! Take care of issues that may be preventing progress in the search.  It’s a good time for rejuvenation, family time, and life organization.
  • Get to know your new community! For all the reasons it’s a good time to job hunt, it’s also a great time to immerse into your new hometown and build new networks.

Whatever road you choose…The holiday gift that everyone can enjoy is enhanced networking opportunities!  Remember to track your contacts and to follow-up appropriately!  (Greeting cards are an obvious option to share seasonal outreach and update existing networks about life changes.)

If you want to read others’ thoughts on this topic, here are links to relevant articles shared by our coaching team:

Happy hunting!  (Or not…)

Get Ready!

get-ready-dayToday is National Get Ready Day.

If you are in the middle of a relocation, you may be living this phrase on a daily basis, but today, “Get ready!” has special meaning.  It’s part of National Preparedness Month, and a day designated to encourage everyone to review your family’s emergency preparedness plan.

There are special implications for recently relocated families, especially those who have moved from an area prone to, say, hurricanes, to one that experiences earthquakes or tornadoes.

Here are a few conversation starters for a family discussion: [Read more…]

Resolutions for the Recently Relocated

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There’s much talk of resolutions at the beginning of every new year, and despite the fact that many folks manage to break their resolutions within days of setting them, a new year is a chance for a fresh start.

 

For families who have recently moved, the “new year” can begin in January (even a couple of weeks late), July, April, November, or any other month on the calendar.  As anyone who has ever moved knows, the to-do list can seem never-ending, but if you approach relocation with a plan in mind, it is not only manageable, but can also be enjoyable.

 

Get to know your new community.

 

You may still have dozens of boxes to unpack, a family to settle, and employment to secure, but acquainting yourself with both the physical layout and amenities of your new home base will help you and your family to establish yourself in your new setting and make connections that will help you accomplish the rest.

[Read more…]