considerations for the 'other half'!
Nearly one million Americans
relocate for purposes of a job each year. And over 75% of those
are married, according to the Employee Relocation Council.
So what happens to the spouse
in this situation?
The decision to move means
leaving family, friends, maybe even a career behind. But most
spouses are willing to take the plunge for a career opportunity
or the happiness of their 'better half'.
Many corporations understand this
and try to compensate for the inconvenience. As a matter of
fact, relocation assistance is often used as a recruiting tool.
For some it includes a bonus, arranging job interviews for the
spouse, flying the whole family back and forth to visit the area
or even moving a wine collection. However, even after the perks,
there are some things that the trailing spouse will have to
While the transferee is immersed
in the new environment as an employee, the trailing spouse may
have to handle the issues of finding a home, getting the kids in
school, making new friends and adjusting.
As a trailing spouse, here are
some things you may want to consider during the transition:
- What are your long-term
career goals? Contact the local Chamber of Commerce,
register with employment agencies, ask for referrals from
friends, family, and your current boss or get to know people
in the neighborhood for possible leads. You may even want to
try your hand at entrepreneurship and develop a career you
can take anywhere!
- Do you have any personal
needs for fulfillment? For example, donating time to a
non-profit organization, starting a new hobby or advancing
your education. This is a great way to reach out in your
community and meet new people.
- Are there any family
responsibilities you need to take care of? In regards to
healthcare or finances, for example.
Answering these questions will
help you determine what's most important during this stage of
your life. Your spouse's human resources department might have a
special program to direct you to finding organizations or
support groups. It's also important to attend activities where
you can become acquainted with other trailing spouses.
Moving is said to be one of the
top five stress producers, but if you can communicate and take
things one step at a time, you will be the prevailing spouse!