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Experimenting mobility with your spouse

Following your spouse without interrupting your career 

 

Moving abroad: a choice not necessarily easy for alumni and their kin? When both persons in a couple go abroad, the experience must be a success for both. A situation that a growing number of HR specialists take into account. 

 

Mobility: an experience to be prepared... jointly conjoint_expat_400

In an interview for the Focus RH website, Didier Hoff, partner lawyer at Ernst & Young, gave a revealing figure regarding expats: 75% of failures are explained by family problems. This situation represents a significant cost for the company, in addition to social issues. Companies now forestall the situation. How? By taking into account the expectations of a critical player in the success of a mobility experience: the spouse of the expat employee.

 

Big groups react 

This is the case at L’Oréal, as David Payet, head of international mobility in the group, explains in the blog of the "Eve" programme. The company offers to guide the mobile employee's spouse in his/her job search: understanding the cultural challenges, language classes, help to write an appropriate application, etc.

L’Oréal is not the only company to deploy this new approach of human resources. The group is a member of the International Dual Career Network. This association supports multinationals and allows employees' spouses to use a professional network present in several major cities.

 

Preparing a mobility project by yourself 

But this good practices are not generalised. To independently negotiate a professional project and position him/herself as a player of mobility experience, the spouse must deploy his/her own strategies.

  • The Union des Chambres de commerce et d’industrie françaises à l’étranger (UCCIE), or Union of French Chambers of Commerce and Industries abroad, is a major network of companies throughout the world. Depending on the countries, the CCIs support the networking and integration of local labour market.
  • The Maison des Français de l’étranger(Centre of Frenchmen abroad), which depends on the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and international Development, offers many online resources, among which workshops to prepare to mobility (resume optimisation, interviews coaching, etc.)
  • Private initiatives are starting to be deployed. Expat communication agency has put in place in Paris the "job booster cocoon", a service designed to promote the career of mobile employees' spouses. Counsellor in international mobility Stéphanie Talleux, who wrote "Conjoint d’expatrié votre carrière continue !" (Expat spouses, your career is not over!), also offers workshops on the same theme.