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Friday, October 28, 2011

Trailing spouses: Why are they so important?

Their qualification and profile make them very valuable to the Swiss society.  
They are the cause number one of  early assignment interruptions  
Their well-being has a major impact on the well-being of the expat partner, thus on his/her performance at work.  
They are the family social integration facilitator.  
They usually take care of the whole relocation  practical side.

 Any other reasons you can think about?

Copyright 2011 job4U2


  1. Without a happy spouse the expatriate won't stay for the long term. So if a company doesn't invest in the spouse's wellbeing regarding settling in and/or their career their attitude will be penny wise pound foolish.

  2. Sandrine, your discussion is a great one. Accompanying partners (because trailing is demeaning and we're not all spouses!) are key in any relocation both in terms of the practicalities of making it happen in the first place and in relation to the ongoing success of the assignment. Yet organisations only provide sufficient support to ensure that the relocation happens and the employee is at his/her desk asap. Little if any thought is give to the career/fulfillment/wellbeing of the accompanying partner on an ongoing basis not to the implications for the assignment if accompanying partners are not happy in their lives. An additional item for your list is: accompanying partners often make compromises in their own careers/ fulfillment to provide support that would normally be provided by extended family/contracted sevices or employees. Look forward to seeing more of this discussion as it evolves.