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A Personal Guide for HR : The Journey of the Dual Career in Expatriation 

A Personal Guide for HR : The Journey of the Dual Career in Expatriation 

The adventure of expatriation is a path strewn with obstacles  but also wonderful discoveries.Allow me to guide you through this story, sharing step by step how to support couples in their dual career project abroad with empathy and efficiency.

I can confirm that the role of HR in this process is both complex and enriching. 

I tell you this because it is important: for the past 10 years, I have been supporting expatriates facing the same issues, and for whom these steps have been very beneficial. Their involvement in the process

has been crucial to their success.

Before Arrival:

The Foundations of a NewBeginning

The first step, I tell you, is crucial. It lays the groundwork for a successful transition for the couple.

1. Couple Project Planning

Imagine a moment where each couple is given the opportunity to sit down with you, HR, for just half an hour, to openly explore their aspirations and apprehend their concerns. Discuss with them the challenges of expatriation as a couple, particularly the possibility that one of the partners may not work initially. It is essential to prepare them to navigate these sometimes tumultuous challenges.

As a guide, I see the crucial importance of this exchange. It allows for aligning expectations, identifying specific needs, and ensuring that the couple is not only listened to but also supported in their ambitions.

Couple Project Planning

If you are hesitant to delve too deeply into their private sphere, you have alternatives: why not hire an external professional coach or provide them with a practical guide?

 At this stage, it is essential to establish a clear action plan, including achievable goals and well-defined steps to reach them.

2. Preliminary Language Training 

 Access to language courses before departure is, in my opinion, a cornerstone for future integration.

Play and Learn Absolutely French

  I assure you that mastering the language of the host country opens doors,   both professionally and personally. It is an investment in their ability to communicate, connect with their new community,

and seize local professional opportunities.

This is a step of empowerment for the couple, giving them the tools 

to fully engage in their new life.

3. Work Visa Procedures

The administrative complexity can be a real headache. I assure you, assisting the couple in these procedures, ensuring everything is in order for them, that they have all the necessary documents and meet the deadlines

is essential to avoid any complications.

Visa Help

 This shows that they are not alone in this process

and reinforces their confidence in the company.

During Expatriation: Cultivating Fulfillment

Once on site, the real challenge begins. That's where support needs to become more concrete, more active.

1. Welcome and Integration Programs

Facilitating the discovery and adaptation to the new culture is crucial.

Stroll and Learn

Well-thought-out welcome programs such as language courses, cultural outings, and social events can transform the anxiety of the first days into enthusiasm for new experiences and upcoming encounters.

Well-structured welcome programs, offering orientation sessions, playful French classes, meetings with other expatriates, and cultural activities, are crucial for facilitating this transition period.

These initiatives help to instill a sense of belonging and accelerate adaptation to the new culture and this is what we do at Absolutely French. 

2. Spousal Professional Integration

I can confirm that actively supporting the spouse in their own professional trajectory is essential.


supporting the spouse in their own professional trajectory supporting the spouse in their own professional trajectory

Whether it involves assistance with job searching, networking, or skill development.

Every effort made must aim to maximize the spouse's chances of thriving professionally in their new environment and thus strengthen the couple's commitment to their expatriation project.

3. Continuous Support

The support does not end once the relocation is complete.

Regular monitoring of the couple's well-being is essential.

It is important to stay attentive to their needs, regularly gather their feedback,

and adapt accordingly. The HR door remains open at all times. Support can take various forms, from psychological counseling to practical

assistance in solving daily problems.

Continuous Support

It allows for quickly identifying challenges and providing solutions, thus ensuring

a positive and enriching experience.

This approach ensures that the couple remains motivated and engaged

throughout their adventure.

After Expatriation: The Return, Reflecting and Readjusting

The end of expatriation marks the beginning of another chapter, equally important.

1. Experience Review

Organizing debriefing sessions with the couple allows for collecting valuable feedback.

Return expatriation

Indeed, this is a key step for continuously improving support for future expatriates.

It is the time to value the skills and new perspectives acquired abroad, but also to understand how the experience has impacted their relationship and their shared professional project.

2. Professional Reintegration to the Home Country

Assisting the couple in this post-expatriation transition is crucial.

Reintegration into the original professional environment or a new one can be a

significant challenge for the couple.

Professional Reintegration to the Home Country

It is important to facilitate this transition by offering, for example, reintegration programs, training to update skills,

or coaching sessions to help readjust professional goals.

I have witnessed it, sharing the knowledge and experiences gained during expatriation should be encouraged as it enriches the company culture and stimulates innovation.

 3. Readjustment to the Home Country

Readjusting to the home country can sometimes be as challenging as the initial adaptation to a new country.

Readjustment to the Home Country

It is therefore essential to offer ongoing psychological support to help the couple

manage the reverse culture shock.

For example, I can advise setting up counseling sessions to address issues of identity, loss, or redefining professional and personal roles.

I hope this guide provides an overview of the importance of thoughtful and personalized support for expatriate couples.

I tell you, as HR professionals, playing an active role in this human adventure is both a challenge and a privilege. You have the ability to change things, to add value to your work, and to transform people's lives.

This not only enriches your professional experience but also has a profound impact on the lives of the expatriates you assist. "A Personal Guide for HR" has equipped you with the knowledge and tools to succeed in this vital role.

Absolutely Talentend

Absolutely Talented was created by Absolutely French to facilitate the integration of expatriate spouses:

Absolutely French is the only French school designed for expatriates. 

You will learn French through immersion with activities that allow you to speak quickly, and also learn all the practical things necessary for your independence in France. It’s an immersive cultural experience!

 Are you an expatriate or an expatriate spouse looking to master the French language and embrace the local culture? Become Absolutely French! 

Contact us! 

Phone: 01 83 73 98 49

Address: 15 rue du Colonel Moll, 75017, Paris.


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