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Managing Expatriates by Yvonne McNulty, Kerr Inkson

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Chapter 4

Expatriate Families

I was a barrister in Australia who thought it might be fun to take a year to live with my husband in far north Finland. It wasn’t, because I couldn’t work. I was ignored and my whole identity disappeared. We now live apart for five days a week—he in far north Finland, me in Helsinki. I am working, but it is not the same senior job I had in Australia and this has caused intense bitterness.

—Belinda, 32 years, Expat Wife

Ask mobility managers their biggest challenge in overcoming some of the barriers to mobility or providing on-assignment support, and almost without exception they will say, “when things aren’t working out it’s primarily family issues.”1 “Family concerns,” “partner dissatisfaction,” and “spouse’s career” ...

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