Repatriation Tips for the New Year

For many, January 1 simply means a new year. But for some expatriates on assignment, a new year also means that return to their home country is imminent.

If you are repatriating later in 2017, here are five things you can do now that can help smooth that process:

1. Make a list of items for each room in your current home.

Lists like these help streamline household goods processes, at a time when speed and ease will be very important. They also let you anticipate issues before they become true problems. For example: Have you acquired new furniture, artwork, or other items that might be subject to import regulations or shipping container limits? Will you sell your appliances or televisions to incoming expatriates, and if so, how?

2. Find out how clubs and organizations get together online in your home country.

Facebook, Meetup, Craigslist, QQ, Sina Weibo, LinkedIn, and many other social media services offer first steps into finding personal and professional interest groups — both new and familiar — around the world.

3. Research your pet’s repatriation requirements.

Even if your cat, dog, or iguana has been globally mobile for as long as you have, it’s important to make sure that Spot is up-to-date on examinations, tests and vaccines that your home country may now require.

4. Check in.

Begin to develop your professional re-entry plan. Reach out to supervisors, colleagues, and mentors. Establish communication that may be gradual at first, but is at least regular. Listen to what your contacts have to say about current projects, new priorities, and any shifts in company culture. Most of all, expect your return to company life in your home country to take time.

5. Choose your future favorite sport, activity or hobby.

Have you always been fascinated with fly fishing, riveted by robotics, or yearning for yoga…but just never made it happen? Experts agree that one of the keys to smooth repatriation is a willingness to move forward, while benefitting from your growth and experiences as a global citizen. Placing an interesting, engaging goal ahead for yourself strongly encourages this approach.

Written by Erin Fitzgerald, GMS, International Product Manager, Living Abroad