A Great Move

Just recently Katia Vlachos published her new book called ‘A Great Move – Surviving and Thriving in Your Expat Assignment.’ It is an easy read and as a global expat, it is easy to connect with and feel a connection to what she writes about. The book offers great tips for anyone considering or already in an expat assignment. This is not the first book on the topic; there are several others. What I particularly enjoyed about this one was the focus on how to be successful and happy in your move.

The book is divided up into two main parts – Principles andAction. Katia first goes through five important principles and you navigate the waters of expat moves. She then follows that with Part Two with practical tips for the process of moving globally.

The author demonstrates a broad understanding of various family situations – single, in a partnership, with and without children, both working, non-working and double-working spouses. She gets across a message that she understands the many configurations of family life as expats.

The five principles offered in the book are:

  • Principle 1: Your concept of home matters
  • Principle 2: The process of transition matters
  • Principle 3: You matter
  • Principle 4: Your partner matters
  • Principle 5: Your children matter

Katia has developed these principles from primary research and hundreds of conversations with expatriates and offers them to the reader to consider before deciding on an international move. I especially like the insights that home is different for each of us and that in many cases we haven’t previously expressed what home means to us. It is a dialog each expat-in-the-making should consider.

Part Two of the book gives very practical advice for each phase of a global transition. The author uses a 4-phase transition model:Deciding, Preparing, Moving and Settling-In. In alternative models, the transitions process can be discussed in additional phases separated differently.

I think what I like absolute most about this book is the combination of both theory, principles and practical advice. Even seasoned expats can get something out of this book. The book does not cover repatriation per se. Even though repatriation has much in common with expatriation, there are unique elements to be addressed.

For anyone considering or in the midst of a global transition, this book combined with relevant coaching will ease the challenges of expatriating.

What are your thoughts on the five principles?

How do you feel about your own global transition?

What can you do today in order to thrive in your expat assignment?