Easing the Return Home


Considering how difficult it can be to come home from an overseas assignment, here are a few ideas to help make it easier:

  • Set realistic expectations for the family before you repatriate. Remember, friends and family at home have not remained frozen in time. Like yourselves, those at home have grown and changed in your absence
  • Normalize the challenges. Don’t minimize or trivialize them
  • Bring closure to the foreign assignment in order to move forward; record your adventures so you can reflect on them once you have returned home
  • Minimize comparisons between the assignment and home country
  • Prepare to feel impatient or disillusioned; allow yourself time to reintegrate
  • Draw on your previous transitions to help you in the re-entry and readjustment process
  • Give perspective to the experience; enjoy the memories but think about the future
  • • Most importantly, maintain a sense of humor

Since most expatriates look forward to the next assignment, using the above strategies may help you get to that next step more quickly.

Diane McGreal