The mentor and the expatriate share information about career and development

The mentor and the expatriate share information about

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The mentor and the expatriate share information about career and development issues. The mentor helps his client to avoid making mistakes in the foreign assignment and provides him or her cultural guidance. Mentoring mostly takes place in the form of task assistance, career assistance, psycho-social support and role-modelling But not only the expatriate, also the spouse should be monitored on a regular basis in order to assess the couple’s stress and adjustment progress. The mentor should also help the expatriate and his spouse to prepare for repatriation, ideally six to nine months prior to the domestic relocation.
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Ideally the mentor keeps the expatriate up to date concerning information from the parent-company. The mentor also organizes home visits, but he also visits the expatriate in the host country as well. Ideally the mentor is a senior-level individual with connections to find a suitable job for the expatriate upon return. 4.4. Supporting the trailing family Some authors state that the top reason for early return of the expatriate from a foreign assignment is the spouse’s inability to adapt to the foreign environment and culture. While the expatriate has a certain degree of daily routines and a social network within the foreign subsidiary, most trailing spouses do not work while they are abroad and often have more difficulties in establishing social networks and are therefore more isolated. Only few companies provide adequate training for the accompanying spouse. The best strategy is to assign the spouse a mentor or help the spouse establish networks with host-country nationals. The parent company should try to provide the spouse with job opportunities in the foreign location. Another useful method of adaptation involves interaction between the expatriate’s family and other established expatriate families. This would allow the exchange of information, facilitating adaptation and serve to build a stable network of relationships for the expatriate’s family. Also the assistance to expatriation children is not sufficiently considered within companies. Therefore meetings with other expatriate children should be provided, as well as cross-cultural trainings. These trainings should focus on the children’s language skills and increase their cultural sensitivity.
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4.5. Maintaining communication during expatriation Many re-entry problems following international assignments could be prevented by the maintenance of effective communication between the expatriate and the parent company. This helps to ensure regular information regarding changes in the organization policies, projects, plans and staffing. The expatriate should also try to keep personal contact with other members of the organization. Home visits also facilitate communication and are especially important in the months prior to repatriation.
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