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Three Great Tips for Helping Homesick Transferees

If you have moved a lot of transferees, or have had the experience of working closely with one, you should know that they are going through a major transition. Even the most positive of transferees go through bouts of homesickness, or general emotional discomfort, as a result of rapid changes and unfamiliar territory. Feeling homesick is a perfectly normal and almost always inevitable.

Speaking from experience, I know that feeling homesick can be overwhelming sometimes. I’m sure that if you have moved, you have felt the same. In order to help you support a successful move for your transferee or colleague, we thought it might be helpful to share some great advice for overcoming the homesick hurdle. Below are three easy ways to cope with homesickness:

1. Transferees should stay in touch – but not too much.

In today’s world staying in touch is almost too easy. Between social media, Skype, and mobile apps, transferees literally have the capability to know their loved ones’ every move. While this is great for keeping in contact with friends back home, it’s important it doesn’t stifle the settling-in process by becoming a crutch. Those who spend all their free time chatting with friends and family, will lose the opportunity to make friends in their new city. Subsequently, those who refuse to make a life in their new home, will find that the feeling of homesickness never leaves. It’s a good idea to set a limit on how long one spends on social media or on the phone with people back home each week. Encourage your colleague to take some time to go out and meet new people and create new memories. In fact, if you get along, bring them out with you!

2. Embrace your new home.

Encourage your transferee to get involved in the community. They can volunteer, join a gym, visit community events, walk around the neighborhood….anything! It’s important that they find things about the new home to love so that they aren’t always comparing it to the old one. No two communities are the same. Comparing homes won’t solve any issues or make them feel better. It will only isolate them and prevent them from becoming close with people who already love the location.

3. Be patient.

This applies to both you and your transferee. Understand that it takes time to adjust to a new home and city. In fact, when I first moved to Wilmington it took me about six months to really feel at home. But once I started spending time in Wilmington and made an effort to meet people, I started to have fun and enjoy myself. Your colleague may feel like that will never happen when they need give it time. The more supportive and patient you can be, the better off they will be. Lead by example.

Nobody likes to feel homesick, but everybody does at some point or another. Being supportive and offering an new perspective can help.

How do you support homesick transferees? Share some tips below.

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VP of Business Development Northeast Region


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