“Happier, more confident, no anxiety.” That’s how seasoned expat partner Monia Ben Kridis Ep Smaoui sums up the effect partner support is having on her.
Monia is a Tunisian native who relocated to Dubai in 2010 and recently set up home in the United States. During her first move, she couldn’t make use of a partner support programme. But now she can, and appreciates the benefits: “Moving abroad is like jumping into the ocean without knowing exactly how to swim or in which direction. The huge difference with partner support is that you’re not alone. There’s somebody at your side to teach and guide you.”
“In Dubai, I had to figure out everything all by myself,” Monia continues. “But this time around, Sybille, my Global Connection consultant, contacted me even before our move. She is helping me to figure out my plans and find the support I need. Having experienced professionals who I believe in and trust to rely on, means that I can focus much better on achieving my dreams. I’m in good hands and feel really lucky.
Right now I am studying English, so I can feel more comfortable talking to native speakers here in the US. And while I am waiting for my work permit, I also want to build on the skills I developed in Dubai, running my own beauty salon. I want to find out how things are done in beauty salons over here and gain more knowledge by taking master classes in facials and skin care before I start looking for a job. Sybille has introduced me to a coach who will help me find the right courses.”
Unpack your bags
Global Connection consultant Sybille Kenny explains: “We encourage expat partners to ‘physically and mentally unpack their bags’ and live life fully during each and every assignment. As expat partners grow and develop during assignments, their needs change and we as consultants meet them where they’re at. We help them to define options or structure their plans. I greatly admire Monia’s positive energy and ‘can do’ attitude. My role is to help her flourish in her new environment.”