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When relocation is not a roadblock

Against All Odds

Over the past few decades, we have witnessed women shatter the glass ceiling like never before. They are breaking numerous stereotypes and going out there without any inhibitions. They are no more apologetic about being ambitious and are leaning in majestically.

But there are still roadblocks that come in their way and the inherent gender disparity does raise its head while women at work look toward career progression. Be it men or women, to step up the ladder of success, one has to be flexible and be ready to embrace new work opportunities. In many cases, relocation can help professionals grab exciting opportunities and be part of teams working on cutting-edge technologies.

Are women at work still apprehensive about relocation?

There are an umpteen number of studies that show how gender inequality plays a vital role in determining why women think twice before relocating. In India, the recent research findings by Dr. Amitabh Kundu (distinguished fellow at the Research And Information System For Developing Countries) concluded that the number of women migrating has escalated significantly over the last few years. Women are traveling across the country, predominantly for better job prospects and remuneration.

It is indeed heartening to know that concepts like “trailing spouse” are gradually taking a backseat and women are taking charge of their careers.

Men are stepping up too!

The primary reason that holds back a woman from relocating is the fact that she is conditioned to be the mother and wife who must place her career second. The good news is that slowly but steadily, this trend is changing. More and more women are being supported wholeheartedly by their partners to take the plunge and grab the best of work opportunities.

How women should equip themselves for relocation

It goes without saying that relocation comes with a set of challenges. For a working mother, if her family is moving along with her, there are things to be taken care of such as putting children in a new school, adapting to a new culture, blending in the new work environment and so on. If she is moving alone there are other factors such as missing the family and other support networks, besides professional adjustments. So, it is crucial that before jumping on the relocation wagon, women should prepare themselves to deal with the stress that relocation usually entails.

  • Be proactive and have a thorough know-how of your new place of work. Before physically setting foot in the new work environment, do in-depth research about your future workplace. This will give you an edge and make the transition smoother. Also, settling in a new city becomes easier if the necessary facets such as house, school for your children and other resources are catered for. So, get your basics right and start the new journey with new vigor.

  • Make your family feel included and work as a team. If your family has relocated with you to a new city then you should keep in mind that they are also in the same boat and are probably as anxious as you are at being uprooted from their comfort zone. You ought to work as a unit and treat this transition with positivity. If you are married and your spouse has made the move with you or you are in a long-distance marriage owing to the move, remember that it takes time to adapt to any new setup.

  • Make allies in the new workplace. If you wish to succeed in the new workplace and prove your prowess, then finding allies is very important. This would not only enhance your productivity, but also help you settle in an otherwise new land.

Relocating for work is not as insurmountable as it is made out to be. If you can realign your professional and personal goals, there is nothing that can stop you from moving ahead in your career.