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22
JANUARY 2013
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THE FOREIGN SERVICE JOURNAL
FOREIGN SERVICE
TRANSFER
REALITIES
As with all aspects of a
Foreign Service career,
it is crucial to take charge
of a move. You are your
own best advocate.
BY METTE BEECROF T
FOCUS
TRANSFER TIPS
B
y January, another transfer season is over
and there is a bit of a lull before the next
onslaught. So it is a good time to take
stock of how all of us—travelers and those
who support them—could work together
to improve the process.
My own exposure to the Foreign
Service, spanning more than 40 years, has
shown me that while things will never be perfect, many aspects
of the process have improved. Now there is greater awareness
that people‘s morale is deeply afected by being able to travel
comfortably and by receiving their possessions in good condi-
tion in a reasonable amount of time.
Management also understands that if employees and family
members get of to a bad start at a new post, they may never
adjust to the new environment and the employee will be unlikely
to perform at top capacity. Tus, it is to the beneft both of the
individual and the Foreign Service as a whole for things to work
well the frst time.
Mette Beecroft has been a Foreign Service family member, volunteer or
employee for 42 years, serving in Paris, Bonn, Cairo, Ouagadougou,
Brussels, Amman and Washington, D.C. (Her husband, Robert, also
spent four years in Sarajevo on unaccompanied tours.) One of two
people who opened the State Department Family Liaison Ofce, she
is a member and three-time past president of the Associates of the
Foreign Service Worldwide, and is well-known for her deep involve-
ment in safeguarding and advocating for Foreign Service-specifc
quality-of-life issues. She writes here as a private individual; the views
and advice presented here are her own.