“I wish I knew about the WBFN before.”
Believe it or not, this is the kind of testimonial we hear once in a while at the World Bank Family Network (WBFN) gatherings and professional sessions from newcomers as well as long-time members. What these people regret was wasting time trying to figure out by themselves how to adjust to their ‘new’ lives, adapt to the local culture and build their career while giving their families a head-start post-relocation. Had they joined WBFN, the transition to a new environment would have been substantially smoother for their family, spouse or partner. On their next move, we hope they will reach for our support.
In times when technology shortens distance between people, reaching the entire community of World Bank Group spouses and partners, estimated at six thousand families, is a daily challenge for an organization largely operated by volunteers. To spread the word about our services and activities, we are launching a new campaign ‘Give Your Family a Head-start’ this April aimed at the World Bank Group staff as they are the primary link between WBFN members and us.
The good news is that nobody needs to reinvent the wheel, as the WBFN coordinator Catherine Mathieu always reminds newcomers. It means everyone at the Family Network was a newcomer once and has fought the same battles learning quite a few lessons that we share as needed. If you have attended any of our activities, you already know that the Family Network with its friendly environment is the right place for both professional networking and enlarging your circle of friends. It is also the place to participate actively – to give back by helping others.
To provide your family adequate support, the WBFN has been increasing the offer of services and activities, according to the needs of members. In our Career Development Program, for instance, we offer over 40 training sessions annually with over 500 participants. One of the most successful activities - the Career Lab - has been specifically designed for globally mobile professionals seeking to continue or reestablish their careers. Not surprisingly, over 100 people are part of the Career Lab Facebook Group Page and almost 2,000 people follow the WBFN LinkedIn Corporate Page.
From our volunteers in the Head Quarters at the World Bank J Building, in Washington, DC, to our champions in over 50 Country Offices locations, where we are currently supporting 1,200 families, the mantra we practice is to be anytime, anywhere for our members. How does this work? Members support each other’s efforts to explore, learn and thrive globally. As a WBFN member relocating to or living in a location outside the US, you can connect with other World Bank Group families in the new location, even before you move!
Whether you are planning your move, have just arrived or have been in the US for years, it is never too late to give your family an opportunity of discovering the WBFN or getting a head-start. Domestic partners and spouses are entitled to become our member by just signing up on our website. All this for free!
Visit us, send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org, or check out our Facebook, and LinkedIn pages. It’s never too late to join or to give back. For those who are not our members yet, we do wish you had heard of us before.