The HR Juggler

Day 7: New Beginnings

Posted on: December 7, 2012

Today’s post is by Zoe Mounsey, who always brightens up my Twitter timeline (@ZoeMounsey) with her warmth, humour and consistent friendliness. As you will see from the post below, there is an exciting new adventure for Zoe and her family that is just beginning…!


The end of the year is often a time when we start to think of fresh slates and new beginnings. 2013 will definitely be a year of new beginnings for me and my family as on 15th January we will be getting on a jet plane to start a new life in New Zealand.

The thought of this brings many feelings to mind including apprehension, anxiety and uncertainty, but the most prominent feelings for me are ones of excitement, joy and optimism.  If you happened to come into contact with me recently, either physically or online, you may have been struck by my bounciness and giddiness at the whole idea. For me this is the fruition of two years careful planning and research culminating in a recent visit to New Zealand to make the final decision. The visit confirmed for us that we wanted to make the move and gave us lots of concrete ideas on which to plan. The trip was a whirlwind of recruitment meetings, school visits and house viewings but we did have some time for fun as well such as wine tasting in Martinborough and sightseeing in Wellington.

There have been some tough moments along the way and lots of stress as we dealt with the immigration process and the financial implications of the move. We have had to assess every aspect of our lives and consider how they may change living in a different country. One of the difficult aspects we have had to address is managing the emotions of those around us who are affected by our plans. Our close families have struggled with our decision, whilst rationally they accept and agree with the reasons for our move it is hard to divorce the emotions about what our move means for them. I am very conscious of the impact the move will have on their relationships with our children and whilst technology has made communication across such distances so much easier, I know a Skype chat is not the same as a hug! From my professional experience of implementing change in organisations, I know that the rational and emotional responses go hand in hand and have to be addressed together, so I am trying my best to acknowledge the emotions, but not to let them overshadow the rational reasons behind the move.

I expected that breaking the news to our five-year old would be tough too, but she really surprised us and took the news in her stride – you would have thought I was telling her what we were having for dinner based on her reaction.  She is really excited and has been telling all her friends, I am not sure that all the implications, such as not seeing her grandparents for a long while, have sunk in yet, but we will deal with those as they arise. It was a real reminder for me that how you communicate something has a huge impact on how the message is received.

As for me, many things will change – winter for summer, dark nights for late nights watching the sun go down, a sea view (fingers crossed), new friends, new opportunities etc  – but many things will stay the same, I will still have to do the school run and make sure tea gets cooked. I haven’t made any long-term decisions about my future career just yet, my resolution for 2013 is to go with the flow and see what opportunities arise.

Thanks to Alison, I think I have found my blogging mojo again and plan to blog about our experiences whilst we do the big move and get settled in.  I will still be about on twitter too providing updates and hope to keep up with all the developments in HR, engagement and employee communications here in the UK – and at least I won’t have to get up early to be part of the #earlyshift!

10 Responses to "Day 7: New Beginnings"

Zoe, I have totally missed this news. I have been a bit absent from Twitter of late. I am so excited for you and I really respect what a huge decision this is for you and your loved ones. I for one will look forward to following your move and your new life.

What an amazing, hopeful start to the New Year!

Wow Zoe, I didn’t realise you were moving…just a few thousand miles away! What a fantastic adventure! Wish you all the best and thanks for sharing your 2012 with us, we’ll be looking out for your 2013 blog on all things Kiwi! Happy 2013! xx

I am being uplifted by many things recently – you have just taken me another step higher. Thanks Zoe – safe travels and happy trails.

Lovely post Zoe. It brought back all the memories of our own journey and the issues we faced. You will love it here though and look back in a few years time and know it was all worth it.

Hi Zoe. Thanks to Alison’s blog this is the first time I am meeting you so hello and thank you for your inspiring post. I wish you well with your future and I look forward to your blog posts from NZ. Isn’t it amazing how 5yr olds take things in their stride, sometimes I think they are role models for us!

We don’t know each other at all Zoe but I was struck by your emotional intelligence which comes through in this post. I wish there were more people in the world who understood the implications of their actions on the other people in their lives as well as you do.

Hi Zoe, I’m so excited for you – you are living my dream! We visited NZ for a holiday in 2006, I have family out there, and we really loved it. We came home and seriously started planning to move there. We went back again for a research visit and we were all convinced it was what we wanted to do. My son was 8 so we thought we could do it before he started secondary school. We were scuppered by the recession starting there and here and couldn’t sell our house …

Now our son is very happy at secondary school I wouldn’t disturb his education but we will certainly go back again for visits when we can.

I have two cousins who have settled out there with their families and both families doing really well. My cousin with 2 teenagers is convinced they have done much better in the NZ school system than they ever would have in the UK.

I wish you all the luck in the world and will be watching your blog with keen interest!

Thank you all for your comments and good wishes, we are getting very excited here despite the growing to do list. I have started a blog to record the highs and lows of the experience at so feel free to drop by

[…] for letting me share my story with you again as part of her advent series. Last year I wrote about new beginnings as we were preparing to move to New Zealand. I wrote about all the feelings that I was experiencing […]

[…] 2012 post can be found here  and here is the 2013 […]

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