Four ways female leaders can keep on track during the COVID-19 crisis

Relocate Global’s latest Think Women community webinar offered practical advice from executive coach Alexandra Holden Terhalle on how to make the best of the lockdown.

Alexandra Holden Terhalle

Alexandra Holden Terhalle, to the right, at the Think Women event in March 2020

Measures to combat COVID-19 are hampering even the best-laid international assignment plans.Whether you are managing the assignments of others, had your own assignment put on hold, isolated in a new location, furloughed, or just looking for your next move, there are ways to turn the current uncertainty into a positive.
  1. Reflect on your successes so far: “People who are globally mobile have to be very resilient,” says career coach, Alexandra Holden Terhalle. “Look back at the habits and people we had around us to support us during a challenging time. Building a support network and getting involved in others, like Relocate Global’s Think Women is important.”
  2. Keep a positive mindset: “It’s imperative. If we look from a career standpoint, build a list of your successes. This will make you feel better. Another thing you can do if you have free time is to build a success folder. This is evidence of how you faced up to challenges and your results. These are really important.”
  3. Look for the “message in the mess”: “What is the one thing that is going well – the ray of sunshine? Our brain is wired to look for danger so this might be counter-intuitive. Look for at least one good thing in a bad situation. For instance, ‘I’m stressed about working from home, but I actually get to spend time with my family and homeschool when normally I’m commuting home.’”
  4. Take the initiative to stop your career stagnating: “We need to take baby steps and action to keep moving forward. We need to network. Drop a few messages to people you used to know. Get a recommendation or reference. Reconnect with these contacts to get the ball rolling so you are in a place to jump right in when things pick up. You can go back and look at your CV. Signing up to a webinar and learn new skills that puts you in a new category for moving up the career ladder. You just have to make sure you take the initiative.”
Read more about the themes of the Think Women: Catch Up webinar in response to the impact of coronavirus on women's working lives.View the Think Women: Catch Up Webinar of 6 April. Hosted by Fiona Murchie, managing editor, Relocate Global and Relocate magazine with guest panelists Peter Moolan Feroze, artist and creative consultant, Marianne Curphey, journalist and Alexandra Terhalle, executive coach.

Join the Think Women community at

with online forum and discussion groups, access to coaching and workshops as well as virtual community events.

Read inspiring stories about women in international roles

Download Diversity & Inclusion Factsheets from our Global Mobility Toolkit series here.

Subscribe to Relocate Extra, our monthly newsletter, to get all the latest international assignments and global mobility news.

Relocate’s new Global Mobility Toolkit provides free information, practical advice and support for HR, global mobility managers and global teams operating overseas.Global Mobility Toolkit download factsheets resource centreAccess hundreds of global services and suppliers in our Online DirectoryClick to get to the Relocate Global Online Directory