Living and working in a dissimilar culture

Every new place your go or visit, that is not home then you will encounter a different culture. It can be a small change like going to your aunt’s house where you discover; discussing the book one is reading is an important dinner conversation. Next time, you visit then you had better be reading something.

Or it could be drastic, like getting a job in a different country or county. Living and working so far from home, I figured some few things out to “fit”;

Learn to say “hello” and “thank you” in their mother tongue– this is an ice breaker as people will be surprise. They might be to shock when you first say it the first time and might get a weak response. This gives you an opportunity to say it again with even a bigger smile.

Listen more, talk less – open your ears and only speak when spoke to directly – I know it sounds archaic. However, it helps in assessing the situation and gives you time to weigh your words before speaking.

Take a crash course history – there is a reason a culture is the way it is and to gain insight; learn the past and be open. Culture is built on the backbone of history; past experiences mold a people’s norms. By taking the time to learn, you get to understand them more. Conflict and frustrations that are culture-related will not be so bad.

Not everyone will welcome you (at the beginning, that is) – you will feel awkward, like that kid that joins a new school in the middle of the last term when everyone knows each other; friendships and cliques already formed. You will feel your every move watched and words measured. If you are genuine in any society, you should have no problem earning their trust eventually.

Sometimes you will feel like an outsider when they group together, but that should not concern you. They are have just become comfortable to be themselves around you.

When you do get the job far from home, do not stress – eventually it will find a place in your heart.

One thought on “Living and working in a dissimilar culture

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  1. Thanks for such very important tips. Many are times we find ourselves in new environment and copying up becomes difficult. With such guildlines, if applied, am sure surviving in new places will be easy.

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