Adapting to Work Culture while Working Overseas

Adapting to Work Culture while Working Overseas

Moving to a new country may be exciting but it comes with its own set of challenges. If the culture of the place you move to is alien from that of your own you might be in for a big “culture shock”. The reaction to a new workplace in a foreign land can range from deeply exciting to unbearably taxing. It all depends on your attitude and mental preparation. Here are some pointers to make your transition easy.

Don’t make your own assumptions

You may be a well travelled man/ woman who have a lot of experience in interacting with different cultures. Simply because you had pleasant experiences living abroad before doesn’t mean that you will adapt easily to the work culture now.

Go with a fresh mind ready to understand, grasp, imbibe and amass information from scratch. Expect people to be different with their own set of expectations and prejudices. You will have to learn to live with all that and adjust yourself as far as possible with the local atmosphere.
Remember that simply because people do things differently in a foreign land doesn’t mean they are wrong. Don’t be judgmental and form opinions about people whom you barely know.

Be careful about how you behave

Whatever way you spoke to colleagues before or dressed to office may or may not be acceptable in your new work place. For example if you are from the USA, Slapping a colleague friendlily at the back is a sign of camaraderie. The same thing done in China is a sign of disrespect. Similarly if you are a woman wearing pencil skirts you wore back in home country will not be suitable in the Middle East.

Doing some research ahead of time to the country that you are moving in is something that you need to do. Take time to learn their cultures and traditions. Do some research regarding the overseas jobs available for you. In some countries, like Thailand, there are jobs that are prohibited for foreigners. Work in Thailand provides jobs that you might be interested on.