Being at a new job and in a new country is far different from your daily challenges at home where everything is familiar. Having pulled up your tentpoles to pursue a career in a new country sets you apart. You are brave and you will be enriched by your experience. For many, this adventure and opportunity can come off to a rockier start than you had planned.
After over two decades of welcoming ex-pats to the Nordics, we have talked to many individuals and can see some patterns. We will share some life-hacks that can ease your transition into work, being appreciated by co-workers, enjoying the move, and everything that is new. (our exit interviews are very encouraging, people simply love it here).
The keywords to a smooth transition are appreciation and patience.
Why should you start each day with appreciation and a gratitude practice?
If you say and write down three things you are grateful for every morning before getting out of bed, you will begin your day on a positive note. Looking for the good in life will put you in the right mood for the rest of the day. It can be big or small – the important thing is to focus on something positive. If these suggestions below feel good for you, give them a try. A gratitude practice can be very powerful.
I’m grateful for;
This new opportunity that I have been given
The great cup of coffee I will enjoy on my way to work
Being part of a great team at work
Another great question to ask yourself is “What is the best thing that can happen today?” Your imagination will only seek the positive and you will have a wonderful day.
Patience is a virtue – a great proverb – that has worked through centuries
Be patient with yourself. Accept that it takes a few years to fully understand a new culture. You can choose to enjoy it and allow yourself to appreciate the wonder of seeing a whole new country with fresh eyes. This is really awesome since you will see things the locals won’t even notice. Your awareness is heightened for some time so use it. Write your observations down, you will be amused when you read them later.
In the beginning, there will be some empty space. You will have more leisure time, fewer responsibilities, and less clutter in your home since you probably didn’t bring everything over.
Back home family and friends can sure keep you busy, before you have found your new network of both you are likely to have some time on your hands. You can use this time to become whom you would like to be.
If you were a homeowner at home it is likely that your weekends did entail some repairs and improvements. As a renter, you don’t need to take care of as much.
You can now craft a new you, a better you that you are more comfortable with long term.
Patience at work is also advisable. While we can help you with some hints on how to avoid major mistakes and how to read the hidden clues there are some quick fixes that will help you navigate the worst mines.
The top three are ;
- Be on time – 8 AM means 08:00 AM military style. 08:01 is late.
- Know when a decision is made – don’t rush off and do things unless you are 100% sure an actual decision was made. A telltale sign is what action points are in the meeting minutes. Anything else is probably just a discussion. Not all companies have meeting minutes, perhaps you should offer to take notes, everyone will love you for it and you will get feedback on whether you understood everything correctly.
- Don’t interrupt when someone is talking AND for the love of God figure out the kitchen office etiquette.
Check out our Motivational Mojo Series or Professional Inspiration for success in Sweden and we share lots of hacks and fun to make your stay enjoyable.