Working abroad comes with tons of challenges, both personal and external. You have to deal with homesickness and carry the burden of ensuring that you will provide a better future for your family.
Apart from that, there is another challenge you have to deal with: foreign work place.
Starting a new job in the Philippines can be daunting. Can you imagine what it feels like to work to a new company that is thousands of miles away from home and with co-workers who don’t speak your language?
Not to worry because here are tips that will help you adapt to your foreign workplace and get along with your co-workers:
Tip No. 1: Always Do Your Research
This is important and the first thing you need to do before you go overseas.
Before you leave, read and learn as much as you can about your country destination. The PDOS will cover the basics but keep yourself informed as much as you can. Learn about their culture, way of life, traditions, clothing choice, and even food.
Research about work etiquette, too. Some countries prefer shake hands as a means of introduction while others like to bow. Some cultures are specific when it comes to introduction, so make sure to look into it as well.
The more you know, the easier for you to adapt because you know what to expect.
Tip No. 2: If Unsure, Then Ask Questions
In Filipino culture, oftentimes, asking questions is a sign of weakness. People assume and expect that you know until your mistake blows up.
Thankfully, other countries are not assuming. In fact, they will appreciate it more if you are honest about your limitations and willing to ask questions. Ask for help if you are not familiar about anything.
Just make sure to pay attention and remember what they say so they don’t have to repeat themselves.
Tip No. 3: Be A Good Observer
Again, you are in a different country. The things you are used to back home may not be the same as what others are doing in your work place. You might even be shocked with the things they are used to.
That being said, make it a habit to observe. Pay attention to how your co-workers are, especially the locals. Your research may not say a thing or two about how work is carried out in your work place so make sure you see how your co-workers are handling the work.
Tip No. 4: Learn Their Language
English may be the universal language but don’t assume that everyone knows how to speak it. In fact, you will have co-workers who won’t even make an effort to learn English.
This is why it is important to do your research. Make list of the common words and greetings in their local language. Make sure you practice proper pronounciation so people will understand you easily. This will make it easier for you to connect with them and vice versa.
Tip No. 5: Take Time To Explore
It’s not easy to make friends with someone who grew up with a different culture than yours. While you are still familiarizing your new environment, keep an open mind and start exploring the area around you. This will give you a better understanding of the new place and culture you are in.
Take this opportunity as well to build rapport with your new colleagues. Ask about must visit spots and recommended restaurants you can try. Who knows, they’ll give you a free tour.
Tip No. 6: Connect With The Filipino Community
Filipinos are everywhere so make sure you use that to your advantage, especially if you are the new kid on the block.
You will most likely have Filipino co-workers and it will help you a lot if you co-worker will guide you. If you are the lone Filipino in the workplace, then that’s fine, too. You will meet fellow Filipinos in the country where you’re working, so be friendly and say hi.
It will make a difference if you have the Filipino community backing you up. They will give you tips, do’s, and don’ts that you can remember to make working easier and enjoyable for you.
They’re a good source of connections as well, just in case you need a side job.
Adapting to a new environment, especially a foreign one, will not be a walk in the park. Take it one day at a time and you’ll get better eventually.