27 Oct 4 unexpected things you learn when you live and work abroad
When you go to work abroad, you learn a lot of new things and get a first-hand impression of what life is like in that country and what the people who live there are like.
It also opens new possibilities for you to grow in the professional area, as you learn first-hand how the labour market works in that country, not forgetting that you learn the language more quickly by practising it continuously.
But there are many other surprising things you can learn in another country about the people around you and even about yourself. Here are 4 of the most outstanding:
1. Leaving the comfort zone
Living abroad is certainly a challenge. Finding a place to live close to the place of employment, facing a different society without having your family or a network of friends nearby, constantly feeling like a foreigner. Added to all this is a new job, which often develops in a very different way than one is accustomed to. All this requires a high ability to adapt and willingness to break with old habits to take on new ones.
If the employing company offers you a relocation service, you can overcome the obstacles at the beginning with the help of a professional with intercultural understanding. He will assist you in the immigration process and finding an adequate home near your place of work, he will check the rental contract in a language you don’t know well yet, sign the supply contracts and everything you need to make the process of moving and introducing you to your new environment quick and easy.
Despite the uncertainty that life abroad can bring, it is also a good way to find out more about yourself: How do you react to the unknown? What do you miss most? What are your priorities in life? What are the things you need to enjoy working abroad? This can be achieved by getting in touch with people of the same nationality, travelling home from time to time or having an exciting job.
Despite the uncertainty that life abroad can bring, it is also a good way to find out more about yourself: How do you react to the unknown? What do you miss most? What are your priorities in life? What are the things you need to enjoy working abroad? This can be achieved by getting in touch with people of the same nationality, travelling home from time to time or having an exciting job. One thing is for sure: All this will certainly teach you to make better decisions for your future life.
2. Forms of communication and social interaction in the working environment
Working in another culture exposes you to very different ways of communicating: how formally colleagues address each other, how meetings are carried out, if and how humour is used, how employees communicate with each other in case of disagreements or problems, how important the hierarchy is and how they behave towards their superiors.
Observing all this as an outsider can be intriguing, but it can help you reflect on how you communicate yourself, perhaps giving you some ideas of where you could adapt your communication style for particular situations.
3. the truth behind national stereotypes
Most stereotypes about other nationalities are based on learned opinion leaders. Working in a new country – as opposed to visiting as a tourist – brings a much deeper understanding of another culture …. which ultimately allows one to judge whether these stereotypes about Austrians, Germans, Swiss, Swedes etc. are based on reality or not. And of course, you also learn from a distance to question the clichés of your own country.
4. A transfer abroad is less intimidating than you think.
Overcoming challenges this way, especially when it’s the first time, is proof that you can do it. And when you have, the most valuable thing you have learned is that it is not as scary as you thought!