10 Ways to Adjust in a New Multicultural Workplace

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  • 10 Ways to Adjust in a New Multicultural Workplace

    Relocating abroad can be exciting especially if its what youve desired. Now

    youve received a letter from your local office nominating you to represent the

    company abroad. The role however requires a certain professional skill, exposure

    and a high level of competence. You seize the offer with both hands and sign off

    on the acknowledgment.

    Embedded in the whole sensation of the new experience, you begin to worry about

    your coping abilities in a new multicultural environment especially if its your first

    offshore assignment. Issues like where to stay, adjusting to new meals, temperature

    and time differences, your loved ones begin to becloud your excitementNot to

    worry, these relocation tips can help you adjust properly into your new environment

    and perform optimally.

    1. Do a Research on the New Environment: Research to get familiar with the socio-

    ethnic life style of the people youll be interacting with. Times have past where

    you get embarrassed by culture shock. Virtually everything you need to know is

    available on the internet. Google searching online can go a long way. Look out

    for behavioural pattern of the people and simple greeting pattern so you don t

    step on toes relating the wrong way. In Italy, you greet relatives and close friends

    with two kisses starting from the left, in France; you start from the right with three

    or four confirmed by Alessandro Fais in his blog. In Nigeria you greet by shaking

    hands in a formal settingIn an informal setting you prostrate for Yoruba

    gentlemen and kneel for women. Similar greeting pattern goes for the Igbo and

    Hausa tribe.

  • 2. Get a Travel Guide: Search for a travel guide and a map of the country, most

    travel guides have maps in them...You can get them at the consulates or tour

    guide office when you arrive the country but this is not advisableSurf for these

    resources online. Look to get familiar with Land marks, get to know the name of

    prominent places. Start with airports most especially the one youll be arriving at.

    Get to know seaports if the country is surrounded by water, get to know available

    water channels you mustnt cram their names as some sea ports may be

    named in a local language you could find difficult to memorise. Look out for

    train stations and its connecting routes to cities and towns, this very important in

    order to avoid taking routes that are way off your travel path. Along the way you

    can pick up names of major cities, hubs and other notable destinations.

    3. Get to know the Work Ethics of your New Office Since youve been transferred

    from one geographical location to another. Its expected that the code of

    conduct and other company policies would be similar. However, if its a new

    company, seek to establish relationships with a few staff ahead of time. Ask

    questions pertaining to working hours, staff etiquettes and job expectations. Be

    tactical to inquire about staff welfare and disciplinary procedures. This would

    prepare you ahead on what to expect so you dont look like a novice hiding

    your tails between your legs in your new work space.

    4. Verify Work Permits Status Ahead of time Before you Leave Most countries are

    strict about their immigration control laws and ensure immigrants adhere strictly

    to guidelines concerning this. It advisable to sort this out with your local office

    before you travel. Some countries like the US insists you must apply for a special

    work permit or a A right to work permit for non-US nationals before youre

    eligible for employment. Employers who violate these laws are usually

    sanctioned. Ensure this is clarified before you leave your country.

    5. Sort out Accommodation Concerns: This depends on youYour budget would

    determine where youll stay. If your company is responsible for your

    accommodation, theres little to worry about. If you are to cater for your staying

    expenses, its advisable to get an agent on time to help you look out for an

    accommodation options with fair rates. During summer, rents are on a high side

    compared to spring and winter. Searching ahead of time in any season or city of

    your choice would help keep your budget tidy.

    6. Contact your Agent to Confirm Arrangements: A follow up on your

    accommodation status and other settling plans would not be a bad idea,

    communicate frequently with your agent for updates or for changes where

    necessary. Factor in time zone differences to know when to put call through to

    your agent. Chatting apps like Whatsapp, Instagram and the likes have simplified

    the process at little or no cost.

    7. Tighten Loose Ends: As your departure time approaches, reconfirm your flight

    date, time, departure terminal to avoid last minute mix-ups. You will have this

    information stated on your booking ticket. Check your luggage to ensure it meets

    up with the airline policy. Verify any other personal items you may wish to travel

    with to ensure it doesnt violate air travel regulatory standards.

  • 8. Get your family Involved in the Planning Process: Family is an integral part of your

    life include them in your plans and ask for their help and support in this

    relocation process. Share your excitement, concerns or fears with them. Theyll

    be glad to support you.

    9. Settle Communication Arrangements with your Loved Ones: Make clear

    arrangement on how to communicate with your loved ones. In as much as youre

    excited, they love you and would surely miss you especially when they know youll

    be away for a long time. It even becomes sad when your time zones dont match.

    Be sure to plan on how to reach them periodically.

    10. Get Yourself Checked Medically Before Leaving your Country: This is equally

    important as you may have some unknown micro-organisms resident in your blood

    stream. Its important youre checked to eliminate them before you travel. Include

    some antibiotics, antimalarial medications in your luggage in case your body reacts

    to changes in temperature or the environment.

    On arrival, be alert but calm; go through your check-out process. Surely your

    settling plans will fall into place. Take time to rest after youve arrived. Show

    up on time on your resumption date at work.

    By: Chinedu Ozulumba

    Author Name: Eddu Oz

    Blog: www.aspirebyforce.com

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