If you live in a different country other than the one where you grew up, you may have some extreme difficulties to face when you’re building your career. For one, you may be dealing with a completely different culture, which can be a drastic change to what you are used to dealing with.
Secondly, you are dealing with language barriers that can be dramatic in that they can lead to utter confusion. When this is the situation, it may seem impossible to build your career. However, it is possible to build your career even if you are in another place that is not your home country.
Getting Ready to Move Abroad
For those who are just now deciding that you are definitely moving abroad for a career, you may find that many people might try to talk you out of this. Why? Mainly because they understand that there will be cultural and language barriers. Thus, they don’t see how this is going to move your career forward, even though it can. Before, you let your nerves get the best of you, remember these tips:
- Research the area that you will be living in.
- Learn all about the area and what goes on, research this just as if you would be planning to vacation here.
- Take the time to learn any laws or rules that may be different than what you are used to.
- Be sure that you have your paperwork in order to make this transition as easy as possible.
And most importantly, be sure that you are ready to have a unique experience!
The Problems that Exist
One of the biggest issues that people face when living in an area in which they do not speak the language as their primary language is the communication barriers that arise. They may be trying to get their point across in their native tongue, which may only be a secondary language to those who are around them.
In this type of case, a person will walk away feeling not only exhausted from trying to communicate with their colleagues and employees, but they also feel anxiety because they have been through such a stressful situation.
Another issue that is present is the cultural barriers that are in place. These cultural barriers are not something that a person is going to learn overnight. However, they can be devastating when it comes to the overall impression that a person makes if they were to violate one of these cultural norms.
For example, in some countries a handshake is not the way to start a meeting and in doing so, you may look ignorant to those who are in attendance. That can affect the message that you are giving and how it’s received.
Coping with these Problems
To cope with these problems and to improve the situation so that it not only reduces the anxiety you feel, but also helps to build your career, there are several methods that you can use:
- Learn the language that you are living in and become more fluent in that language. While you are in their area and working with them, a lot of the issues that you develop can be resolved if you were to speak the same language. If others are willing to work with you to help them learn your language, that is great as well. The idea is to do whatever you can in order to make this easier on everyone and show respect for your new colleagues. All employees benefit communicationlines that are open and clear!
- Research the culture and any barriers that may be in place that could affect you. This means you should learn about proper greetings, goodbyes, how to properly plan a business meeting and the like. The more you know, the better you are going to feel interacting with those who are around you.
- Take into consideration what you are trying to accomplish and the area that you are in. You may be working in an area in which ideas are sat on and debated for months before action is taken. If this is the case, you have to learn some patience in dealing with this.
How to Thrive When Speaking a Different Language
One of the biggest benefits that people who work abroad find that they eventually learn the language, just from being emerged in an everyday setting. However, one of the biggest obstacles is that while you may have a hard time understanding those that you work with, those who are speaking a different language have just as much difficulty understanding you. So, how can you advance your career when there is such a language barrier?
There are several things that you can do that are going to help. For example:
- Don’t shout! Too many times, when people cannot understand one another, they tend to shout in their native language. This is not helping anyone. And remember, that when you are shouting, you are going to be giving the wrong impression to those who you are speaking to.
- Speak slowly when you are talking in your native language. Those who are around you may not be distinguished in what you are saying, but if you speak slowly, you are going to find that what you say can be more easily understood. While you are working in your career field, you will find that there may be many times in which you get excited about a new project and you start to speak faster. Remember, slow down for the sake of everyone involved.
- While learning the language in which you are immersed in, you are going to feel self-conscious while you are stating words that are not familiar to you. However, you need to get rid of this self-conscious feeling. Everyone who has been around a new language knows that there are a few times that people are not going to pronounce everything right, since you are still learning.
- Don’t use your native slang. While you may be speaking a language that many people are familiar with, they are not going to be familiar with the native slang. They are going to be taught the formal language, not those slang words that you learned while in school and in the community.
- You can use technology to help you with words that you need while being in a career that is not in your native land. There are plenty of great apps are out there that can listen to what is being said, then translate this for you. While they may not be 100% reliable, you are going to find that they can be helpful in some situations. You can also write emails and then transcribe them into the native language. It can be a great way to start learning the small phrases that are often repeated in your career field.
- Learn to relax when you are surrounded by a new language. If you are stressed and feeling nervous, you are not going to absorb the language in your brain. Instead, you are going to be focused on the stress that you feel. Take it day by day.
- Don’t forget that body language can help a lot. While body language is not a concrete language, you can communicate an idea easier when you have the right body language working with the words that you are saying.
Above all else, remember that it takes time to learn a new language. And when you are in a career that does present a language barrier, this can be overcome with time and attention to the language that is being spoken. It is important that you all communicate as best as you can so that the job gets done like it should.
How Living Abroad Will Advance Your Career
When many people think about working abroad, they are thinking about the different environment that they are going to be living in. They are not thinking about how this could affect their career when they go back to their home country, but it most definitely does! Just how?
- It shows your future employers that you are willing to travel, which is something that many employers are looking for. If you lived overseas for years in a position, then return home, it shows them that you could be their go-to person for work trips. Thus, it can make you more hire worthy.
- You are going to learn a different way in which companies do things. What a company in England does is going to be different than what a company in India may do. However, when you learn both methods, it can make you more productive, as you can use elements from your career overseas in another position in your native country or even another country.
- You are bringing a level of experience to a company that is not found easily. Despite the many career options that are found overseas, many people never dive into these. They often feel as though they are going to be alone too much, and they are simply too scared to make this change.
- Your confidence is going to grow as you learn new methods, learn a new language and are immersed in a new culture. This confidence is always going to be beneficial to your career.
While it takes time, you can succeed in moving your career along despite the issues that you may be having living in another area that does have language and cultural barriers present.
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