New Job, New Country: How to Adapt ?

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Taking up a new nurse job is a jittery thought in itself. But when you are travelling to a new country, entering an entirely alien culture and then trying to adjust, that could be a bit scary. How do you handle this huge shift ?

Even before you enter your new hospital/clinic, there is a lot to take care of. Do a little research on the Internet about the people, the country and as much as you can of the work there.

As you exit the airport and place your feet on new soil, you might suddenly be faced with a language you many never have heard before. This is a challenge you will have to be prepared for, unless your office has kindly arranged for an airport pickup.

There are a few ways of handling this initial shock and awe. Probably the best is the following: As you confirm your appointment through the internet, or even over phone, write a polite mail to your new employers, thanking them for the opportunity and then asking for some help in arranging a place for you to stay awhile while your find your own accommodation. You’d, of course, also ask their help in navigating traffic and cab drives to your new home.

In most instances, even if your new hospital cannot help in its official capacity, it might ask one of your future co-workers to pick you up. That’s a triple bonus. You get to your temporary stay, negotiate a new language by learning some key words from the kind person who gives you a lift and you get to know one of your co-workers even before you have joined.

The third point is very important. He/she will help you get acquainted with your new co-workers, give you a tip or two about work ethics and conditions there and then tell you a bit about your future boss.

The first thing to accept is that even you’d be doing pretty much the same type of work you were used to, never assume the work culture too would be the same.

If you aren’t used to smiling too much in Hospital, practise. It will help. You need to make a few key friends, fast. The language part will come easily thereafter.

Remember that YOU have chosen this change, not your new co-workers. It is up to you to adjust to the change. So, greet your co-workers, try to remember their names, address them by name. That helps.

If you have made new friends, ask them about the traditions in that country, as well as about traditions developed in that organisations over the years. This is especially important if this is an old, established organisation.

In some countries you will be faced with personal questions. Don’t be taken aback. If you have learnt about those traditions beforehand, you’ll be able to handle it easily.

Answer with a smile.

What else do you think would or could be a problem ?

Share with us your first experience of work in another country, we’d love to hear.

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