It’s been more than 8 years since I started working abroad. I have already experienced too working in different cultures and different nationalities. I am not really “the” expert here (very far from it) but maybe my 10-cent-worth of insight may somehow help someone.
Kadalasan naman kahit andaming bilin sayo ng POEA at iba pang OFWs, ikaw pa rin talaga mag-didiscover pano nga ba magtrabaho ng maayos sa ibang bansa. At sa lahat ng natutunan ko, I think these 2 key points are very impotant.
1. Sino ka
Sino ka? Eto yung baon mo paglipad mo at lagi mong babanunin kahit nasan ka na. Sa iba’t ibang klase at pananaw ng mga tao, lagi mong tatandaan sino ka nga ba talaga.
Who are you in God’s eyes? Who are you in your family? In your friends? In your country?
Sa simula, pwedeng madali pa e kasi bagong paligid, bagong pasyalan. Bago lahat. Pero sa bawat oras na pagtrabaho mo sa ibang bansa, marami kang pwedeng marinig – pwedeng totoo pero pwede ring hindi. Lagi mo lang tatandaan yung baon mo “sino ka nga ba talaga?” Huwag kang mawawala kung ano sa tingin ng iba sayo. Balik ka lang lagi sa tunay na ikaw.
2. Sino sila
While we want to stand out wherever we are without deviating from our identity, we also have to bear in mind that we are in a foreign land. Kung sa usapang kanto kungbaga, wala ka sa teritoryo mo. Kung minsan kasi, di nga natin nakakalimutan sino tayo, nakakalimot naman tayo sino sila at asan tayo. Kailangan may balance and I know hitting that balance is the hardest part. Dahil ikaw nasa ibang bansa, madalas ikaw talaga mag-aadjust. Normal na talaga yun.
Naalala ko sinabi ng dati kong boss nung unang meeting namin, “Remember you a foreigner here.” Well, sya rin mismo foreigner so yun daw laging nasa isip nya at tumatak din sa akin yun.
I intended to keep my post short (oo short na yan) so I just want to leave these words:
Adjusting to different cultures is really not a walk in the park but it is definitely possible. One thing I am certain is that there is always a way to thrive and having the right perspective is always a good start. Anchoring yourself to who you really are and knowing who they are is also vital – control what you can control. You cannot control them but you can control how you will respond.
Remember this, it is not because you are somewhere in the dessert or somewhere off-site, you cannot blossom. It’s not because you are alone, you cannot flourish. No matter how many reasons you can put, I believe there’s always a way to thrive. After all, you are already there for a reason.