What do I need to be successful?
Key Learnings
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Prepare for living in a new country by researching language, climate, living accommodations, social norms, etc.
Minimise culture shock by investing time to experience your new cultural surroundings and understand local customs.
Know how to present yourself in any situation in order to make positive impressions that help you stand out and build stronger professional relationships.
To give an effective presentation, there are three elements that you need to keep in mind: have a presentation plan, know your audience, and engage your audience.
Effective visual aids can help the audience remember your messages.
Visuals should be an aid to the presentation – not the focal point.
Improving your professional skills in different areas (attitude, behaviour and presentation) will strengthen your level of professionalism and make more positive impressions.
Professionalism takes effort, commitment, and application.
Left unresolved, personal conflict can seriously affect your performance on the field.
Once you know your own natural response and understand the style of the other person with whom you are in conflict, you can adjust your response in such a way that leads to resolution more quickly and effectively.

The importance of cultural awareness

Living and working in a new country and culture can be full of adventure, possibility and excitement. But it’s not always as romantic or easy as it sounds. Just consider these cultural norms in countries around the world. Based on your customs, would you make any mistakes in these situations without any knowledge beforehand?

  • In Jordan, a man typically initiates a handshake with a woman, not the other way around.
  • In Uganda, it is rude to sniff your food, even if you find the aroma appetising.
  • In Argentina, business meetings typically begin 30-60 minutes after the scheduled time, so arriving “on-time” is actually arriving early.
  • In Thailand, it is considered rude to touch another person’s head (even a child’s) because the head is considered sacred.

It is easy to make mistakes when adjusting to life in a new place. Locals may be understanding, but it is important to make every effort to respect the cultural norms of your host country with the ultimate goal of “fitting in” in your new home.