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Tips for expats settling into a new workplace

By August 8, 2017October 3rd, 2023FinGlobal

Tips for expats settling into a new workplace

August 8, 2017


One of the biggest changes you have to deal with as an expat – no matter what country you are moving to – is your new workplace. Many expats move expecting their new assignment to be their dream job and are then horrified to discover they have never felt more like a fish out of water.

Expats who return early from their assignments end up costing their employer a great deal financially and have to deal with the mental stress of not making a success of their posting. This can all be avoided with a little preparation. Here are some tips to help ease the transition into your new workplace.

5 workplace tips for expats

  1. Don’t rush in

Don’t rush to your workplace straight off the plane. Take at least a week to get your accommodation sorted and familiarise yourself with your surroundings. If you are travelling with your family, it’ll give you peace of mind to know they are settled – rather than having to field phone calls from your disorientated partner and children on the first day of work.

Taking some time also places some distance between your old position and your new one – allowing you to approach your new assignment with a fresh perspective. Use your break to familiarise yourself with where your offices are situated and your quickest route to work. The more prepared you are the better.

  1. Avoid the culture chasm

Don’t try and persuade your work colleagues to immediately adopt the way you went about business in your previous location. Every culture has their own way of handling things and if you are relocating from the West to the East, this cultural difference will be substantial. Even across Europe, business culture can be very diverse. Take some time to assimilate and observe your new local business practices and gradually implement any changes you think they will be receptive to.

  1. Spend some time in HR

Your HR team will have your back. They will hopefully have been involved with your relocation process and will be familiar with issues like your tax and visa status. Even if they are not – they are your new resource and avenue to quickly getting up to speed with your new work culture.

Take some time to introduce yourself and visit them regularly. Find out who is in charge of your paperwork and keep abreast of any immigration issues that you have to deal with. A direct contact with HR can help you prevent a myriad of issues before they happen.

  1. Master the chain of communication

Every country will have a hierarchy of communication and businesses within the country may have their own preferred protocols. Take some time to observe what has the most effect. Do emails illicit action or are they ignored? Are problems solved in general meetings or behind closed doors in the manger’s office? Once you have an understanding of how the people in your new company communicate, the quicker your voice will be heard.

  1. Learn the lingo

By this, we don’t just mean the language – but also your office acronyms or buzzwords for everyday business. The sooner you grasp these shorthand phrases, the quicker you’ll understand what everyone is referring to. Once again, speak to HR, many businesses have an acronym shortlist for new employees so they can quickly get up to speed.

If you’re thinking of immigrating abroad and need any advice about your financial emigration, contact us today and we’ll help you on the path to financial freedom in your new home.
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