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May 31, 2023

How to Thrive in a Foreign Work Culture: Tips for Adapting to a New Work Environment and Finding Your Place in a Different Culture

How to thrive in a new foreign work culture. Here are some tips to help you fit into your new work culture.

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Thriving in a foreign work culture is ideal; however, arriving at the thriving part may seem a little daunting. Enjoying experiences that are new can create excitement and a sense of adventure. However, being a new employee can become a source of anxiety, contribute to work culture shock and feelings of imposter syndrome. Why? For starters, you are new to the company. You are not acclimated to the new work culture yet; you may not know anyone there except the folks who interviewed you and extended the job offer. Being the new kid in class can bring about anxiety and the same is no different for new work environments. However, don't fret! There are some proactive tips that you can take to adapt quickly to your new work environment and find your place in a different work culture.

Ask Questions

Asking questions will provide you with clarity on how employees and processes operate in your new gig. If you wonder why all your coworkers gather on Friday afternoons in the halls to celebrate the wins of the team from the week, ask! Team and individual recognition may vary from company to company. Some organizations utilize more personalized recognition for a job well done while other companies will focus on the team effort rather than the individual. If you have questions about how you can expect to be recognized, be sure to talk to your new leader about it. When observing recognition, take notes and determine what it takes to be celebrated, if that’s your inspiration.

Networking with your new coworkers

Networking and getting to know your new coworkers will offer many substantial benefits that are often intangible. Having someone that you can talk to about work assignments as well as coworkers that you can bounce ideas with will provide you with a sense of belonging and build camaraderie. Coworkers may have insights on company cycles when it comes to projects, philanthropy efforts and what the company cares about. Coworkers can also help you approach issues that come up as well as awareness of other roles and departments that may be available for you to transition to in the future. Providing your new coworkers with some insights about yourself can also prove to be a great way to create an impression. Share with them the skills you have and ask how you can support the team and contribute.

Chart out a plan for success!

Charting out a plan for success will also include regular meetings with your leader. It may be helpful to develop a plan to meet regularly with your direct supervisor to ensure alignment and growth in your new role. However, to continue to gain valuable insights also find out the best ways to proactively connect with other leaders in your organization. During weekly, bi-weekly or monthly one-on-one meetings with your leader, ask them if there are other managers that you should know and ask for an introduction. If you have a role that directly impacts another internal department, taking the time to find out who the leadership is in the other department can help you connect the dots, build upon your internal contact list, and possibly enhance your chances of standing out when company projects come up. You simply can’t go wrong learning who other leaders are and building relationships with them where you can.

Assessing where you are and where you want to be.

Regularly assess how you feel and what you need to be successful.  Write down your questions and ask them at the right time. Also take note of the names of new people that you meet. While it may seem harmless to forget a few names, knowing someone’s name creates a sense of friendliness and respect. Besides, we all appreciate it when people remember our names. Being acclimated to a foreign work culture can help you find your place and ultimately, enhance your ability to thrive in your new role. If you need additional help navigating your career path, check out other SkillUp career blogs or register for a free group career coaching session.

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