4 Stages Of Successfully Immersing Yourself In A Foreign Workplace

In order to fully immerse yourself in your company.

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A year ago I booked my one way ticket to Sweden. I seriously overestimated my ability to “stay chill” in stressful situations because this past year has proven that patience is not my strong suit. If you’ve been following my transition, you’re well aware it hasn’t been easy. You’re also accepting AF so thank you for bearing with me. Let this be known, if a love-crazed, slightly erratic and high maintenance young woman like myself can move across the world to be with the man of my dreams, you can too.

SEE ALSO: 4 Easy Steps To Restart In A New Town

Through the ups and (mostly) downs of this year, the only thing that really kept me going was the feelings I had for Robin, my extraterrestrial perfect boyfriend. It’s true what they say, love is like a drug. Specifically in my case, it’s like PCP because it’s extremely powerful and fast acting.

The biggest struggle I’ve faced in my quest toward conquering Sweden, has been successfully finding a job. This all changed nearly 6 months ago when I landed a solid job at a magazine in central Stockholm. The position ticks all my boxes: I get to talk to people, work alongside amazing co-workers, and it just so happens to be in an industry I’m actually interested in. Working has allowed me to shift my attitude from simply living abroad, to actually contributing to the Swedish society. This feeling is strongly dependent of the fact that now I’m paying a lovely 33% tax, but still, I’m officially an active contributor to Swedish society.

My day-to-day life at work isn’t what you’d call “Swedish,” in fact, I work with mostly Brits so it’s actually very “English”. This makes the job even better because my knowledge of the Swedish language is minimal. Regardless if it’s an “English” environment or a “Swedish” environment, your need to adapt is essential. Think of yourself as Cady Herron in Mean Girls. That HBIC easily adapted to the plastics and ended up running North Shore High school. “I know it may look like I was being like a bitch, but that’s only because I was acting like a bitch.”.

In order to fully immerse yourself in your company, here are some tips to consider:

1. Adapt.

This is mostly for all my Americans out there. Don’t walk into your new company with all your corporate American habits, they’re not so welcomed. Be patient, be willing to learn, and eventually you’ll transform yourself from being an arrogant millennial, like I once was, to being a culturally diverse Jetsetter. Plus you’ll have money in your pocket, which will make you instantly better than your basic “study abroaders” who are drinking cheap whisky sours off their parent’s seed money.

2. Be positive.

Ugh to be honest, this cheesy ass saying makes me cringe. Being positive is hard AF especially when you’re going through a challenging time in your life where being negative is bound to be the general publics response. Here’s the thing though, the general public is also mundane. People who are considered generic, aka: basic, don’t do adventurous things like travel the world. Jetsetters aren’t basic, they’re bossy and can manage being positive even in the toughest situations.

3. Be open to advice.

Everyone around you will want to make decisions in your life, they’ll tell how they would handle situations vs. how you would. When it’s the right person, take it. Obviously, be smart about whose advice you take but make sure you don’t deny those around you who want to see you succeed. There will always be haters, but there will also be the few that are on your side.

4. Learn.

Being street smart is so much more than knowing when your dealer is ripping you off. It’s about seeing eye to eye with anyone within your community. Learn from your peers. Find out what’s appropriate and what’s not. If your sense of humour is a little too sarcastic, you may end up offending someone. Be aware of those around, and accommodate to them. You’re still new to the company, you’re in no position to be rewriting the rules.

*Rebekah currently lives and works in Stockholm.

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Rebekah Black

Contributor

Rebekah is a 23-year-old California girl living and working in Sweden in the software industry. Her favorite country is Italy, and loves secluded beaches, colorful sunsets, exotic food & red wine.

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