Tips for Working with The Locals when Living Abroad

If you set up a business in a different country, or are moved to a new position abroad, the chances are that you are going to have to work closely with the local workforce. Here are a few tips for making sure you get the most out of your working relationships with the local population and avoid any potential problems.

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1. Get to Know Their Customs

Don’t make a massive error on your first day – you only get one chance to make a first impression after all. Instead, make it your aim to learn about the customs and practices for the local population before you start working. Little things such as how to greet your new colleagues and whether you should take gifts or not can help to make all the difference.

2. Patience is a Virtue

Things might take longer to sort out than you are accustomed to when you move into your new position abroad. If you are setting up a business then you may find that it takes a long time to sort out all of the red tape, and getting anything done may seem like hard work.

Be patient and don’t let it get to you. This is all part of the challenge of working abroad, and being professional about it will make your time in your country a lot easier.

3. Make Friends

Try to make time to get to know your new colleagues outside of the work environment. Find out about them and how they live, their customs and practices, and this will enrich your time abroad.

They will also naturally be curious about you and your background, so try to arrange to meet up in less-formal situations, such as staff events or drinks in the evening, so that they can find out about you and your life. The more you know about each other, the more comfortable you will be working together.

4. Learn the Lingo

You may work in an English-speaking company and with English-speaking clients. However, if you are living in a country where English is not the first language, make the effort to learn as much as the local language as you can. Your co-workers will respect you for it, and it will help you to break down potential barriers to make your time there easier.

Help Yourself to Settle in Properly

By making the effort to get to know your new colleagues properly and being patient in your new position, you will find your time abroad goes a lot more smoothly. It can be easy to get frustrated when you work in a completely new country, so the more you can do to prepare for your new position to make it more enjoyable, the better.

Have you signed up as a member of LWA yet? Keep up to date with our favourite resources for starting a new life abroad. 

1 Comment

  1. Mrs tonia igbineweka
    May 16, 2012

    I want to work and live abroad with my family


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