Moving to a different country can be exciting but at the same time it's overwhelming. So many emotions at one time, you go from nostalgic-to-happy, to sad-to excited in a heartbeat. It's hard when you do not know what to expect and even harder when you move as an adult.
It is so important to have a plan or quickly develop one because on those hard days you might be tempted to curl up in a ball and stay in, watch Netflix, eat all the ice cream you can have while missing your loved ones back home. However, if you do stick to your plan and follow essential steps the transition can be smoother.
I have decided to share a few things I did and I separated them into two segments. The professional environment and Social Experience. I hope you find it helpful if you are contemplating to move or have already moved.
If you are interested in getting a more detailed synopsis about this topic, I am excited to announce that I am now offering coaching to help transition from your original country to your new destination. This will be a one-on-one personal coaching sessions that will empower you to make that move with confidence and guide you to have a smoother transition into a new culture.
When I first moved to the U.S. I did not have an exact plan about where I was going to work but I was fortunate enough to know I was going to stay with family until I got things settled. Having this type of support was very helpful.
My mother and sister were with me when I moved and they were a great support system, this really helped the first few days. My mom made sure to tell me "You need to get a job ASAP" (I heard this EVERY SINGLE DAY LOL.)
Fortunately, I was able to get a permanent job THREE weeks after I moved. Was it connections? No. Was it someone I knew? No. Was it hard work and putting myself out there? Yes. Was I knocking on doors? Yes… Literally I was LOL.
I found an immigration law firm that had a sign that read "Now Open", I was ecstatic because this is one of the areas I practiced back in Panama and one of my passions in the legal field. I walked in and one of the owners told me they had literally just opened that day but all the decisions were done by his wife, the attorney and main owner of the law firm and she was not in town and they were not looking for anyone. I walked out, feeling a little discouraged and walked away. But at that moment my mother's words were ringing in my head, I turned around and went back inside. I told him I will not take no for an answer, I was a hard worker and to please give me a shot. He called his wife, we spoke on the phone and told me I was hired. I could not believe. Such a thrilling moment and all because I said to myself, I will not give up, I will keep knocking on doors.
This is just a short synopsis of how I got the ball rolling to obtain experience in my professional career even though I already had a law degree and master's degree from my country of origin I was aware that this kind of perseverance was necessary to obtain experience and get hired.
I quickly learned that my degree was not enough if it was not backed up by a U.S. degree and decided to take a Masters for foreign attorneys in American Law. Obtaining my second masters, was another essential decision in my career because it allowed me to understand American Law more in depth and the opportunity to get better jobs.
If you are a young professional and have just moved to another country these might be some of the challenges that you will encounter (lack of experience that actually counts in the locality, language barriers, no references, re-learning the rope of things, knocking on several doors) but trust me with hard work, determination and optimism it can be achieved.
I was fortunate enough to have close relatives in the same state where I moved. My sister and cousins were my friends and I did so many things with them. I went to church with them and this allowed me to meet more people and grow my network, joined a gym and I started to meet even more people. Had friends that knew someone - that knew someone - that knew someone that will introduce me and so forth. Contrary to my professional approach I was not intense with people (you can't be or not you will end up without friends LOL), but I was consistent. I kept on going to church, went to so many sports events and different activities that I knew would be a good place to meet people. I was always out at social gatherings or sightseeing. The key was putting myself out there.
I am naturally an extrovert person so this might not be as challenging for me however, if you are a bit introvert there ways to meet people. You can find a small group that is tailored to a hobby you really like and be consistent with it. Trust me when I say that the key was consistency and putting yourself out there.
Oh! I tried going to the club alone once…. IT WAS A NO for me! I had to call a friend to meet me and it was the longest hour and a half of my life. I doubt I will ever do that again LOL.
Both completely different methods to be approached but they definitely did help during my transition.
I hope this is helpful mis amores.
Dez A La Mocha
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