I recently published an article How to Get your First Job in Australia. This article was for migrants looking for that all important first job. There was a great response for this article. While as a writer I was overjoyed to get such a response, I was also conscious that this topic can be quite painful for many migrants. I am writing this article to give you some further pointers to approach job hunting with a positive and resilient mindset.
While helping a number of migrants on this rocky road, I have observed some things that could be approached with a different mindset. As each individual is different, pick the suggestions that most resonate with you.
Let go of the frustration that you have to prove yourself again
You may have been a high performer in your home country. You may have an outstanding academic record. Others may have looked up to you as a leader or mentor. You may have gone through a vigorous selection criteria to come to this country.
You arrive here and find that the hard won respect you had previously is now history. You need to sell yourself to get that first opportunity. This can be very frustrating. If you let this frustration creep into how you interact with recruitment agents or hiring managers,they will not take kindly to it. You will lose the opportunity to connect with them and win them over.
I know this can be hard. Concentrate on those examples of your excellent work to showcase the value you can bring. Nothing like powerful examples to bring out positivity, energy and happiness in yourself. Write down as many of your achievements as you can. Make sure you follow the STAR methodology when structuring your answers.
When you take that first job or volunteering opportunity, show what you are capable of. Make those around you sit up and take notice of how good you really are. As they say, actions will speak louder than words. It will be only a question of time before you are progressing towards your ideal role.
Let go of how things were done back at home
I remember when I first migrated to New Zealand I was reluctant to speak about my achievements as I perceived this to be boasting. Luckily this trait was knocked out of me by a wise gentleman.
I can think of other examples where things are done differently in other countries. Qualifications and experience can be the main drivers in getting a job in some countries. In other instances it’s purely whom you know that gets you the jobs or it all boils down to how good you are technically. In most developed countries, your attitude and how you connect, go a long way in being hired for a job.
It’s time to understand what is required in your new country. Time to let go of what worked in the past. My previous article will give you some insights into what you need to master to be successful. Make sure you embrace these and other tactics to prepare yourself well. It might be tough to let go of old habits but you will have to reframe how you approach your job search to suit your new environment.
Let go of trying to be someone you are not
“Subi do I need to start having a drink to fit in with people?”
“Subi, you can’t possibly wear a saree to this event. Everyone is going to be frocked up and you will stick out like a sore thumb”
These are some of the comments that I get from individuals with migrant backgrounds. They are afraid to be themselves in their adopted country. It is a tough gig to maintain your individuality when fitting in is key to your success.
From my experience empathy, collaboration, sense of humor and being friendly does not require you to look and act like the people around you. In fact, I think that they will respect you, when you are your authentic self.
Don’t put pressure on yourself to conform to the perceived norms. It is better to invest that energy into making connections with those around you. Relationships are built by giving, understanding and supporting. Make sure you build great new relationships. This will in turn yield opportunities that will surprise you.
Let go of the chip on your shoulder
There will be instances where you feel that you are not treated fairly because you are a migrant. These unfortunate encounters do occur from time to time. The main thing is not to let these encounters become your issue. It is the issue of the person exhibiting these prejudices or behaviours.
You should not take these instances personally. Have the belief there is someone out there who will want you for what you are. Never let negativity creep into your thinking or outlook. This gets translated to how you interact with people and will make them feel uncomfortable. That is not what you need when you are out to impress your future employers and network.
Being a migrant take a lot of courage. Make sure you develop the right mindset to ensure that you thrive in your new environment. I wish you all the success in the future.
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