The new generation of professionals is ready to explore new opportunities and venture into different terrains of the professional world to accumulate a whole lot of experiences. Most of the millennials will not even think twice when it comes to moving abroad for work. Working abroad appears to be an exciting prospect at first, with the opportunity to meet new people and work in a new environment. But, it comes with some complications. One of the prominent complications that people who are working abroad face is homesickness.
It does not matter how friendly a country is to expats or how exciting your job may be in that new place. There is always a chance that you might come to face with the culture shock phenomenon and have to deal with it. Unless you are prepared it will be a difficult thing to handle. Here are some tips to cope with homesickness while working abroad. It does not matter where you belong as they apply to all.
- Make new friends
As humans are hardwired for social interaction, everybody needs someone who they can talk with or hang out. Coming to a new place will make you feel that suddenly you have become a stranger to everyone living in that place. Homesickness is not just a problem of separation from your home place; it is also a problem of missing the people whom you interacted on a daily basis. This problem can be solved if you can make new friends. You will not feel the temporary emptiness that comes when you move to a new country.
- Remain engaged in some hobbies
Keeping yourself busy is one of the best options to not get sucked into the homesick feeling. When one is not busy, the thoughts can wander around to the happy things that you have left behind and that is not something good when you have just moved to a different country to a start a new professional journey. It is good to have some hobbies that will help you to remain preoccupied during the weekends when you are not at work. If you like reading, join a literary club or if you like cooking, you can join a cooking class. The key is not to let that feeling of boredom set in.
- Act like a tourist sometimes
What if you were just a traveller to this new country? Would you enjoy it? I think definitely you would. So it is good to just think of yourself as a tourist who has come to visit a new place and explore the neighbourhood. Discover restaurants that serve good food, stores that store some of your favourite items and places where you can go to lighten your mood. You can also go to the length of getting pampered like a tourist once in a while visiting nearby attractions or tourist destinations.
- Embrace the local culture and language
Since you are going to live for some period of time in the new place, you better start accepting the realities. Learn about the local culture and languages. Take the help of your colleagues to better understand the region and what it has to offer. Who knows you might end up liking it and will become your second home.
- Socialise with colleagues
Go out for a drink or dinner with your colleagues. Spend some time with them, learning about their life and about the place. Socialising with colleagues will not only help you in getting over the homesick problem but also make your professional life better. Your interaction with the team in matters of work will get a boost, which will certainly make the way for professional success.
- Connect with home
It is imperative that you are going to miss the people who you spent all your life back home. So, once or twice a week just pick up the phone or switch on the Skype to connect with your friends and family back at home. This will make you feel connected and cure you of your homesickness. Most common symptoms of homesickness are feeling of longing for home and isolation. So, you need to remove that feeling by connecting with home.
- Above all, be positive
Most important of all, you need to be positive and think about the opportunity your job gives. Think about how your professional life is going on the path you expected. You need to surround yourself with the positive thoughts.
It is always the right thing to do when you got the job you have always wanted or to experience the world. Job search in India is not a tough thing, but I have seen people move to different parts of the world to get the experience and to explore new opportunities. Homesick is a trivial matter that you can look over it and if you follow the above tips, you can just forget about it while moving abroad for work.
Hasib is a professional writer working with one of prominent job portals in India –naukri.com. As a career coach, he helps professionals in making decisions related to career and job opportunities. He is an avid reader and lives for two things – football and food. If he is not involved in any of those, you can find him contemplating existential issues. Follow him @ twitter, Google+, LinkedIn