I probably the last person who should write about the experience at working and living in different cultures compared to anyone who lived in more than 10 countries yet I thought would like to share my experience and perspective. Before I share my experience, I wanted to ask – Have you ever wake up with a question – what are you doing with your life and why are you doing what you are doing today? if not, then I say please do not read this 😉
Moving into cultural difference (Story of Middle East):
I was in my early 20s and had very a big opportunity to work at one of the biggest SaaS company as a Technical Consultant abroad in Middle East. I must say it was a challenge who was always within my comfort zone and protected by my family and friends, specially from small country that wasn’t popular. You might know from all geographical channels, Mongolia is a landlocked country with all wild life, everyone rides a horse. We even didn’t have a concept of (at least how I grow up) taking proper taxi from the street.
Back in home, I never had to deal with language barrier and getting lost in places. But I moved to Middle East, and I started to learn a proper English language to communicate with international clients and understanding different way of working, and most importantly being open minded was the key to succeed anything that I was doing. The way of life style and communication, how people are friendly in Middle East made my transition easy and helped me a lot.
Living in harmonious (Adventure of Thailand and South East Asia):
This is a story of sad yet adventurous experience. I have started my Digital Marketing career in Bangkok – place it has so much life and things happening. You might remember those days when you were immature young adult traveling in Thailand… but I must tell you it is very different experience and environment when you work and live as an expat. As an individual and professional working adult, I have learned so much from working with Thai people and having local friends.
But my adventure didn’t last long and one of the sunny day, I broke up with my boyfriend made me to decide – it wasn’t the place anymore for me and I know it was the time to make a change.
Challenge and … (Singapore and me)
I got an opportunity & challenge and CHALLENGE was accepted … this was a case for me. I’d like to say often myself as a global citizen, worked and stayed for extended periods of time in different countries helps me to communicate with all different nationalities. I was lucky enough to work with very supportive colleagues and good leaders who I can learn from them (different nationalities like Mongolian, German, Jewish, Danish, Romanian, Thai, Australian, Singaporean, Indian, French and Shanghainese and all were different ages) and I am proud to say where I am today is because of them!
Singapore is an international hub city country yet it has uniqueness – uniqueness that has strong regulations and rules. If expats like us follow the rule, one of the best place to grow our career aspect in different areas. But if you obey the rules, one of the harsh country you would think of. I believe this is what makes Singapore as “Singapore” and sometimes it is a Challenge.
I remember my first day struggling to order a Chicken Rice at the hawker center and store lady who didn’t understand one single word I was saying, and when I get into a bus everyone calls a bus driver – “uncle” which made me to think “how come bus driver can be everyone’s uncle”?!.
But today I am about 4 and half years in Singapore one of the Asian Tiger country. By looking back to the years I moved in and looking at the year where we are today, it is a Challenge and I say Challenge accepted and bring it on whatever you’ve got 2020!