Working in a whole new environment in a foreign country is really difficult at first. This is the most important thing an expat should understand before landing a job abroad. Homesickness, longingness, and adjustment to the environment and the people around you, especially your colleagues, are just some warm-up spices that will give extra chill while making yourself comfortable in the new world you are in.
In this post, I’ll be sharing some personal experiences I’ve acquired working as an expat in Kuwait. These are some sort of simple do’s and don’t’s. So take it just quick.
So here’s how to maintain a harmonious relationship as an expat towards your foreign workmates.
Talk Baby-English at All Times
Countries like Kuwait or other middle eastern countries, speaking its native tongue, Arabic, is highly encouraged. But because Arabic is not easy to learn, you should speak English at all times. Just baby English because a country like Kuwait, academic English won’t work most of the time.
Speaking other language or your dialect in front of your boss, customer or other workmates who can’t understand your tongue might get offended. Just like you if you don’t understand them.
Don’t Ask Too Personal Questions
Asking questions is part of the getting-to-know process when making a friendly atmosphere at work, but misleading questions might create chaos and misunderstanding. Most private people, especially your boss, do not want to divulge their personal lives to anyone in public for any possible reason. So, better minimize your thinking skills when asking personal questions. That’s the rule.
Hire a Personal Translator
I’m too rude to command you hiring a personal translator, but, yes I am serious about it. Keep it handy. Slip him in your pocket. Exercise your googliness. Your smartphone will make it. Yallah, I meant downloading an application like Google Translator is helpful. Yes, that’s how you hire it.
Be Nice But Not Too Friendly
I got this idea from a friend who has been working abroad for 8 years. She said, smiling at anyone, especially strangers is bad for countries like in the Middle-East because you might be misunderstood of having interest with them. If you are new to your workplace, being nice is good – just don’t smile widely at other workmates in the office or someone in the elevator if you don’t have personal knowledge about them or else you’ll be accused of liking them.
Use Facebook if You Need to Drink Water
In a company I am working with, my boss does not want us to roam and barge in at someone’s desk when we need something or a favor. The office needs to be quiet and we should not make ourselves busy walking around. Our house rule is to use a telephone or chat whatsApp to someone whom we need a favor. Just perfect.
The same story I get when I asked my friend working in Dubai. So, I can conclude that middle eastern people don’t want a noisy, busy environment. This, I believe only for office works, not for manufacturing and other service establishments.
Learn to Talk the Local Tongue
I believe this is one of the most important factors. Learning how to respond to someone saying, “Assalamu alaikum!” is very important and or saying, “Arigatou gozaimasu!” is beneficial. It’s good to learn other dialects than to be mocked by someone in front of your face you don’t know.
That’s pretty simple. Next time soon, in shaa Allah. I’ll be listing other more simple things you need to know, or you can comment below a suggestion you would want me to cover for my next topic. Ok? In shaa Allah.