by Divit Gupta
Thriving in a new cultural environment involves immigrants actively seeking valuable advice, connecting with the appropriate individuals, seeking support when necessary, advocating for themselves, and effectively utilizing constructive criticism.
Moving to a new country can be daunting, isolating, and stressful. That’s why it’s crucial to enlist the support of the right individuals, remain adaptable, and take control of your own experience. Below are some key competencies that, if mastered, could help you succeed as an immigrant.
Seek suitable avenues for guidance
Upon receiving certain suggestions, you enrolled in unnecessary programs, eventually spending money beyond your means. You came to the realization of the need to be more assertive, expressing, “I know what I want. I don’t need advice right now, but thank you,” and proceeded accordingly. The importance of evaluating the relevance of information became evident to you. Triage of incoming advice was deemed necessary, and you communicated, “Thank you for your input, but I already have my plans in place.” Recognizing that not everyone prioritized your best interests, you actively sought trustworthy mentors.
Connect with the appropriate individuals
You connect with mentors and individuals you admire within your field, actively seeking their guidance. Each day, you accompany your mentor, a professor, to school, exploring the campus, discovering the law faculty, and identifying community centers. This leads you to volunteer, resulting in expanded networking, the acquisition of advisors, and valuable connections. Volunteering and proactive self-introduction are seen as effective methods not only to broaden your social circle but also to contribute and gain opportunities that might otherwise be inaccessible. Notably, through volunteering, you encounter individuals who later write your recommendation letters. See what https://www.toastmasters.org/ has to offer in this regard.
Seek assistance when necessary
In any new country you find yourself in, it’s crucial to grasp the culture, connect with the people, understand who they are, and let them know who you are. They want to assist you. Open up, share both what you know and what you don’t, and seek help when needed. If you require support in improving your communication, resources are available. If negotiating skills are needed, there are training opportunities. I’m not suggesting you should simply go out and plead. I’m just saying that when you encounter difficulties, it’s okay to ask. If you share a challenge with someone and they decline to help, what have you really lost? Usually, it’s nothing.
Advocate for yourself effectively
Always remember that you are your best advocate. If you don’t speak up for yourself, no one else will. So, it’s essential to actively seek what you believe will be beneficial for your career or life. Silence won’t get you far; if you don’t assert yourself, assumptions may be made that aren’t accurate. It’s crucial to step up, advocate for yourself, and be assertive. One significant mistake to avoid is neglecting to negotiate your salary; it can be a costly oversight.
Use constructive criticism to your advantage
You need to be open to receiving feedback because others may see things about you that you’re unaware of. It’s a way to understand both your strengths and areas where you might need improvement. Negative feedback might feel uncomfortable because it’s not what you anticipated, but it’s an opportunity to learn. I consider feedback as a chance to grow. I experienced a turning point in my career when my manager provided me with valuable feedback that I hadn’t received before.
Wrapping it up
The article emphasizes key competencies for immigrant success, highlighting the importance of seeking advice, connecting with the right individuals, seeking support, self-advocacy, and utilizing constructive criticism. It stresses the challenges immigrants face in a new country, urging proactive measures such as enlisting support, adapting, and taking control of the experience. The narrative includes personal experiences, such as enrolling in unnecessary programs due to misplaced advice and the subsequent realization of the need for assertiveness. The significance of connecting with mentors and actively seeking guidance, along with the importance of being one’s best advocate and leveraging negative feedback for growth, is underscored. The overall message is to proactively engage with the new environment, seek assistance when needed, advocate for oneself, and view feedback as an opportunity for improvement and learning.
About the author
Divit Gupta, an immigrant from India, is a seasoned IT professional with 20+ years of IT industry expertise. With a global impact, he spearheads technical partnerships, defines team vision, and champions new strategic endeavors. As the host of popular podcasts like ‘Tech Talk with Divit,’ ‘Live Labs with Divit,’ and ‘Cloud Bites with Divit,’ he showcases technological initiatives and leadership. In 2022-23, he served as Oracle TV’s correspondent for Cloud World. His passion for knowledge sharing extends to international conference talks, technical blogs, and multiple books on emerging technologies.