Monday, 19 March 2012

Here Be Monsters... In Your Mind

Sailors used to add images of serpents and mythical beasts to maps when they didn't know what was there. We often do the same thing in our minds. We like what we know and we can often shy away from things we don't understand.

Your Personality is Key to Your Success Abroad

From Gaudi's mind...
When you start living abroad you encounter lots of new things. It can be as simple as feeling disorientated or as complex as understanding a culture that you didn't grow up in.

Before you accept an international assignment ask yourself what type of person you are. Are you a person that copes with new things well, can you accept failure and help or do you reject the crowd and try to do it on your own?

I remember not being able to find anything when I first started to live in NY. I lived in the UK for most of my life and found that the techniques I used to get around in the UK didn't work in NY. I had no idea how much information was stored in my head and how informal the learning process had been. Now when I go to a new city I use a more formal process of learning about the place.

On an international assignment, you'll find a lot of unfamiliar and perhaps strange things (from ways of doing business to how your Internet is billed to what to eat at breakfast) that you may be tempted to label the land of monsters (best left unknown). But keep in mind that the great explorers were always willling to sail off the map. And they had a crew that shared their vision.

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