When you’re emigrating, it’s easy to build up this idea of the “perfect” country in your head. But let me tell you, that ideal world is just in your head, and reality is often far from perfect. Even for us marketers, it can be a challenge to adapt to a new culture and way of doing things. I always believe that Marketing is a universal language and its principles can be applied directly anywhere in the world. The pitfall can be when it is not adapted to the culture and ways things are done in the related country. Think global, act local principle also apply for us, and will help tremendously to build life abroad.
I faced the same struggles when I moved to the Netherlands. I didn’t know squat about the culture, the body language, or the traditions. But, I did what any smart person would do, I started with the basics – learning the language. And let me tell you, it’s not just about being able to order a beer, it opens up doors for socializing with the locals. And if you’re really feeling adventurous (like me), you can move to Friesland and learn a whole new dialect!
Now, I know it’s easy to fall into stereotypes when you’re new to a country, but don’t do it. Be open-minded and look at the nuances of a situation. And be prepared for the Dutch directness, it’s not just a stereotype. Trust me.
Very important don’t just stay in your comfort zone. Get out there and join a local football club, or spend a day at a co-working space. And don’t forget to explore the traditional cuisine, it’s a great way to understand the culture and identity. And if you’re feeling confident, host a dinner party and add your own personal touch to local delicacies.
And to all my cold-weather warriors out there, don’t be afraid of the cold, just expose yourself to it gradually. Trust me, it gets easier each time.
In conclusion, to be successful in international business, you need to have intercultural skills. So start developing them now, and you’ll be prepared for any challenge that comes your way. With my integration in process, I can now move now take my experience to the next level and work a local projects. So stay tuned, more to come… 🙂
P.S here’s a little treat to speed up your integration: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CAi9de-q7sw