New experiences could be intriguing. It could be climbing heights never attained before; plunging into depths unimagined; tasting a new meal, starting a new line of business or even moving to a new city. While these may be fascinating, they sometimes leave us grappling with uncertainty and fear especially where we failed to adequately prepare and equip ourselves for such an experience. Whatever may be the case, we sure need to prepare to get the best out of any novel situation we find ourselves in.
Moving to a new city for one could be a daunting task. The excitement may be present, especially where such a city is a dream destination. However, you soon come to the realization that leaving the ‘known’ for the ‘unknown’ is not exactly a walk in the park. You know you need to brace yourself for impact and seek to find your footing in the new space you are in. Finding a job soon becomes a preoccupation. After all, the bills won’t pay themselves and the sooner you start earning an income, the better. Well, except you moved to the new city because you got a job there in the first instance.
Settling into your new environment seems to be a lifelong journey and soon enough, you add working your new job to it. You grapple with adjusting to the differences between where you are coming from and where you currently are. You find yourself having to unlearn some things, learning entirely new things or relearning things in a different way. All of this adds up to be a rewarding experience if you make the most of it and glean from the experiences.
A practical experience for me was relocating from Nigeria to the United Kingdom, sometime last year (2020) and working my new job here in the UK. It was a whole new experience for me working in a different environment such as this, even though it was work from home. Below are some of the lessons I learnt and hope you can glean from my experience in preparing for a new job in a new city.
- Time is Money
In my new work environment, I learnt that time is indeed money. This was beyond the cliché ‘time na money’. You get paid for hours worked so, you have to make every second count and of course, actually be productive during your work hours. It was beyond just showing up for work and clocking in every day. My new work environment required putting in actual work for the hours you are at work. Except for the break times of course. Keeping to time is non-negotiable. Appointments can’t just be cancelled abruptly without prior and adequate notice. And that applies whether you are the CEO or a team member. Lateness is not tolerated especially where prior notice wasn’t given. Also, you don’t have anyone breathing down your neck to ensure you are working. Systems are put in place to check these things and you can track your own productivity.
- There is Dignity in Labor
This hasn’t proved more true for me than it has here. You may get into a new city and have an idea of the ideal job you want to do. One that is probably in line with your training and work experience. This may require you having more certification to enable you to work in the new environment. However, rather than just wait for it, you can always start somewhere. You could get a job where the skills you get on the job will aid you in getting your ideal job.
Also, people don’t really care what academic degrees and certifications you have as much as you delivering on the job and providing the needed service.
- Employee Training and Development is Key
No matter how much you know or have experience in, your employer is most likely to carry out a thorough training for you before you resume work. Then there is the training also carried out periodically in the course of your work. Put lightly, even if you know it all, you have to learn it all! In my new work environment, training is prioritized and you have a support system to guide you and assist you in carrying out your duties efficiently and effectively.
- Culture of Respect and Fairness
You can’t tell how much can be achieved when everyone at the workplace is treated with dignity and respect irrespective of the level on the ladder they occupy. Where team leaders treat those in their team with respect and never talk down at them or treat them in a demeaning way because they understand the importance of teamwork. Where there is evident fairness and some people do not get better treatment because they are higher on the rung. Where open discussion is encouraged and everyone can have a say. Where age and position don’t matter but getting the job done. You really can’t tell how much can be achieved in a workplace such as this.
In conclusion, while it is important to prepare for a new job in a new city by getting all the needed information and getting to know and understand the work culture of your new environment, you can always stand out where ever you find yourself if you have a great personal work ethics and a commitment to excellence. Carry out your work beyond where you currently find yourself. Do it with where you are headed in mind.
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Victoria Duke is an astute professional with zest and passion for total quality and excellence. She is a lawyer by profession, a certified Company Secretary and Administrator and an author of the book; ‘Quit the Excuses!’. Victoria has over eight years’ experience working as a legal counsel, corporate governance and contract lawyer, and currently works with Novacroft, a tech company aimed at providing technological solutions to companies in the United Kingdom where she currently lives. She is passionate about protecting the rights of vulnerable people, especially women and children.