Last week I released Lesson 1 of “5 Keys Lessons in Flexibility for International Professionals”. Click here to access Lesson 1. This week I’m sharing with you the second lesson in flexibility I’ve learned on my international travels.
Lesson #2: Learn to Adapt
Adapting to a new culture and a new language will make you bend and twist in directions you probably don’t want to go.
Simple, everyday tasks can drastically change from country to country.
For example, I was used to paying utility bills in the post office in Australia. This was before paying bills online became a common task. When I moved to Japan, I was surprised that in order to pay my utility bills, it wasn’t a post office I had to go to. It wasn’t the retail office of the utility company either. No, it was the local convenience store. A 7-Eleven where you’d usually buy a bottle of coke and a sandwich.
For every day tasks, such as paying your utility bills, it’s not so difficult to change your habits. But for more important things, such as dealing with cultural misunderstandings, refusing to be flexible and always wanting to do things the way it’s done “back home” will only make you frustrated and annoyed.
Furthermore, it will not help you connect and understand how that culture truly works. You will always be on the outside.
When you travel to another country or do business with people from another culture, you need to approach things with an open-mind and you need to go into every situation expecting to be flexible.
Click here to access Lesson 3.