It doesn’t matter whether you’re working for a multinational corporation or at a startup, in the global economic turmoil of today, no company is untouchable when it comes to downsizing, merger, or re-organization. It has become a commonplace occurrence, which must be taken in the stride of every employee, as change is inevitable. The problem is even greater for the expatriates working abroad since they are already going through so many changes.
Surviving Change Overseas
Do you know what it means to survive? A lot of people give very generic answers to this question, which usually translate into the following:
- You still have a job
- Receive a paycheck
- Haven’t checked into a mental hospital
- Your family and friends are still speaking to you regularly
- You haven’t experienced any significant weight gain or loss
These answers are closely linked to short-term satisfaction, which should tell you all that you need to know about how people view survival today.
Survival is much more than the answers mentioned above. It is about not losing confidence in yourself, not losing self-respect, irrespective of your employment status. Surviving change overseas can be tough, but it also gives you the opportunity to see the true colors of your managers and colleagues. If the situation is being handled poorly, then you know it is time to jump off the ship.
If you find yourself in such a situation or want to prepare yourself for a possible situation like this, here are some pointers for surviving organizational change as an expatriate:
1. What’s the next move?
One of the best ways to counter any type of change in your professional or personal life is to always try to stay one step ahead of the game. This is important, especially if your fate is in the hands of someone else, or if you find yourself in comfortable surroundings, which will make it harder to think about your next move. The optimal strategy you must adopt is to have an internal and external strategy in place when you join a new job. This means having a clear idea of how long you want to stay in a work situation.
Three to four years in a position is a long time, and you shouldn’t be judged negatively for staying there, but don’t fool yourself. There aren’t any safe, lifetime jobs out there in any industry, so you must plan your next move.
2. Turn off the radar
When change is imminent, everyone starts hearing stories and disconcerting news. In such times, it can be extremely difficult to focus on your job, and not get drawn into the gossip that is coming your way. However, you must teach yourself to drown out the rumors, and focus on what is important to you.
3. Move forward – one step at a time
The first reaction to change is paralysis since you don’t know what to do. You don’t know whether you should focus on your job or start updating your CV and start looking for another job. The best thing to do is to remain calm and not to jump the gun, because your employer is still paying you, and you must do your job. On the other hand, you should have a plan in place to help move forward.