Adjusting to your new job as an immigrant in New Zealand
Whatever your reasons were for immigrating into New Zealand, I am sure that they are valid ones because packing up an entire life, family and your belongings is no easy feat nor is it something done lightly and without much consideration! But, now you are here and settling into your job and the honeymoon period has worn off and things have changed. Emigrating is one of the biggest challenges life can have, it’s akin to someone dying it’s been said. It can have a profound effect on you physically, emotionally and spiritually. Hence, you may just start feeling a little out of whack when the excitement of starting a new job wears off.
You aren’t alone! Feeling like this is completely normal and natural. Everything is different - the land, the people, the culture, the work environment. You may not have any friends or family and you may still be settling into the New Zealand way of life. You are allowed to be out of sorts during this transition phase. What you shouldn’t do is give up or think about leaving on the next plane home. A period of adjustment is necessary and it’s during this time that you will learn the most vital lessons of creating a life in your new home.
1: Make friends at work
Chances are that you are not the only one feeling alone or out of place. If everyone stayed to themselves then no one would know anything about anyone. Grab the bull by the horns and make a move! Organise an after work get together, a picnic on the weekend at the local park, fun sports activities or organise a discount at the local gym for the office. Most importantly, involve all your colleagues not only the ex-pats. Having some locals as mates can go a long way to helping you adopt your new country as your own. Bonding with The point is, if you don’t get yourself out there then you will remain isolated.
2: Pursue Interests
You didn’t move JUST to work did you? Of course not. Life is for living. You need to get out there and take advantage of all your new country has to offer you. Here in New Zealand, that can be a lot! There’s a whole new country and culture to explore and lots to take your mind off missing home. Try out your local theatre, find a hobby club if you are interested in certain things like photography, bird watching, books etc, take a local class in something that interests you, join FaceBook groups with ex-pats and make plans to meet up with them for advice and tips on how to settle into your new home. There is an app called “Meetup: which will put you in touch with a variety of different groups of people interested in all kinds of things, you can even start your own meet up group. www.meetup.com. You can join the local fishing or ski club, offer yourself as a volunteer at the local shelter, join business networking groups or join a gym. There are heaps of ways to integrate into your local community which help you feel that much more comfortable in your new environment and more engaged with the people around you.
3. Step out of your comfort zone!
Try something new and exciting. Moving to a new country is probably the most you will ever be out of your comfort zone anyway so what’s to stop you continuing to surprise yourself and others? Maybe the things you were used to at home are different here or there isn’t a local activity available that you enjoy. Solution? Find something else! New Zealand is all about getting out into the fresh air and taking advantage of her beautiful spoils of nature. Start skiing, buy a surfboard (and a wetsuit! It’s chilly lol), get a huge kite for fun with the kids, find some horses to go on outrides with, start hiking or tramping as they call it in New Zealand, save up and make it a goal to explore new places every weekend or go on holidays and sightsee your new country. There is a plethora of activities if you only take a moment to look. Try these websites for ideas:
4: Don’t forget why you emigrated
Remember all the reasons why you left your motherland. Brighter future for your family, better job opportunities, career advancement, less crime, safety, better schools, better lifestyle, change of scenery and the list goes on. We all have our reasons for coming to New Zealand, it’s remembering these reasons in times of homesickness, cultural shock, boredom, loneliness, unhappiness, and isolation that will help us to get through the difficult times. Your new job may not be forever, or maybe it is. But ultimately that’s your choice. You still have choices and you can still make a life here that makes you happy. Adaptability is your saviour here. Remain flexible and remember that whilst they may not have your favourite biscuits or your local beer or even favourite past times – they do have new and exciting things for you to try and explore. Be versatile and jump in head first!