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Gaining the right employment can be a real challenge for many migrants who are uncertain of how to get the right job. Even those in employment can be unsure about ways to gain a promotion or advance in an organisation.

Much of success, however, can be built on attitude, for example, “think like a migrant and act like a local.”

This means that in seeking employment, a migrant should embrace all that is good about their new country, keep their enthusiasm high, show that they are learning the new culture and take some pride in successfully migrating from one country to another.

Migrants often have to work harder just to get to the interview, but this hard work in areas such as learning better spoken English (actually you have to be proficient in the local language) really pays off. You do not have to be perfect, it is often enough to demonstrate that you are learning and eager to adapt. Communication is not just how fast or how your accent sounds, but is also about passing the message across in the clearest and simplest way.

Here are some points to consider for the job searching process.

The 7 best attitudes for employment success

1. The 3As mindset of adaptation, assimilation and assertiveness

2. Embrace the good about your new homeland

3. Pick up on local habits and local culture

4. Acknowledge yourself as a migrant and take pride in your risk-taking and survival skills

5. Accept that nothing is perfect and that you have to start somewhere

6. Keep joyful and motivated as you search for employment

7. Ensure honesty, integrity, openness and eagerness to learn

The 7 skills that are needed for job success

1. Improved verbal and written English is an essential first skill because that’s how you have to communicate everyday

2. Increase powers of observation and listening for faster learning

3. Being precise and honest about your personal brand and what you offer

4. Prepare your “elevator pitch” and identify your unique selling proposition for interviews through practise

5. Connect with others by remaining open, interested and asking questions

6. Make yourself known to the broader community by doing something which is not your profession e.g. volunteering, community activity, sports etc.

7. Try to understand and embrace other cultures, try to see things from alternative perspectives

Why migrants miss out on the job

Our research at Infonity shows that migrants who end up being unsuccessful in gaining employment are especially those who from the very first day, start comparing their new life to their life they left behind. They may tend to display a sense of resentment or dissatisfaction and this certainly comes across during interviews. It is important to grasp as much as possible about the new culture that one may find themselves in, as well as aiming to retain their own traditional beliefs. It is possible to stay true to your own heritage, while also learning about a new culture, and embracing a new way of life.

It can also be very clear to future employers if a migrant has stopped thinking positively and being creative, thinking of new things and dreaming of new adventures.

Employers may be weary of those who cannot adapt emotionally to newer surroundings and find faults with everything, and at interviews display a low sense of purpose and low self-esteem. This may not be looked upon favourably from potential employers. Such attitudes can affect other employees and should be addressed to ensure a satisfying mental life. Other negative signs for employers would be those who can’t form and maintain meaningful relationships or who do not come across as generous, enthusiastic and helpful.

Migrants who can adapt, assimilate and display the right level of assertiveness can succeed and bring many valuable attributes to any employer. As the world gets smaller, having employees from other parts of the world can be a real asset for an organisation, bringing important worldviews, and new perspectives, fostering positive multicultural environments and adding to the rich tapestry that is an increasingly global society.

By Goutam Basak, Managing Director, Infonity Pty Ltd, specialists in Multicultural and Diversified HR


Featured image by Freepik.

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