Expat life is not a bed of roses. It is not a specific art of perfection, but people manage to juggle their way through it and master it on the way. Being an expat for 18 years of my life, I can safely say that expats possess some additional qualities which make life abroad fairly easy for them. These are common characteristics that almost all expats posses.
While some of them may seem irrelevant to many, those who are successful in their foreign endeavors can rightly relate to them.
If you are also considering a move abroad, this can be your checklist, to spend a successful expat life out there.
1. Be Resilient
The most notable quality that you need to become an expat is resilience. If you don’t possess this quality, you can have a really tough time abroad. Life outside your home zone can be quite arduous and resilience is one skill that can assist you to navigate the troubled waters of expat life. Resilience is the skill to stand through tough times, and also bounce back from any setbacks that you face. It will help you to absorb stress and adopt skills to manage your situations well.
2. Be Curious
To be in a new space will expose you to strange new things. Unless you have that curious streak in you, you will not be able to maximize full potential of your expat life. Be willing to ask a lot of questions. Learn about the history, culture, norms, rules, laws of your new home country. for example, ask where the locals shop for organic fruits and vegetables, or you can ask about the best eateries in town. You should have a keen observation about things going around you.
3. Be Open-Minded
To fully optimize your expat life, you should be open-minded. Stepping outside your home zone, you will face exposure to an array of different customs and cultures. Unless you are open to change, you cannot adjust to your new life. Embrace the cultural norms. Work towards integrating your time and efforts in understanding what the locals do. Things will be pretty y different than what was normal back home. This is where your open mindedness to adaptation will help you.
4. Be Independent
To lead a successful expat life, you should have a strong sense of your independence. Unless you have that urge of autonomy inside you, you will be clinging to your past. It’s more like having the wings to fly but not using them. Have the courage to venture into new things and dare to take new challenges. It’s certainly not for the faint-hearted. If you are among the people who cling to their safe spots, then expat life is surely not for you.
5. Be Adaptable
Shifting to a new country can never be possible if you do not possess this trait. Though the journey is equally terrifying and exciting, but you need to be adaptable.
6. Be Sociable
If you want to ace your life abroad as an expat you need to be highly sociable. This is because, when you leave your family and old friends back home, you will need to make new connections to thrive. This is not possible without being socially active. Your new social support network is going to be the one you will turn to in hours of distress and crisis. More so when you miss home and need someone to recline on.
7. Be Socially Competent
Social competence is a vital quality that expats should possess. This quality will help you interact in different situations very effectively. It will help you get along with people in a better way, understanding their views and maintaining close relationships with them. Your new life away from your home will now be dependent on your socially competent skills.
8. Be Calm Under Pressure
No matter what life throws at you, you need to be calm in every possible circumstance. You might have sound planning about your future life ahead in a foreign land, but you should be prepared to welcome the unknown. For example, your realtor promised to hand the keys once you land there, but upon reaching there you are told that the building maintenance will take few more days to complete. You will encounter many such surprises during your initial days, which can be a test for you to perform well under stress. Its part of the program no one is going to tell you about.
9. Be Emotionally Intelligent
You might be aware that highly successful people are emotionally intelligent. This is the quality that you need to possess if you want to outshine during your stay abroad. Emotional intelligence is one of the highest sought skills, more than the intelligence quotient. You should know the art of managing your emotions, in every possible situation. Check how often you can lend a helping hand to people around you.
10. Be An Explorer At Heart
If before embarking on expat life, you have traveled to some distant or near place this signifies that you are an explorer at heart. This is an important quality that expats should have before they decide to move abroad. They should have a penchant for new lands, meeting new people, learning new languages, and getting accustomed to new customs. You need to be the one to try your hands at new things, at least once during your stay. Realize that the world is for you to explore and trek around.
Apart from the 10 qualities mentioned here, there are numerous others that you should have if you want to lead an expat life. This is all because life in a new land isn’t going to be easy initially. If you don’t equip yourself with the necessary traits and skills, you will endure many difficulties. Make full use of the time that you have before your departure, so you won’t have to encounter any serious challenges.