Ep. 5 of Challenges of an Immigrant

When you are new to an environment, you expect to be accepted by all because we are humans, and, essentially, we are all equal. Unfortunately, more often than not, that is not the case. Just like George Orwell said in his book Animal Farm, “some animals are more equal than others.” So we know that not everyone is essentially equal all the time; the question I ask, then, is why the newest person will expect those with deep-rooted ideas, cultures, and theories to easily accept them?

You have to learn to understand the culture you are trying to join, as well as share information about your culture for them to understand you better, and for them to even begin to consider accepting you. All things considered… you cannot just force people to accept you without being nice to them.

It’s like back in Africa, you do not just buy bread from a bakery without perceiving the fresh aroma from afar. Imagine the smell of freshly baked bread, especially when there is no money to make the purchase.

I am African, and we are very religious and respectful. God always has a plan for our future. Hence, we let our work speak louder than our words. In summary, Africans consider self-promotion as being proud and boisterous.

However, in the western world, it is believed that you got the job because you already have the pre-requisite experience and skill. Therefore, evaluation of your performance and the ability to rise to a higher, better level in your job will depend heavily on your relationships with your colleagues, networking, and how you explain your work (the aforementioned self-promotion). The effectiveness of your self-promotion demonstrates confidence in the quality of your work.

In my culture, we perceive it as prideful and impolite. However, in the western world, in your culture, that’s not pride. It is usual for you. It doesn’t make either view wrong or bad; it just means that both are viewed through different perspectives. Share your cultural background, understand the views of others, and you are on the path to greater heights.


#StayStrong #BeBold

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *