Starting all over again may be tough but there are so many joys wrapped up in new beginnings.
When I relocated in 2019, I expected life after migration to be challenging but somehow I was still a bit surprised at how difficult the transition was. The truth is, you’ll never really know how something really is until you go through it. Don’t get me wrong, there were a lot of things that went right. Plus, I received lots of unexpected blessings. But, as with any major life change, it’s quite easy to get caught up in a spiral of negative thoughts. One bad thing usually leads to another and before you know it, you may find yourself questioning your decisions and endurance.
So, if you’re going through a similar transition, here are some of the my best tips to make your life after migration a whole lot easier.
1.Identify your transferable skills even before you migrate
After migrating, I’ve really come to appreciate the value of identifying and maximizing transferable skills.
In fact, since my profession is regulated I really didn’t have much of a choice. Unfortunately, it’s easy to underestimate both the transferable skills that you have and the impact that they have in helping you succeed after migrating.
However, identifying your transferable skill isn’t only important for landing a job but for so many other areas of your life. It’ll help with your demeanor, your interaction and your confidence.
And trust me, losing your confidence is much easier than you think when you no long longer have the career that was a significant part of your identity.
"Either push your limits or suffocate in your comfort zone." - Arun Purang
2.Rebuiding your career after migration is no easy feat
This might seem like a no brainer but I didn’t realize it could be this significant. Figuring out what jobs to apply to and how to apply is one thing. Sending out tons of application with little to no response is another.
It’s quite easy to start feeling hopeless.
This may be even harder if you loved your job and worked really hard to move up the professional ladder.
But, I truly believe that if you have the work ethics, knowledge and determination to build your career the first time, you’ll surely be able to do it again. So, do you know what’s one thing I should’ve done differently?
Enjoyed those months it took me to find a job a whole lot more. God knows I could’ve used a vacation and have no idea when I’ll get another long one like that again.
"I have resolved to live, not just endure each stage of your life." - Unknown.
Discover the best tips for making a career change.
3.The value of community
Social support especially when you are in a new place is very important. Not only will you find it comforting, but it’ll provide a wealth of information and resources for you to navigate life after migration.
Plus, it may be helpful for building relationships with other people who are experiencing similar challenges. Social support will make it much easier for you to learn about the culture and assimilate into the new environment.
Additionally, this will also provide a great opportunity for your to network and increase your chances of landing a job.
"Small acts, when multiplied by millions of people, can transform the world." - Howard Zinn
4.The power of adaptation
Change, although inevitable, can be scary. But, to minimize disappointment it’s crucial that we have the right expectations. Being able to adapt quickly to your new life after migration will set you apart and do wonders for your mental health.
Be comforted by the fact that, in most cases, the beginning really is the hardest part.
Concentrate on your long-term goals, do things that you enjoy and remember to be flexible. Know that nothing is constant and it’s important to keep enjoying every stage of your life.
"It is not the strongest or the most intelligent who will survive but those who can best manage change." - Charles Darwin
5.An attitude of gratitude
Gratitude is a really powerful thing. In the early stage of life after migration, it’s quite easy to look at the glass as being half empty.
You may have different reasons for migrating, but when things get tough that sense of optimism may begin to fade.
So if there’s one thing that you should do is to be intentionally grateful – for all that you have accomplished and all that is to come. Even if it’s small things, complaining never made anything better.
"If you're going to think, then you might as well think positive. Remember positive thoughts and actions are seeds that will produce positive results." - Robert Tew
6.Remaining humble after migration
It’s important to remember where you come from and who helped get you here.
On the other hand, humility doesn’t mean that you can’t be proud of what you’ve accomplished – because you definitely should.
In fact, I think it’s just as important to be proud of who you are and what you’ve worked hard for. In fact, confidence may be your greatest asset.
But I believe there’s a thin line between being proud and being arrogant. And arrogance is very unattractive.
"A great man is always willing to be little." - Ralph Waldo Emerson
7.Help from strangers
I’m known for being very helpful but I hated asking for help. Just because I don’t like to deal with the disappointment. But, I’ve come to realize that ‘no’s’ aren’t all that bad and I’ve definitely gotten a lot more ‘yeses’ whenever I did request help.
In fact, I was pleasantly surprised at how many people were willing to help out and go the extra mile for someone they didn’t even know personally.
In fact, strangers and new friends may be your best allies after migration. So don’t hesitate to ask for help when it’s needed. And when you do get the chance, remember to pay it forward without looking for anything in return.
"The strongest people make time to help others, even if they're struggling with their own personal demons." - Unknown.
8.Decision, decisions, decisions
Having to make so many life decisions at once can be exhausting. And, that’s another reason why you really need to take care of your personal wellness. You will need to be a the top of your game.
But, I’m one to overthink and research everything to death and still remain indecisive. So, my best tip is to be very careful of the source of your advice. Additionally, try to really get in tune with your core desires and realize that indecision is also a decision.
Further, know that you will make mistakes and have a few regrets. But, that’s all a part of life so don’t beat yourself up too much. In fact, those same ‘mistakes’ may even lead you down more successful paths.
I’ve learnt to not make decisions off of the first emotions, especially when you receive surprising news. Let things sit for a while and then review them from different perspectives. Your response will likely be much more “civilized.”
"Decisions are the hardest thing to make, especially when it is a choice between where you should be and where you want to be." - Unknown
9.Recreating your path after migration
Your life after migration will be different from others. And, sometimes being in a different place should inspire you to try new things.
So, don’t be afraid to try new hobbies, go back to school or even new job opportunities. Explore all your options, prioritize and do what’s best for you.
Don’t get wrapped up on focusing only on short term outcomes but think about what your ultimate desires are. Often, we’re our own worst enemies so be careful when questioning yourself and your abilities.
"It is not the mountain we conquer, but ourselves." - Edmund Hillary
Even if you’re not exactly where you want to be, it’s crucial that you keep reaching for higher heights in the areas of life that are most important to you.
Look at everything you’ve accomplished so far and believe that you have the strength to surpass any obstacles. Because, believe me, you do! Just take it one day at a time and make sure what you’re doing is taking you closer to where you want to be.
Don’t give up or settle for less than you came to accomplish.
"You are not stuck where you are...unless you decide to be." - Wayne Dyer
Final words on life after migration
It is difficult to adjust to a new home and life after migrating.
The most important thing for you to do is be proactive about your transition, get involved in the community where you are living, and make an effort every day to learn more and take care of your personal health.
With time, patience, and determination you will find success in your new home.
Comment below if you’ve had a similar experience and let me know what kept you going. Always remember to share this with anyone that may find it useful.
Tips for adjusting to parenthood
The transition to parenthood can be very overwhelming for new mothers. You’re suddenly responsible for another human being and that can seem like a lot of pressure.
It’s easy to feel overwhelmed and not know what you should do next or how you should act as a parent. And, although there is no perfect guide, I’ve created a list of the best tips to help you on your journey! Click here to read more
What impact does migration have on health?
Migration has no single set of characteristics and it is definitely more than just a destination. In fact, it is an ongoing process by which you adjust to and cope with the changes brought about by movement and resettlement.
Although often overlooked, has profound implications on the health of individuals, families, and communities. As part of this adjustment, migrants develop coping mechanisms that can have both positive and negative consequences on their lives.
The positive aspects may include developing strong family and community bonds, cultural preservation, and assimilation to the host society. Unfortunately, negative aspects of migration can lead to some or all of these factors as well:
lack of food security, healthcare access, unemployment and underemployment, social justice, substance abuse (tobacco smoking/drug use), xenophobia and the development of toxic habits.
The key to understanding the impact of migration lies in a greater knowledge of the cultural context surrounding health beliefs, values, practices, and consequences.
These are important aspects of migrant culture that can affect how new immigrants experience all areas of life prior to resettlement as well as after their integration into society at large.
Gushulak, B. D., Pottie, K., Hatcher Roberts, J., Torres, S., DesMeules, M., & Canadian Collaboration for Immigrant and Refugee Health (2011). Migration and health in Canada: health in the global village. CMAJ : Canadian Medical Association journal = journal de l’Association medicale canadienne, 183(12), E952–E958.