5 Transitional Tips for Migrants Entering the Business Landscape

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Making career choices and changing jobs is hard enough for any person, but it’s perhaps most hard for migrants. Migrants face all types of issues when trying to enter the business landscape; from cultural cringe, to lessons in language.

Business Landscape

Below are five transitional tips aimed at helping migrants more smoothly glide to their path of career cultivation.

Language Matters

Learning a new language, or adapting to a local vernacular can take significant time and energy. Even if you’re a native speaker of the language, geographically specific slang can be hard to decipher – ‘grabbing a round of flat whites as you pop-by the the cafe in the arvo’ will mean something very specific to an Australian, and will seem like badly assembled English to others.

Take your time coming to terms with the local dialect, and (where possible) try to communicate in a casual way with as many people as you can manage. Practice makes perfect, and you won’t have the luxury of time once you’re in a high-pressure business environment.

Get Your Ducks In A Row

Speaking to a migration specialist will help you to evaluate your options from both a legal and a local perspective. Finding an immigration agent is a great step towards being more well-versed in your career options, and in finding the best path to realising your dreams. Migrants can often come up against barriers such as language, local law, and a lack of good guidance. Migration specialists can help you with all of these things and get you on your way to wherever it is you want to go.

Cultural Capital

While it may seem distinct from business, knowledge of cultural events and current events will give you some important talking points. Imagine being stuck in a meeting or interview and being asked to specify an opinion on a current event (eg; stock market volatility). Having an opinion formed from widely reading will present much more kindly than being non-responsive.

Locating yourself in the cultural landscape will also help you to feel more at in in the community, and will give you more material to communicate to your peers and colleagues, forming potential friendships.

Fine Threads

Clothes maketh the man, and whether you like it or not, they will be one of the first ways potential employers and colleagues form their judgements of you. Think about what it is you wish to convey through your clothing choices. Are you in a professional field with a conservative dress code? Are you entering a field which is rapidly developing and filled with young, forward thinking people?

Choose clothes which tell prospective employers that you’re on their level.

Clean, well-tailored items like crisp white shirts, pintucked skirts and black or charcoal pants (hold the creases please, that’s too 1982) are perennially in-style and can bring your outfit up a level.

Also of concern, any hair and grooming choices.

Keep hair well-groomed and facial hair clean and trimmed – there’s an entire spectrum of choices you can make here, but cleanliness is universal and shows you care enough about small details to impress an employer.


Manners are as important in the boardroom as they are at the dinner table.

Having the ability to be polite, sensitive to local customs, and to know when to listen and when to offer an opinion are learned via trial and error. If you’re recently arrived into a new country, seek counsel. If you have a local community or any friends in your new location, ask them for information and advice on local customs.

Online forums and publications can also help to steer you in the right direction.

They offer essential information regarding social issues and how to approach tricky subjects and situations with the greatest level of appropriateness.

There are many potential pitfalls and problems for migrants entering the business landscapes, but these can be lessened with good planning and communication strategies. There’s always much to learn, and many people who will help you in your journey.

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