The Expat Experience
Moving to another country and being an expat are rich experiences. It can bring excitement, joy, inspiration and personal growth, but also it can bring anxiety, uncertainty and stress. When moving to a different country for the first time, the great amount of differences and change can overwhelm. However when being an expat becomes a routine and a few countries have been lived in, some amount of resilience and adaptation reveals.
Job Related Issues
You may have moved here due to job opportunities or maybe you had other reasons to settle in this country and finding a job is an additional task. Either way, the work culture and what it brings may be different from what you are used to. There may also be changes to how you do things. Your title or position may change, your repsonsibilities may be altered, your income and benefits may be different. Such changes can be seen as a natural aspect of the whole experience, however it might convey the need to deal with the meaning of them. The new job has the potential of exploring different capabilities and skills, and therefore thriving. Also, it contains some degree of challenge whilst trying to figure out ways to fit in and adapt to the new work culture without being affected on a personal level by it.
The expat experience does not necessarily start with the arrival at a new country. It usually starts with the idea of moving away from home. A variety of reasons can trigger this idea: thirst for experience, cultural curiosity, range of opportunities, possible difficulties in home country and maybe in personal life. Often a good amount of time may be given to the planning and decision making process. When all is set, the logistics of actual arrival are involved. So how the pre-arrival experience is shaped influences the experience itself.
Difficulties of Life in Istanbul
Depending on where you came from, you may find life in Istanbul easier or harder. The opportunities it has may be appealing while the challenges it brings can be daunting. You may be dealing with language barriers and consequent communication problems. You may be trying to handle the stress of commuting and traffic. You may be facing the challenge of time-management where finding time to do anything is priceless. There may be arrangements to be dealt with regarding school of your kids or baby-sitting, finding appropriate health-care or social support. Life in Istanbul may seem rich and full of opportunities within which you feel overwhelmed to find what you are looking for. The cultural differences are always an important part of being an expat. However the changing culture of Istanbul may be finding you unsettled. You may be feeling the ambivalance of hospitality and discrimination; friendlyness and distance; and etc. You may be finding your way into the social rules and roles eventually, but still you may be experiencing difficulties with transition and adaptation.
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