Today marks two weeks in Germany! I am currently on the flight home writing this journal; I am beyond sad to leave! What an incredible and life-changing trip it was. Over the duration, I learned numerous valuable qualities to thrive in society. The most important quality I strengthened was cultural awareness and sensitivity.
Traveling abroad was a very humbling experience. Being lost in a city, unaware of the cultural norms, and even feeling uncomfortable with speaking a different language than your primary is challenging. I started developing empathy and understanding for those experiencing this while visiting America. That was the biggest takeaway from the trip, how can I improve myself in America’s society? It isn’t easy to be in a culture you weren’t raised in. It is often downplayed how many people experience discomfort in America when visiting.
The biggest question I sought to answer is how can someone bring comfort, understanding & awareness to people in my home country? Especially for future employees when I am working in the Human Resources field.
People don’t get enough credit for immigrating to, working in, or visiting a different country. Feeling anxious, out of place, and different is very prevalent. Moving to another country to start a new job is exciting, a brand-new adventure, although, as previously stated, within culture shock, one can feel isolated, lonely & different.
I am currently on the flight home, and I have so much more cultural sensitivity and awareness than I ever had. The profound empathy I feel helps me understand more how hard it could be.
Culture shapes one’s identity, communitive habits, nonverbal behavior, and so much more. It truly helps mold a person into who they become!
In Human Resources, I will be exposed to people from different backgrounds and cultures. How can I support them if one moves out of the country to start a new position? I thought of having resources in the area to hand out to the employee. Some include the map of the area, favorite food places nearby, etc.
Most importantly, being available to answer any questions before or during the onboarding process.
Another challenge that HR might face is the interactions between employees. How can all employees be culturally aware? One way is hosting a lunch for employees, each bringing their favorite cultural dish. It will help start conversations between employers! As intercultural communication shouldn’t be viewed as a taboo subject but rather a start of a new discussion to broaden perspectives!