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Cultivating an international mindset

Insights from Bazir Kurreembukus, Regional Manager Southern Africa - Rogers Aviation

In the pursuit of international success, having the right mindset is often the key to unlocking the full potential of working abroad. Success in a business’s ambition to expand globally hinges not only on its capacity to embrace the host country's culture, but also on the ability of some team members to expatriate themselves in these foreign countries. Bazir Kurreembukus, Regional Manager Southern Africa - Rogers Aviation, provides us with a firsthand account of what it means to cultivate this mindset, and thus propel Meaningful Change.

Bazir's experiences since arriving and working in Mozambique in 2004 offer a valuable perspective on how the right mindset can positively impact both expatriates working abroad, and the communities they engage with.

The (right) mindset makes it all

What is the right mindset for working abroad? According to Bazir's experience, it is a combination of attributes and qualities. Firstly, adopting a global perspective is necessary: it serves as a guiding lens to interpret the industry and market in which one is immersed. Curiosity is also key: it fuels exploration and learning about local cultures, languages, history, and business practice and thus, build stronger connections within the community.

Finally, adaptability is certainly as significant: it ensures flexibility and the willingness to conform to different work environments, customs, and expectations. “Being resourceful and adaptable when solving problems is crucial, especially when facing challenges in a foreign context,” explains Bazir.

Relational qualities in a foreign context

In addition to these attributes, various relational qualities must not be overlooked in order to further enhance the impact one can have when working in a foreign context. Open-mindedness is fundamental, as it encourages the embrace of new cultures and ideas while respecting and celebrating differences. “Effective communication is crucial when working with people from diverse backgrounds. Be patient, and if language barriers exist, make an effort to learn the local language,” advises Bazir.

Networking also provides valuable support by opening doors to new opportunities. Cultural sensitivity is vital for building trust within a team – involving respect for cultural nuances, customs, and etiquette. Last but not least, effective leadership and confidence-building skills in teams are indispensable for inspiring and leading career growth.

An exciting starting point for new challenges

It’s no surprise that adapting to a new corporate culture and work environment can be challenging. Consequently, resilience is a must for overcoming the obstacles encountered! Some common challenges include effectively navigating communication, adapting to different organisational structure and decision-making processes, and managing new expectations around work-life balance.

Bureaucracy and administrative navigation, along with the necessity to respect cultural norms to prevent unintentional offence to colleagues or clients, can also represent significant hurdles! However, Bazir advises, “Embrace the diverse perspectives of your colleagues and use them as a strength to drive innovation and creativity.”

Finally, as Bazir points out, giving back to the local community through work is a meaningful way of creating positive change – aligning with the increasing importance of corporate social responsibility. It is a great experience to learn from others and from yourself. In his journey, we find a testament to the transformative power of an international mindset. One that embodies the spirit of Meaningful Change!

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