Monday, September 5, 2016

Phases of Transition

Moving to a new country at the age of 30! For the first time in my life leaving Jordan. I think I mainly passed through the following stages:

Enthusiasm phase:
I came to Stockholm full of myself! Having had an intense successful career that I left after co-founding  a successful social enterprise for four years. Becoming known in the domain and sphere I worked with, gave me allot of confidence. I secretly thought I have a valuable experience to offer to civil society and activists in Sweden. Full of enthusiasm and confidence in myself after following my heart to Sweden, I started an intense networking plan! Meeting everyone and anyone I might have known in Sweden or I thought could find my experience and transition of interest. My weekly calendar was full of one on ones! Moving from area to area to meet people! People were mostly very nice and encouraging. Few were honest enough to say it’s REALLY HARD to find a job in Sweden specially without speaking Swedish language.  At this phase I even had thoughts of starting my own social enterprise in Sweden to do what I have passion for. This phase made me realize how social I can be!

Summer phase:
I was surprised to find out that EVERYONE is OFF during summer in Sweden. Summer meaning late June tell mid to end of August.  In follow up for my spring enthusiasm phase, I was sending follow up emails to all the people I met during spring. Getting automatic responses of vacations! It felt like I’ve built in the wrong timing and I would need to repeat things again. This phase made me appreciate slow pace and just enjoying summer.

Lagom phase:
“Lagom” is a Swedish word that reflects allot about the culture. It basically means just enough. In reality its an integral part of the culture to do work just enough and not try to be the star, compete or excel.  After the previous phases I totally adopted the lagom culture. I wanted a job just enough to say I’m doing “some work” and getting “some income”. I stopped applying to senior NGO posts and humbled my CV to apply to coordinator jobs that could get me into an interview level.  I can’t deny “lagom” for me is kind of depression. It’s not my usual to not try hard or do my best to get things done the most efficient and good way possible. I had huge fluctuations in my self-esteem to an extent that my husband and I would talk about it as if it’s another identity among us. How is your self-esteem today? And we would discuss it! I had huge disappointments when I was let down for jobs I thought I fit well for!

Today, after a year and 3 months of moving to Sweden. Or maybe after 8 months of living full time in Sweden, I finally got a part time job in a great educational institution! I have more hope of future possibilities! It just takes time!

1 comment:

Wuendy Cárdenas said...

Very insightful and honest post Mais! I felt identified having gone through more or less the same situation at 30 (not easy at all but so rewarding!). A must read for those coming from abroad with the goal of establishing in Sweden.