Pistachio Co-founder, Entrepreneur and Project Management Professional Deepali Paul shares her relocation journey.
You know how people narrate the stories of their success? The ones in which they follow the spouse to a new country, land a fabulous job and lead a great life? How everything turned out exactly how they wanted it to? How it was exactly what people told them it would be?
Well, mine is definitely not one of them. I too followed my husband to the US in a total leap of faith. Before moving to the US, almost everyone I met told me how easy it would be for me to get a job there. How the culture embraces diversity in work experience. I was super excited about what this new country would offer me and more importantly, what I had to offer to this country. My skills, my knowledge, my diverse perspective. Raring to go, to take the corporate world head-on, completely charged.
But guess what? The corporate world was not ready for me. I may have co-founded two companies in India but that was India, I was told. Skillsets are not transferrable across geographies, I was told. You have only an entrepreneurial experience but no corporate experience, I was told. Completely out of depth with no network of my own, I started questioning every life decision so far. Never being in a position of having to ask for a job, always been a job creator, this rejection was a first in the list of many firsts.
And although there was a point in time that I felt that hit a wall in every direction I headed, it was a process of self-discovery and realization. Here are a few lessons I learnt:
Actively create your network and then reach out to them with a specific ask. Be clear in your ask.
More opportunities may come by meeting people for coffee than sitting at home and applying for jobs online.
Upskill yourself in preparation for the move or as soon as you move.
Volunteer as much as possible. It helps you acclimatize to the culture and helps create a network.
Don’t change geography as well as industry. Focus on one change at a time
Anecdotes are not statistics. When well-meaning people say it’s easy to find a job in the US, they are referring to the ones in the IT field.
Knowing what I know now, would I have done anything differently? Of course! But here are what I count as blessings of my move:
- It yanked me out of my comfort zone and into this adventure called relocation.
- It gave me an opportunity to redefine my career.
- Being on the other side of the table changed my perspective.
- It brought out resilience in me that I was not aware I had
- I met a wonderful set of enterprising, driven women who shared their journey with me motivating me to climb this mountain.
Going forward, I still don’t have an idea what this place holds for me.
Will I land my dream job?
Will I go back to being an entrepreneur?
Will I go back to studying?
All I know is I am not alone on this journey. And for those of you in the same boat, enjoy the journey and in the process rediscover yourself as you go along.
About the Author: Deepali Paul is the co-founder of We are Pistachio. A serial entrepreneur, a PMP professional she brings with her a passion to support and empower relocating spouses in their journey,