A new job.

By Enid Westerlund 03 December 2023, 12:00PM

Last week I received an interesting job offer in doing something I have limited experience in. I was recommended by few colleagues for it. The company or project is based in the U.S. They needed a local contact who loves to eat, has a good speaking voice and can send them a 40-60 second recordings. I could not say no.

I said yes because it is something I can do anytime. The tasks were easy enough even though there is logistics involved. You must make time to drive to four restaurants, eat a few dishes and make some comments. The speaking part is out of my comfort zone as I do not like to talk on videos or recording myself. Eating was the best, a dream job right?

What I learnt:

1. Say yes to new and unfamiliar opportunities: Even if you haven’t done something before, say yes and learn quickly. Once I said yes, I researched about the company and project. This provided the background information that I needed to do the work.

2. Read and do some research on the job before you dive in: Reading is your best friend when it comes to anything new. The wealth of information available on the internet, social media and from colleagues will help you.

3. Don’t worry about other people: If you are like me and you don’t like being recorded. Forget that. If you want to eat, get paid and grow in any field, forget about other people. They will not contribute to our growth and if they laugh or criticize us for working then that is their problem, not ours.

4. Make sure you understand the requirements of the job: When you get the initial email, read through it a few times and write down what the requirements of the job are. Being an independent consultant really drilled this into me. I must fulfil all requirements of a given job at any time as well as work to the deadline.

5. Communicate effectively and in a timely manner: Make sure you reply and communicate in an effective manner. Emails and WhatsApp calls are important if your colleagues are on the other side of the world. I wake up at 3 am every day so my 5 am calls with my team in the US works well for me.

6. Be aware of your bias and different cultures involved: I live for multi-cultural settings. When we have the chance to represent the Pacific or Samoa, remember this. We have our own bias. That is not a bad thing, just keep that in the back of your mind as you go along.

7. Have fun and be authentic in your approach: First impressions are everything. When you meet your team for the first time, whether in a call or video conference, put your best face forward. People can hear the smile in your voice and on video, dress professionally like you are at the office.

9. Consulting is a great space to move it: Consulting gives you the freedom to do many things and projects at the same time. You only need a foot through the door and then you are set. If you do the job effectively and meet the deadlines, you should be highly recommended for anything.

10. Be authentic in your approach and remember Samoa: Moving in international spaces like this means you will meet colleagues who have never heard of or have been to Samoa. My colleagues on this project have never been to Samoa. I can be an ambassador for our paradise.

Manuia le Sāpati!

By Enid Westerlund 03 December 2023, 12:00PM
Samoa Observer

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