Agony Aunt: Want to start my own company, but I am nervous

Being an emigrant

I am a 30-year-old senior analyst at a finance company. I just moved to India 3 years ago. I am from Nepal and I am facing cultural differences at work. My Hindi is not very strong, and while my work doesn’t suffer since I am well versed with English, my social life has suffered. I am not used to my colleagues treating me differently. I need to connect with them more. What should I do?

Culture differences and culture shock can be very overwhelming. Your co-workers probably already respect you for your ability and competence in your job. However, they may have never really seen a personal, social side of you. Sometimes if they don’t make the first step towards friendship, you could. Of course in any new friendship, there will be a zone of resistance and discomfort but you must be open, willing, and patient. You could invite them to your place for dinner, introduce them to Nepali culture, and ask them about Indian festivals and try to celebrate them. You will have to try and integrate into their culture and lifestyles for them to see your effort and personality. And remember: language is just one barrier; it doesn’t dictate all of your relationships.

Leave nervousness behind

I am a 40-year-old stylist. I have been working since the last 12 years. I want to start my own company and hire staff and interns, branch out. I am nervous. What should I do?

I would say, go for it! You have so much experience, and it seems that you are quite committed to your career and very good at it. With so much time spent in your field, I am sure you have networked and met other people with similar interests. Every new beginning has bumps, and is so daunting that many people stay where they are comfortable. However, more than often people miss out on opportunities on being bigger and better because they let their emotions overpower their choices. Don’t let your nervousness get in the way of you achieving so much more. You have everything you need, just give yourself a little push.

Young in ‘old’ school

I work at a school as a substitute teacher. I am only 24-year-old and my colleagues are much older. I don’t know how to work with them and how to work with my students in a way that they look at me as their teacher and not just an ex student. What should I do?

It seems to me that teaching is ironically a profession where one still have a lot of learning to do. Just because your co-teachers are older doesn’t mean that their style of teaching is better. They may have a lot more experience and may understand the profession better, but soon you will learn too. Talk to them and understand their mechanisms. It is not crucial that you teach exactly like the others, but more important that you find you’re teaching style. The whole point is to get the education material across efficiently.  In a way, being younger could be an advantage as students could connect and feel as though you understand them better. If you’re teaching in a young, more fun and chirpy manner- it doesn’t matter as long as your students understand and enjoy what and how you teach. If anything, your older co-teachers could also learn something from you and your teaching style after seeing results.

Agony Aunt: Want to start my own company, but I am nervous

Low on energy 

I am a 50-year-old swimming instructor. I am a healthy person, but I feel more tired now. I am on vitamin tablets, but I still feel physically tired at the end of the day. What should I do?

It is natural to feel more tried as you get older and especially when your profession is so physically exhausting. Taking vitamin pills is great; even though you are a healthy person, maybe you should visit a nutritionist and try and eating new foods that make you feel more energized and active. You could also reduce your hours on some days and use that time to rest and reenergize. As a senior instructor, it would be also be a great idea to hire an assistant who can split some of your students and tasks so that you do not feel as stressed. Often times, stress and boredom from a monotonous schedule can make you feel more drained.

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