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Strategies for Thriving

In an Unfamiliar Environment

Portrait of May Amero

Financial Controller

MBS Equipment Company

Top 3 Takeaways

1. Navigating Identity in a Multicultural Society

  • May Amero embraces cultural fusion, absorbing elements from various cultures in Canada's multicultural society.

  • Fear of the unknown often makes people averse to change; breaking down self-imposed barriers allows for more meaningful interactions.

2. Striking a Balance Between Heritage and New Culture

  • Patience, acceptance, and resilience can minimize hurdles due to language or cultural differences.

  • Achieving a balance between preserving one’s own heritage and embracing a new culture is key to finding one's place in a new country.

3. Embracing Personal Growth and Professional Development

  • Focus on essential skills like language proficiency or choose a career path that isn't hindered by language barriers.

  • Building a diverse network, maintaining a positive mindset, and being committed to continuous learning and improvement is also crucial.

  • Proactively seeking mentors and forming new connections can open doors and foster personal and professional growth.


May Amero is, by all accounts, a successful mid-career professional. She is also a serial immigrant who openly shares her journey of adapting to a new country, culture, and language while discovering, accepting, and simultaneously preserving and evolving her sense of identity. In this article, we will explore the challenges and accomplishments of learning a new language, navigating a new culture, and finding balance in an unfamiliar environment.

May underscores the significance of treating the immigrant journey as an opportunity for personal and professional growth. She recognizes that assuming a leadership role as an immigrant poses unique challenges compared to native-born individuals.

Identity Evolution

During our conversation, we debated the concept of identity and its varying importance depending on the society in question. To a large extent, May identifies as a global citizen, acknowledging that her identity is a blend of Chinese origin and Canadian experiences. She emphasizes that this fusion extends to the absorption of other cultures encountered in Canada's multicultural society.

Challenges and Growth

When questioned about the factors that make people averse to change, May attributes it to the fear of the unknown. She shared an example of a former colleague who experienced a certain self-imposed anxiety when interacting with people from different backgrounds, unconscious of her part to play in any given interaction. According to May, the key to overcoming these challenges is fearlessness and letting go of self-limiting barriers.

Striking a Balance

As the discussion turned toward the importance of personal growth and discovering the requisite inner strength to tackle challenges surrounding acclimation and integration, May found that by demonstrating patience, acceptance, and resilience, one can cultivate personal connections and minimize, if not eliminate, hurdles that may arise due to language or cultural differences. There is a balance to be struck, however, between preserving one's heritage and embracing a new culture. This, in May’s experience, is the key to success in finding one’s place in an adoptive country. This process requires adaptability, discovering common ground with the new environment, and making a positive contribution to the surrogate society.

Key Strategies for Successful Integration

To summarize, for anyone starting anew in a different country or culture, include focusing on language skills or choosing a career path where language barriers won't hinder your progress. Continuous learning and improvement, building a diverse network, and maintaining a positive mindset are just as essential. Be proactive in seeking out mentors and new connections, as these relationships can open doors and help you grow both personally and professionally.

In conclusion, the experiences and lessons learned by May can serve as valuable guidance for others embarking on their journey in a new country. It's crucial to remember that everyone faces challenges, but with determination, hard work, and the right approach, success is within reach.


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