Потрібна юридична консультація? Наш юрист надасть її безкоштовно

When starting from scratch is difficult. An IDP received help adjusting to a new team

Publication date: December 26, 2023

Anastasiia* turned to the NGO “Public Legal Aid Service” for psychological help. She said she now lives in Dnipro, where she was forced to move from Mariupol when the full-scale war began. A lot of time has passed, and she has found a job in a new place but cannot adapt to the new team.

The woman complained of anxiety, lack of energy, hopelessness, and inability to find herself in the new team. Her health condition aggravated all this: Anastasiia has a disability status due to the absence of a kidney.

Oleksii Kormiletskyi, a lawyer with the Public Legal Aid Service, had a preliminary interview with the woman and supported her. Oleksii knows firsthand the problems of people forced to change their lives to escape the war radically: the organization’s team once moved to Dnipro, where they now provide legal aid. 

Oleksii Kormiletskyi, lawyer of the NGO “Public Legal Aid Service”.

– Everyone’s adjustment is different: some people feel at home after two weeks, while others still feel like strangers after several months. It’s emotionally challenging, but positive thinking and a willingness to improve make it much more accessible, says Oleksii Kormiletskyi.

At the same time, the lawyer suggested that Anastasiia contact Olena Shostak, a psychologist at the Public Legal Aid Service. She gave the woman some tips to help her reduce her anxiety and adjust to the new place. A month later, Anastasiia returned to the organization with good news. She said she had already gotten used to the new team and was much calmer. She thanked the psychologist for her help, which, according to Anastasiia, significantly improved her psycho-emotional state and gave her confidence.

Psychologist’s advice for more effortless adjustment to a new team

  • Feeling nervous in a new place or with new people is normal. Don’t expect a great start; don’t beat yourself up for feeling anxious. It’s hard to initially be as confident as possible, but you can calm your panic.
  • Find out how the team communicates. Discuss with your colleagues how best to approach them with work-related issues: whether to write or call, which communication channel to use, etc. It can reduce anxiety. Also, you can reread emails and messages to understand the culture and communication style.
  • Don’t be afraid to sound stupid. You are in a new place with new people, processes, tools, and routines. Feel free to ask lots of questions. It’s much worse to nod your head and think you understand and then frown and feel bad. So ask questions, and you will be helped. A knowledgeable guide in a new place will always bring you up to speed.
  • Be bold and ask for feedback. Ask your manager or teammates for feedback on your first few weeks together: what’s working and what needs to be worked on. Don’t hesitate to say this is important and will help you adjust better.
  • Be honest and direct, and look for the new team’s positive things instead of focusing on the negative. A sense of humor will also help: people are always attracted to upbeat people.
  • Be proactive. Show off your skills so the company knows how lucky they are to have you. Attend group training sessions and optional or informal meetings, and get to know people. This way, you can surround yourself with those you already know, and your stress will gradually subside.
  • Living in a new city can also be interesting. Think of it partly as a journey. Think back to your childhood, when every trip was an exciting adventure. It’s a little easier when you’re not alone. A friend is a panacea when you are sad or scared.
  • Pets also help you calm down; you can even complain to them after a hard day. They won’t talk to you but will surely give you a sympathetic look or a purr.

*Name has been changed for ethical reasons.

The material was created with the support of the international charity platform GlobalGiving and the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation. The publication’s content is solely the responsibility of the Legal Development Network.

P. S. More relevant information on legal and humanitarian issues – is in the special section #StandWithUkraine. It accumulates materials that may be useful to those who suffer, whose rights are violated as a result of the war between russia and Ukraine.

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