On Becoming a “Second-Class Citizen” and ways to deal with it

One of the issues faced by migrants when they settle in a new country is gradually becoming a “second-class citizen” in the new country. 

Immigration comes with loss and yet sometimes migrants assume that their previous social and professional life back home will just fly across and remain the same in the new country. With absolutely no interruptions.  And we know that this is not the case for many migrants and eventually they will feel like “second-class citizens “. 

The repercussions of this are several. It can make you feel unworthy, unseen, and as an “outsider” whose needs are not met as they are not accorded a fair share of recognition and visibility in the new country. We all know how this affects our well-being.

The good news my fellow migrant is that you can learn to deal with this, and I will show you how.

First, acknowledge that there is a  loss. Loss of place, people, social and professional networking, of being a   “step ahead of the game”. Don’t minimize it.

Secondly, Let go of what could be. William Bridges(2019) an expert in life transitions says “Sometimes we reach a point in life where a belief and mindset assumption has served us well and after that time, simply isn’t what we need for the future”.  The assumption that your life back home will automatically transfer to the new society may not apllay. While some migrants may do this well, this doesn’t happen to many
of us.

The third step, realize that belonging is not about a place. It’s a mindset. Begin to rebuild your life in the new country. I have heard of several stories of migrants that had to go back to school again. Others had to accept entry-level positions, hot jobs, and eventually landed their dream job or position.

Begin to act now, don’t delay because when you do this you are sure to encounter more freedom, a renewed perspective, and break away from the cycle of being a second-class citizen forever in a new country.

2 thoughts on “On Becoming a “Second-Class Citizen” and ways to deal with it”

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