I was surprised and somewhat disturbed when my employer told me to call her by her first name. Be it a social setting or a formal one, it is not a common practice in either one of our cultures. The feeling that I was being disrespectful towards her was very hard to overcome.
Stay optimistic. Think that because they asked you to come in, you have something to offer and you’re going to do the best you can. Think “this is my dream job and there’s no way I’m going to miss out on this opportunity.” Don’t think of all the things that can go wrong. Think about all the things that will go right!
What if your colleague hung a mirror on her cubicle wall one day and told you it deters negative energy from her workspace? In Asian countries, practicing feng shui at the office is not an entirely strange notion. Practicing feng shui to increase the company’s efficiency, for instance, is perfectly acceptable.
In Malaysia, ‘selling’ oneself is akin to boasting and seen as almost a taboo. Since modesty is an expected virtue, self-promotion is done in a more subtle and indirect manner, chiefly through the resumé. Meanwhile, here in Canada, candidates are expected to feel confident ‘selling’ themselves to employers.