Welcome to topical Thursday, a lot has happened in the last week: with the death toll in Paris, Beirut, Iraq and my beloved Nigeria taking the spotlight . I read an interesting article last week (click on the link to read) it highlighted the role of social media on migrants decisions. This article is directed at migrants who are not under any sincere life threatening attack to leave home.
There are several misconceptions held by migrants about life abroad, some are engineered by society this includes social media and the other is a myth we have created in our mind. Some of them include:
1. Earning a living is easier abroad: errmmm…..no it’s not. When you go to work, you will make every second of your work time count. No slacking, sleeping or idle chatting. I am not saying its a concentration camp but a lackadaisical attitude is unacceptable. The jobs open to a majority of migrants is low paid and physically exasperating: the demand and opposition placed on you as a migrant is twice as high. Whist I cannot justify why this is so, I would encourage every migrant to embrace that reality as it helps manage expectations
2. Expecting to land that dream job easily in your field: except in cases where the country requests for professionals in that particular field this rarely happens. Citizens come first before migrants for many roles. The case is different for menial jobs which most citizens refuse to do or find arduous. Most professional jobs require you to write and pass professional exams before you can search for a job. Emphases is placed on experience and experience back home is rarely considered for a job.
3. Life abroad is better: whilst basic amenities and infrastructure are in good working order it all comes at a cost. For everything you use in the western world, there is an attached bill. Electric, gas, water, general tax, rent etc. For every car you own in the UK you must have insurance, pay road tax, do an MOT yearly after the third year of ownership. Having more than one car is obviously out of the question except seriously needed. Beware the more expensive the car, the more expensive the aforementioned bills. Leaving lights, sockets and amenities on when not in use is a costly practice. Don’t contemplate avoiding the bills unless you want to live as a fugitive.
4. Everyone dresses so modern and lives in nice houses: and we deduced this from where? Social media wins the price! Who puts up sad pictures or unpleasant moments of their lives on social media? Given the volume of sales and the variety of shops to pick from looking good is not that hard. Living in a nice house is not solely up to the individual. For example: houses in UK are quite similar, building regulations ensure certain standards are maintained across all boards this covers privately owned homes as well. Externally every house is beautiful, open the door to discover if it matches the exterior. The façade makes it easy to pass off any odd house as theirs’ and also covers the backs of those squatting or living in shared accommodations.
5. His built a house in his home town and speaks good English now: init! ooioh! y’all! Speaking with an accent do not translate to a proficient use of the English language, if it were IElTS would have it included in their exams. Did you ask him how he made his money, where he sleeps, and how many hours his had to work to pay for the house?
Finally, the western word might have turned some of our lives upside down by their actions, but relocating to their country is no guarantee that everyone would welcome you with open arms and neither will your life suddenly become better. New terrains, new challenges: same you, same baggages. Become well-informed before you take a decision that leaves your life negatively reformed. If the land is good, it is only so because people worked and are still working to make it so. We can take pride in our country if we dedicate ourselves to it. I must admit life here offers many options for growth and human right exploitation is not as high. Having said that poor planning or failure to integrate the standards of living abroad leads people into dubious lifestyles debt, disillusionment and a search for vengeance.