“It is not the strongest or the most intelligent who will survive but those who can best manage change” 

Leon C. Megginson

I commonly used the word “adaptation” when I worked in an Agricultural project that had to do with adapting to climate change back in 2017. Little did I find meaning of this word to personal life rather than what it meant for project participants until my first two weeks of Atlas Corps Fellowship.

As humans in general and professionals specifically, we are bound to go through changes in our journey to professional development. It is how we deal with these changes that define our success.

First time in the USA was a drastic change that I have ever been exposed to. With change comes positive and negative impacts. In order to succeed, it is important that we make room for the positives and find adaptive mechanisms to engulf the negative impacts. I remember talking to my friends and relatives back home in the first two weeks of the fellowship and I quote, “everything here is different; Food, people, technology, cost of living, social interactions, how religion is perceived; it is too overwhelming!” It was at this point that I had to position myself in the right place to ride or die. I had two options on the table; to adapt and sail the boat or to sit back, worry and rust. I chose to sail. As soon as I accepted that I am up for a new challenge which I must take hence the need for adaptation, things started falling in place, I looked at everything with a positive attitude. I realized that I had so many opportunities at my disposal; My local ambassador who always reached out, my work supervisor at Bronx Works who was making me feel welcome and helping me sail, my American Home-stay host who even strove hard to make my life easier. Things I could not see before I opened for change. I can confidently say that the journey looks exciting and promising.

Lessons learned

Be Patient and give yourself room to assimilate a change

Positivism; have an open mind and believe all things are possible

Take every opportunity to learn things that will help you survive and achieve your goals either if it means from seniors or juniors

Read your environment and adapt quickly, be part of the environment without compromising your norms

Always remember that you have prior knowledge. Build on it to get the things that you do not have but want them

Be goal oriented; The question should be; what Is it that I want to achieve rather than what have I already achieved. The danger of looking at what you have already achieved is that it puts you in a comfort zone and you are prone to step back when change knocks your door.

Success does not come by accident!

New fellows arrival