Working in Laos: How to Adapt to an Unfamiliar Work Culture – Verge Magazine

During my year-long volunteer position in Laos PDR (People’s Democratic Republic), I struggled to adapt. Laos and Thailand share laid-back “Isan” culture; in Laos, the “PDR” jokingly stands for “please don’t rush.” I had to get used to everything moving slower than what I was used to. I also had the language barrier to deal with, as Laos ranks lowest in Asia for English proficiency.

Yet, I knew I was getting things right when my Lao coworkers started to ask me for help and invite me out after work. Our conversations got more personal, and that’s when I really began to enjoy my volunteer placement.

If you’re thinking about volunteering or working in Southeast Asia, there’s no need to struggle for weeks (or months) to fit in. Here’s how to best adapt to your volunteer placement.

ARTICLE: Working in Laos: How to Adapt to an Unfamiliar Work Culture
Verge Magazine
Published: November 29, 2018