This article is not to discourage you, just to help you make a good decision having all the information and help you prepare yourself adequately. Taking work in a remote site usually has a lot of financial benefits; this is usually the draw for most people seeking to work in an offshore remote facility. It is however, difficult to motivate yourself only for money. You have to consider a number of other factors:
Community: Remote sites are small communities, and living in such communities can be very different from big cities. Every community has a unique structure and cultural protocols. It can take some time for you to develop trust so don’t expect instant acceptance. It can be a bit of culture shock if you are used to big cities.
Extreme weather conditions: Living in a rural area can mean you are more exposed to and affected by extreme weather conditions.
Health services: Generally, you should have a medical check before taking on a new job but you should especially need one if you are going to work in a remote site. If you have experienced chronic medical conditions including mental health issues should seek medical advice before heading out to an environment that is likely to be tough on your mind and body. The medical advice should come from a practitioner who has detailed knowledge of the nature of remote work. It may be difficult to access appropriate medical support in remote areas of the country and this is likely to cause difficulties for both you and those around you, so get offshore medicals done to help provide a base.
Limited entertainment and facilities: It is not very likely that there will be cinemas, nightclubs, bowling alleys, and a range of amenities can be confronting for people who have lived in a bigger community most of their lives. However, for some people this provides an ideal opportunity to focus on other areas of their lives, for example to complete further study (as long as there is good computer/internet access). The long periods of isolation can be filled by many home and local community based activities.
It is very important to think about your unique qualities, because they will serve you. Here are some key characteristics of people who are successful at living in remote areas:
- Adaptability – Are you flexible? Are you easily upset if things don’t go to plan? Rigid views, fixed expectations and plans are likely to come apart in remote areas. Life happens.
- Being organised – This may contradict adaptability and flexibility but planning helps you prepare for unexpected events. Keep an eye for what will be happening next week, next month or next year.
- Resilience – The capacity to bounce back after set-backs that could be personal, professional or social. Can you pick yourself up if things aren’t going your way?
- Strong sense of self – Be aware of your personal qualities and a positive self-image and being okay with yourself. Without a strong sense of self, you are likely to be battered by the effects of isolation and challenge. How do you cope when you are on your own for a long period?
- Genuine respect for others and other peoples’ cultures – Your sense of social justice should be more than superficial and should apply even when you are out of your comfort zone. Can you respect others’ traditions even if they directly inconvenience you?
- Creativity – Being capable of seeing options and alternative ways of doing things rather than imposing solutions that suit other contexts. Do you enjoy thinking through a problem?
- Practical mindset – It is very important to be practical in remote areas. Theorizing and talking about changing a tyre will not get the job done. Are you someone who gets things done without fuss?
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Flying Doctors Nigeria is an air ambulance service that is dedicated to the specialist transfer of patients from low levels of care to specialist centres. We operate from Lagos, Nigeria and transfer patients between African countries like Ghana, Liberia, South Africa, etc as well as the UK, Italy, Germany, America and all over the world.
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