Six months in Sri Lanka: Thank you, Antyra!
Friday was my last day at work. I said bye to the office that had been my home for more than six months. My first job abroad. The first full-time job in my life. The first workplace I’d grown to love.
I arrived in Sri Lanka by the end of March and in early April, I joined Antyra Solutions. A modest but rapidly growing laid-back office where a bunch of friends work on digital marketing campaigns for some of the biggest brands in the country. And they do it damn well.
Half-way through my Bachelor’s studies with some internships and part-time jobs under my belt, I felt like I had little to offer. I came across the company the same way that most Sri Lankans find their jobs — thanks to contacts and connections. That’s what works best around here. Whether you’re looking for a job, a car to rent or concert tickets, it’s all about who you know. And let me tell you, there’s always someone who knows someone who knows exactly the person you’re looking for.
My first few weeks — both at work and in Sri Lanka — are a blur. At that time, the country was going through record-breaking heat with temperatures rising up to 40°C, staying well above 30°C even at night. To a winter-loving girl who was born to ice and snow, the hot nights in my new home without a functioning AC were a nightmare. (Not to mention the effects of deep-fried, chilli-based Sri Lankan cuisine on my belly.) There was a period of draught, followed by heavy rains and floods. Lucky for me, Colombo was out of danger but in huge areas all across Sri Lanka, people lost their homes, their property, and in some cases, their family and friends. Thankfully, with immediate help from thousands of people, many lives and homes were saved.
Back then, I was struggling. I moved half across the world, I didn’t understand the language, didn’t know the roads, couldn’t remember the names… and of course, I moved in with my boyfriend, the very reason I came here.
Funny enough, until then I never realized what a huge step I was taking. There was so much to do — school, packing, flights, visa, work — that I never really stopped to think, if I was ready for what’s to come. But as people say, sometimes it’s better to jump and then figure out the swimming. :)
That’s where work comes in. I was lucky to join a team of lovely people who really made me feel at home. I started working as a content writer, possibly the first one in the company. I learnt a lot, both by myself and from others. I learnt to write all kinds of content, from social media to websites, articles, newsletters and ads. I figured out how to define the voice of a brand and how to use it. I heard bits and pieces about SEO, digital marketing, and dealing with clients. I had a chance to help bring an amazing project to life. I found out what it’s like to work in crazy Sri Lanka.
But most importantly, I found friends.
Talented people with the strangest work routines, silliest jokes and kindest hearts. For that and more, I owe them a huge thank you. ❤
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I’m starting a new job tomorrow. Fingers crossed for a good first day!