Domingo, 26 de Outubro de 2008

It’s all about the people

 

Virginia Trandafir | C12

 

 

 

RRC

 

República Checa

 

When we joined this adventure, called INOV CONTACTO, most of us thought our international assignments were easy and that as “first-time” expatriates (why not, in fact that is what many of us wish for, an international career), our excited and optimistic attitude would be enough to make the professional and personal experience perfect.  After almost four months, I wish I could really ask each of you if reality is according to your dream. Probably most of you would answer “no, it was much better than my dream” (which is enough to prove the success of the programme), or, some of the skeptical would stick to that “everything is awful and god hates me” or, in other words, “my luck was sleeping when AICEP announced my destination”.  But enough of metaphors and euphemisms, I am about to tell you about me, Prague, and all the wonderful people I met along my way. And when I say my way, I am referring to almost four years and a half in Portugal (yes, I am that one Romanian :) and the past four months in Czech Republic. And I put it altogether because everything counts as international experience for me and it serves perfectly the purpose of my article.

They say managers and executives quickly confront adjustment difficulties when they are relocated to a foreign country. Although this is the second foreign country in which I am living, I have to confess it was not easy at all for me. And, as I soon found out, there are lots of expatriates in Prague that are still going through the same experience after three or four years of living in Czech Republic. I also understood pretty soon that there are a number of reasons for this experience. The vast majority of expatriates do not fluently speak the local language (which, I have to admit, despite my affinity for languages, is pretty difficult to catch). And in a city full of “expats”, where you can always find a shoulder to cry on about your challenges and difficulties in the Czech society, it is no wonder that many only get a superficial knowledge of the culture and the people with whom they now live and work. Generally speaking, about INOV Contacto people in general, many of us may have never lived far from their families and friends before they accepted this international assignment. Often, some of us didn’t even know specifically what to expect from the new position and daily living experiences. Although we begin to work in a structured environment with tasks that may be similar to what we expected and/or were doing before, we are surrounded by new co-workers, new management styles, new business practices and very different cultural habits that are unfamiliar. Sometimes, newcomers may not know the history of the company or its existing partners, suppliers and customers or it may take a while to understand it. In some cases (happy cases, I would say), on the receiving end in the host foreign company, the managers and other employees have high expectations for the newcomers who bring new skills and insights. Although some have never been on an international assignment, they usually expect the intern to immediately perform as valuable experts. They anticipate that these new arrivals will adjust, make decisions rapidly and maneuver across cultures with ease. Most simply expect us to get to work immediately and to perform better than others.

Please forgive my self-irony when I confess that I “suffer” from a sort of academic rigor. Although informal, I really documented this article: yes, I interviewed people, expatriates managers, including the person that first explained me what I was about to do as a marketing assistant in Palm (so now everybody in bio and chemistry hates me). So you can believe every word I’m saying when I am declaring that three expressions/concepts form the “holy trinity” of every expat: communication, networking and understanding diversity. There is a reason for which I am not writing tons of words about advice. I know I wouldn’t like to hear communication recipes, networking instructions and how you need to change and embrace cultural diversity. I know as much as you do, that it is huge, difficult, and painful and that we feel like slowly losing parts of our own identity in this adaptation process. And it is true. But nothing felt better for me, than this one day in March of this year, when a Portuguese poetess wrote a special poem just for me and in the inauguration speech of her book, she called me “tripeira de Bucareste”. So, no, we don’t lose identity, we enrich it… try this in your “new home”, I bet you may find it dangerous and rewarding.

185 abraços para 185 inovios

 

publicado por visaocontacto às 08:00
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Quarta-feira, 20 de Fevereiro de 2008

Lançamento INOV Contacto e INOV Jovem

publicado por visaocontacto às 16:19
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Terça-feira, 4 de Setembro de 2007

Estágios Internacionais (2007/2008) - Candidaturas.

 

 

Período de candidaturas de 14 de Agosto a 09 de Setembro de 2007

 

80 vagas     disponíveis para jovens quadros cuja primeira prioridade é construir a sua carreira internacional em empresas da área das novas tecnologias

 

Selecção:    entre 10 de Setembro e 12 de Outubro de 2007

 

Curso de Formação:           de 14 de Outubro a 20 de Outubro de 2007

 

Estágios:    Portugal - entre 22 de Outubro e 5 de Novembro de 2007—Estrangeiro - entre 9 de Novembro de 2007 e 31 de Julho de 2008

 

 

 

(A realização deste Programa está condicionado à aceitação pelo PRIME da reprogramação apresentada pela AICEP)

 

publicado por visaocontacto às 12:01
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