A short story to be in context…

Because I’ve been living in Ireland for more than 3 years, I think I should start posting in English now…

Lots of things have happened since I came here. Many of them are positive and a few negatives. I finished 2 courses in general English and I’m pretty sure they’ve helped me to improve the way I communicate and express myself. However, I still have my slips sometimes, especially because at home I speak Spanish 100% of the time. I have a Nicaraguan boyfriend so I can’t avoid it.

Following the completion of the two English courses, I got a job in my area. Yes, no more non-qualified jobs! (yay! I guess). To be honest, I miss a lot working as a waitress or as a deli assistant. It’s the hardest thing I’ve done in my entire life because of the exhaustion (just terrible, physically speaking). The good side of it is that at the end of your shift, you get to forget about everything, flush away any issue at work and go home with a huge smile to get some rest. The rest is all you need to feel better. Little did I know when I was praying day and night to get my dream job in a big company, with a nice salary and all that stuff. When you have what I call “a real job” you can never disconnect from work-related issues, stupid arguments, discrimination feelings, harassment, and so on. Nothing to be scared about, but that’s how it’s been for me.

So, let’s talk about my qualified, critical skills, flashy job. I am a manager, or I was? Well, I got the opportunity, sponsored by the company. This is something that is not easy to get, so it’s one of my biggest achievements living abroad.

I think I won’t ever forget that there were two people that supported me, believed in me. Of course, I came with lots of experience in different industries. I owe my former managers a huge thank you for bringing me on-board and have given me the opportunity to experience the work-life in Ireland. I’ll be grateful to them always, no matter what.

Working life in a business environment is not so different from the one I’ve experienced in Mexico, there are the upsides and downsides.

The company I work for is a multinational brand (worldwide), franchised all over the globe, it has a culture of a startup but still sticking to square corporative rules. What does that mean to me? “Small town, big hell” or whatever “Pueblo chico, inferno grande” translates better in English. I was never afraid of startup culture. The idea of learning something or do more than I was supposed to be doing sounds good to me, because I like challenges and because I love to learn things that I don’t know about.

Unfortunately, I found out that the working culture is more about who does less, rather than who does best. Few people will actually care for things to be done the right way and proactively participates to generate a nice synergy within the team. I’m not talking about nationalities here, which is most commonly blamed for. I’m talking about the working culture overall.

European/International work culture, the way I have experienced (through these 2 years I’ve been working) is more about “Who is responsible for doing something – that isn’t me”, “Who can I blame if things go wrong”, “How can I do less and get paid more”, and the like. Unfortunately, that never matched my heroine spirit and my irrational need to be valued, recognised and praised for being one of the best in my areas of expertise. Which means, I was always trying to show how professional and highly skilled I was in order to get recognition and be valued. Rarely got that feeling.

Embracing my Mexican spirit I started working with the best energy, giving always that extra mile, supporting everyone, helping everyone, learning from everybody. That wasn’t necessary. Apparently, there’s no need for you to do more than your job spec is telling you to, and there’s also no need to make a huge effort as that won’t be reflected on your wages anyway.

I’m 100% sure there are people who knows the value of a colleague, who recognises people is good. But there are others that will actually take it the wrong way: they’ll take advantage, make jokes about your work, challenge your skills, doubt about your experience, or simply dismiss you. And this, my friends, is what I’ve seen as the most common way to behave.

I’ll write a bit more in a new post.. so you don’t get too scared. Please keep in mind that there are good things as well, not everything is negative.

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