Tag Archives: cross cultural

So why are weekly commutes so scary, again?

When job hunting you come across the oddest reasons for being turned down, one of the oddest is geographic proximity. If I look for a job in the London area, a likely scenario, what is the big deal with me doing a weekly commute? On my dime and time, might I add. As long as I’m in the office 8.30 Monday morning isn’t that all that counts?

Is is this purely a UK issue? It being an island and all?

I frankly don’t understand, which is why this BBC article is so strange for me. While we’re not all property tycoons living in South of France I still don’t see the big thing about weekly commutes.

On the contrary, I see it as a possibility to personal growth and professional development.

http://www.bbc.com/capital/story/20141118-the-worlds-longest-commutes

Annonser

Equal pay, ICT industry, men, women and profiling

The so called gaffe by Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella and his statements about women, pay, and the pay gap and some of the opinion pieces penned as a result made me wonder. I frankly don’t think that Mr Nadella thinks that women should be paid less than men, but I do believe that he (unfortunately) might be on the correct side of history when he says that women often can be more uncomfortable in asking in any job related situation than most men.

John Fortt has penned a good opinion piece about the situation where I think he is on to something. In the piece Mr Fortt asks if meritocracies can be biased and he gives #Netflix as an example, from personal experience I can only answer that “Yes” and that includes Netflix.

But the basic issue that needs to change isn’t so much the payment practises as such, they are only the result of the basic flaws and symptoms on the sickness – that unless you as an employee is recognisable by the high-tech recruiter you will not even get hired so forget about getting the pay you deserve.

In my business and city, all one have to do is to take a look around and you start singing the old James Brown song “This is a man’s world” but without adding the following praise to women. There are so many organisations representing the [ICT] industry that only have men hired, or only men at the senior levels, it is frightening. Saying the industry is a bit of a lad is an understatement of the century. So, based on the fact that we women doesn’t even count enough to get hired, why do we even bother about the payment scales? I am not saying it isn’t important and that they need to be adjusted, but if we as women doesn’t even count in the work force? So sorry, people, let’s start with the basics and see to that we as women count, get hired and that our competencies count as much as a men’s so we get hired, then we can deal with the payment scales.

On-line cross-cultural networking – tricky, difficult and delicate…

I have just applied to a great role with a fantastic company. On paper the role is “mine:” corporate communications dealing with Internet, Net Neutrality, Intellectual Property, and Telecommunications, copyright and regulatory issues. How cool isn’t that?

The position is in an US Company, but would be based in the Netherlands, and I have no direct contacts into this company, which I know of that is, hence the cross-cultural networking.

After submitting my application I saw that the hiring manager visited my LinkedIn profile and a couple of days later the same did two recruiters from the company in question. Cool, I thought and waited for the mail that never came. Then I read an article about the company which sparked my interest even more so I put some time into a letter further explaining my enthusiasm and trying my best to answer the basic question all future employers ask a possible hire: What added value would you have to the company?

And yes, I subsequently mailed this letter. It was during the weekend and since then – nothing.

Now what do I do? Start looking through my LI connections hoping someone might introduce me? Cry, swear, be disappointed and move on?

“I thought you understood that”

How much understanding do we take for granted in our everyday communications? And/or transmitting information to an audience? I had reason to ask myself that today when I took the tram and it was wrongly marked. It seemed like the driver took it for granted that we all knew where we actually where going and that neither the directions, nor the stops needed to be showed or called correctly. It’s not too much asked to know your destination. But there are first time travellers and tourists too.

When I managed to verify that I was indeed going in the correct direction, I settled down to read a book on languages and culture “Through the Language Glass” of Guy Deutscher, and the combination made me think. How much do we take for granted that our audience understand when communicating with them?

I remember the first time I worked abroad, in Dublin, Ireland and the problems I faced then when it came to communicating. Situations very often caused by me not communicating in a way understood by the other party. Now, I have a thing with not wanting to sound arrogant nor demeaning when addressing someone. In every language I speak or to whatever size the audience. I was working as a software translator/localiser and I had never worked in a multi-lingual/cultural environment or abroad before. Often when I asked for a document to be processed it never happened. Until, I started to provide instructions which I found incredibly demeaning – they went something along these lines: “Here is a document that I’d like you to have a look at. You don’t need to put more than 20 – 30 minutes into it. Can you do that by tomorrow?”

I had been used to the opposite i.e. when I came with a document I got that answer, that the person in question could spend X amount of time and process it by so and so date.

Hence, I when I gave the same information, which by all means could be of interest for the person in question, I felt like I treated them like idiots. This is something I try to steer clear of as much as possible, and something I strongly feel we as communicators should avoid. But how do we avoid this? How can we best put forward a message without demeaning the audience? I mean today, I wouldn’t at all have minded knowing the direction of the tram or the stops. It certainly wouldn’t have made me feel demeaned in any way or form. But we can’t count on that our audiences always are in this friendly and receiving state of mind.

Am I complicating a simple situation of transmitting a piece of information, i.e. doing our jobs (at least part of it) or are these questions we should be asking ourselves in everything we do?

How much understanding do we take for granted in our everyday communications? And/or transmitting any information to an audience? I had reason to ask myself that today when I took the tram and it was wrongly marked. It seemed like the driver took it for granted that we all knew where we actually where going and that neither the directions, nor the stops needed to be showed or called correctly.

Am I complicating a simple situation of transmitting a piece of information, i.e. doing our jobs (at least part of it) or are these questions we should be asking ourselves in everything we do?

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