Between loads of details, snow and Carnival – How an international colleague experienced working in Germany
Thinking about Germany, the Oktoberfest, the Autobahn and a certain stiffness come to most people’s minds. But what do our international colleagues say about this who, for example, come to us in Germany from all over the world for a few months? How do they perceive us and what experiences do they gain in the German working world at thyssenkrupp? That's what we wanted to know more in depth – and that's why we asked our colleague Sanjukta Ray, who came to Essen from RHQ India for a few months.
Sanjukta, why did you come to Germany in the first place?
Being a part of RHQ India, our team works with Corporate Functions (housed in Germany) for several aspects. The tk Academy has been instrumental in strengthening the Learning & Transformation culture within tk through various global learning programs. Their work model intrigued me and I wanted to study it closer to be able to better support the L&T initiatives in the Region and get insights. So I wanted to know how colleagues work over here, what is the influence of culture on work, what kind of L&T technologies, designs and framework can benefit the learning culture.
What’s the main difference between working in your home country and working in Germany?
One would easily miss the hustle bustle at work – it does tend to get quiet around you. But just like we find order in chaos at my home, you would find an order in silence too. As a colleague over lunch pointed out, it’s dynamic everywhere. And at tk Academy, one will experience yet another difference in the form of flexible working spaces – there is a space for every mood – whether you would like to have a private space for an individual or a group or an ideation space or an open discussion space. You just have to remember to place your badge on the “Wall of Fame” every morning so that colleagues can find you. And if you happen to be working between January and March in Germany, be ready to make the weather your friend. It shall surely compensate for all the hustle bustle that you were missing: You will have to face and survive a combination of weathers – snow, rain, sun, wind – and you will learn a very important lesson: There is never a bad weather – just a bad preparation.
Which stereotypes about Germans and living in Germany can you actually confirm?
One should come here to learn and truly experience about the habits of abiding by time, paying attention to details, living independently but responsibly, expressing ideas assertively but with humility, maintaining an extremely healthy lifestyle and simultaneously witness an economy which has a high techno-buff population and has an infrastructure which is friendly for all ages that reside in it.
What is the German working culture like to you?
Just like India: Accepting & allowing you room to learn and experiment and building an enabling environment for you to work even if you are new to the culture.
What’s the craziest thing that happened to you in Germany?
Coming from a 12 month humid climate, when one needs to brave the snow to work can be categorized as one of my craziest experiences here, and of course try pronouncing "Eichhörnchen" irrespective of any weather, or walking through the city of Dusseldorf during Carnival!
Do Germans have a sense of humor?
Now when you hear a 2 year old call me "Tamtukta", wouldn’t it make you smile? It definitely made me. Assure you that humor runs across ages. Just visit a brewery and you would hear laughter across all tables with every table having a story to tell.