I have been working for over a year now at a French company. Back a year ago, I ranted a bit about it. Let’s just say that the adjustment has not been easy. I have had to be flexible and open-minded and I haven’t necessarily had a return on that investment. That being said, I have started to make some friends and create my network so I suppose that once one enters the system, one can get by. I think the culture shock was the hardest thing. I was used to reactivity and turnaround when working in American companies. My experience of a year in a French company has taught me that this is not a particular strength of the French. One has to insist quite a lot to get answers about 60-70% of the time. On the other hand, once one gets an answer, it is usually well thought-out and complete. The big difference I have found is that politics plays a tangible part of every single communication or transaction. I don’t remember this being such a constraint in the US-based companies I previously worked for.
In any case, as I mentioned last week, I decided I needed a change of air and a change of role so we’ll see if what I have learned over the past year about working for the Frog will help me in the new adventure.
In the meantime, I’ll leave you with a classic from which I titled by blog post today: Truckin by the Grateful Dead