Friday, March 23, 2007

Alive and kicking :))

huuuhh my last post was in December!!! A while ago! Not that I haven't had anything to write about, way toooo many things!! Just always seems there are so many better things to do than to sit in front of the laptop/PC screen (which I do anyway at least 8 hrs a day).
haah like today! I was to go out, but the plan changed so I thought I get myself together to write a little update.

Sometimes it feels I wouldn't know where to start exactly, cos it's just too many things, not all pink and cheesy, it's been quite tough every now and then. The biggest challenge (I think...well at least so far :)) that I have faced during my stay in Brazil has been: how to contribute at the workplace and the job to the extent that I am professionally used to at the same time overcoming the obstacles such as:
– working in another cultural environment (not knowing the way of working and the people, and the organization and its structures etc etc)
– working in another language (although most people speak English, the work is in Portuguese, including meetings etc. and I didn't know any Portuguese before I game)
– working in an industry – banking – and in an organization that I was not familiar with before, but which require a lot of time and energy to get to know to (it's huuugeeee, imagine an organization of 30 000 people. PS. and that's only Brazil!)

I had and still have high expectations for myself, since I have been working professionally for about 4-5 years, out of which considerable time with an area that I love – sustainable development and corporate responsibility - and I expected not to be just a trainee, but be equal to all other employees in regards of the contribution that I make.
All the obstacles in mind, it has not been an easy task for me to demonstrate the capacity, skills and knowledge I have. There has been maaaany moments that I felt down and unable to meet the expectations that I had for myself in the limited time available.
It's gone better now, mainly along the improvements with Portuguese :))) (Gee...I had forgotten what it means to learn a new language and to actually be able to use it in daily working life!! English seems soooo easy now.)

Some things I remind myself (thanks to the people who contributed to the process, the "life support" was really important :)):

- Don't give up – I remind myself of my expectations and I don't need to lower them, but just need to walk the same path: keep learning and moving onwards
- Take a loooooot of initiative and network (talk to different people, get to know them and their work, push them to involve me etc.), because for most of people I am just a trainee from a foreign country that noone really knows anything about, let alone the fact that people at workplace wouldn't also know what to expect from me.
- Actively demonstrate the added value I can bring, show my work to even more people that is the immediate necessity etc...

So it has been a journey of personal and professional learning for me, with ups and downs, but now I am happy. I've made sense of things around and inside me a bit more, and I am working on it every day. I'd say I am satisfied.

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