5 Major (Cultural) Keys to Remember when Working in Spain
Congrats! Not only are you living in Spain, but you're also gainfully employed! Ay! We made it! Now you're faced with the new, and exciting (even daunting) task of maneuvering through a new work environment, in a new country, a new city, in a different language with people you don't know! Challenge (reluctantly) accepted? Although many things are universal, each culture has its own eccentricities that one may not be aware of. Of course trial and error is essential when talking about personal growth; however, it can be a bit more of a hinderance to professional growth. You could stumble through a dark room and hope for the best or you can keep reading and learn from my mistakes!
Yawn not, Friends
Feeling a bit sleepy? Yawning audibly and also stretching during class, or meetings is seen as a big "no-no." I know, it seems obvious, but even when I yawn silently, while covering my mouth , I've had employers ask questions like "late night?" or "are you bored?" Naturally, it's just my body replenishing its oxygen, but no need to pick fights.
Having a coffee in Spain is less about the coffee and more about the chance to socialize for a few minutes mid-morning and right after lunch. It's cultural. When someone asks if you want a coffee, the answer is always an enthusiastic yes. Why? Because if you say 'no' you're basically saying, 'nah, I don't want to be friends.' If you don't speak Spanish very well, learn how to at least comment (read: complain) about the weather. That's always a conversation starter!
*If you don't drink coffee like me, grab a tea, warm milk, glass of water, coca-cola, something. Just be there.
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Interested in connecting with other expats and entrepreneurs abroad? Attend THRIVE, a one-day conference hosted by Las Morenas de España on November 5th in Madrid, Spain! You don't want to miss this!