Top 10 differences between Australian and Indian workplaces

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Yes, that’s what I looked like in the first few jobs I had in Australia.

Who’d think, who’d know that workplace practices can be so different across continents?

Most of my career has been with Americans and what I knew was based on those experiences. There weren’t any stark differences between American and Indian workplaces and hence working here took getting used to.

My top 10 observations:

  1. Work is work. Don’t go looking to make friends at your workplace.
  2. You may have quite a few ‘older’ people at the workplace. Be prepared to listen to colleagues discuss their aches, pains and doctors.
  3. Try to not look baffled when someone refuses to help you by saying, ‘That’s above my pay grade’ or ‘That’s not in my job description.’
  4. Folks are pretty straight forward and blunt. Get with the program.
  5. Performance management processes and conversations are rare (strange considering point 4). I think it has to do with legal issues that may arise as a result.
  6. You don’t sit with your colleagues over lunch. You also don’t offer a taste of your food.
  7. Don’t get excited when your manager announces a team lunch. Most often, it just means that the team goes out to eat together but each person pays for their food. I learnt the hard way.
  8. Folks can stay in their roles or current levels for most of their careers. Not everyone is looking to climb the corporate ladder.
  9. Fires at work can wait – it’s a ‘no worries’ lifestyle.
  10. Work is one part of your life – it ISN’T your life!¬†Prioritising your family¬† and leaving work on time is a given.¬† Yay, Australia!

    While I think I’ve adjusted to most of the above, point 3 is one I struggle with. Collaboration and team work is a big part of who I am at the workplace.

    If you are new to Australian workplaces, I’d recommend keeping a low profile for a while. Observe, listen and learn.

    Your work practices in India may not always work here – and that’s not necessarily a bad thing, but if you insist on your style of working and refuse to keep an open mind, you will fall into a deep pit.

    Cheers and good luck!
    Rhiana

 

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One comment

  1. You seem happy and contented with your life in Australia which is really nice – yes I realize it will always have moments where you miss what has been in the past your home!! You continue to open my eyes to what it must be like leaving home, family and all that is familiar to take such a huge step of faith and move 4852 miles. xx

    Liked by 1 person

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