February 8, 2014, by Guest blog
I see challenges as opportunities
When we travel we often compare everything to our native traditions or the traditions where we live. During my first semester I cannot say I have experienced any cultural challenges as I was communicating with French people and learning for their culture. I have started experiencing cultural challenges when I started working at zChocolat. As I work at the Customer Service Department I have to communicate with the customers and satisfy their needs and meet their expectations. I was put on the live chat to talk to clients and “convert” them in order to buy products. I managed to do that with 14 people from all over the world during the first day. The owner was happy and put me in charge of this. I decided that in order to meet customers’ expectations I need to know a bit of their culture and where they are from to try and guess when they may want to buy ( gifts for National holidays for example). This really helped me during the following days. I was learning and getting “to know” the clients.
Another factor that helped me and is of a big importance is that all the team at the company have different nationalities. Every lunch break we socialize, talk, compare and discuss what happens at work or how a particular task will be handled by each individual’s culture. It is quite exciting. I love it. It helps me strengthen my friendship with my colleagues and to perform better at work. I am learning every day.
If I have to talk about my cultural challenges only regarding French culture, well they are a lot calmer than I am. They do not stress out easily and they always say: You have to wait.
I was struggling with CAF, EDF and all those public institutions. Sometimes I think that French people do not like foreigners and some of them are mean to me and always complain about my accent. I hope I will get better and continue to improve my French.
Overall, I like challenges. I see them as opportunities. I learn from them and there is a lot to learn from the French culture and lifestyle. I am grateful I have this opportunity.
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