Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Q & A session:

One of the features of the Feedjit is that I am able to see what google searches bring readers to this site.

The most common are 1) job search in France and 2) travel.

I am no expert - but I do have a unique experience in having worked in France and for French entities in the U.S. So I would like to open this up to questions - feel free to ask me anything, if I can help - I'd be glad to. The same goes for questions about travel to France.

The floor is now open...


La Mom said...

How did you like working for the French?
I hated working for the Franco Francais telecom company I was at before kids. Coming from the Silicon Valley & open door policy it was a culture shock for sure!

bijou said...

My experience working in the French world is comprised of time spent in both the public and private sectors. I loved it - both experiences.

It IS different, however.

I appreciated the better degree of work/life balance. I appreciated the inter/cross-cultural exchanges on almost everything. I spent half of my higher education in France which probably prepared me well for the differences - as they are present in the academic world too. I also think that working in a foreign language makes the most menial task personally fulfilling -you mentioned this in one of your posts, especially when negotiating. It also, makes simple office politics or diplomacy extremely difficult - managing staff or trying to apologize for a simple mistake and take responsability - this is and remains difficult to do outside of one's mother tongue, no matter how fluent.

I find that the French have more fun with their colleagues, throw better office parties, and are very serious workers.

There are cultural nuances that I still have some difficulty adapting to - for example, I think that I will die before I ever fully understand who and when to use the "tu" and "vous" with colleagues. Idem for calling someone Monsieur, Madame or by their first name.

Sylvain - Big Apple said...

Julie, your never-ending issue with the Tu and the Vous is not one for us, it makes you so cute english-speaking people! Please, don't try to get rid of it! It is like my French accent: what a success here in the US! :-)

And nowadays (since May'68) it is not that much an issue anymore. As a general rule, I would rather use the Vous for somebody I want to show respect either unknown, hierarchical or older.