5 things that are different at my work in Germany vs. my last work in Panama, a personal experience

After a month in my job, I quickly realised that I had to get used to the 8-5 routine again and at the same time adapt to this new work environment with a different work culture. For this reason and based in my personal experience, I decided to come up with 5 things that are different from what I had experienced in my last job as part of L’Oréal back in Panama and my first job in Germany.

  1. During the recruiting process, I was told that my future boss traveled a lot, which meant that he was not going to be in the office in Hamburg so often. For me that wasn’t a deal breaker because I prefer to work independently and I also know that I am not a fan of the type of boss who’s breathing in your neck all the time. Despite of this, I couldn’t avoid feeling strange during my first week at the company because my boss was still on holidays. Fortunately, in a month, I managed to figure my boss’ modus operandi and adjust accordingly. Communication and organisation were key here.
  2. Something that my last job and this one have in common is that we don’t have to punch when we arrive or leave the office. Yes, we do have access cards but they are not used to control when we arrive or leave work which in my opinion shouldn’t even be necessary because we are adults. We know what we have to do and when. I am not a kid anymore so these actually gives me a sense bigger sense of accountability towards my responsibilities.
  3. In my last job, we were pampered: a fancy coffee machine, normal milk, almond milk, cream and sugar for our coffees. In this office that pleasure doesn’t exist. There is black coffee, condensed milk and sugar. Consider yourself lucky with this assortment.
  4. In my previous work, the cleaning staff collected our cups every morning and afternoon, so that our cups were ready for the second round of coffee or tea of the day. In this company, that doesn’t happen. There’s a dishwasher at your disposal. Whenever you make something dirty you have to put your dirty plate, glass or cup inside the dishwasher and the cleaning staff will turn it on at the end of the day. This is not a problem for me, in L’Oréal, most of the times I washed my own cup.
  5. Germans are quite strict with their working hours so that in turn, the company, also respects your holidays and your leisure time which in my opinion is the “ideal” scenario. Exceptions, always! but this I have also adapted. I go to bed earlier so that I can manage to be earlier at work and then leave on time for my Feierabend.

This was a quick summary of those things that no one prepares you for but that have actually made my first work experience so far even more interesting. I am an endless learner so having this in my 8-5 job has been a source of motivation. The motivation to keep learning, to stay curious and to give my best, always.


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