1000 petals by axinia

the only truth I know is my own experience

Working with my fellow countrymen? – no, thank you! November 15, 2012

background hand

I wonder how many people will confess it? I bet many.

One of the greatest advantages in living outside your country is the chance to introspect yourself on your conditionings or ideas imposed on you by your culture. It can range from fascinating to devastating! When I lived in Russia people used to tell  me I would rather move to the West because I looked and behaved not as a “typical” Russian. When I finally immigrated to Europe I was shocked to learn how VERY RUSSIAN I was :).

Another awareness-win is realisation of your attitude to your fellow countrymen. Of course you should not that normally a certain – more adventurous and probably stronger – people venture to leave their motherland. Thus the fellow countrymen you meet abroad are not exactly the same as the most left at home. But the main national patterns stay, of course.

In the subject of Intercultural Communication we learn that any immigration goes through 4 phases (honeymoon, ghetto, new motherland and bi-culturalism), and at some point many may even dislike their fellow countrymen and try to avoid (3rd phase). This is a highly useful piece of information and I would recommend every immigrant to learn a bit more about it.

But this is not our topic here.

What I noticed in my 15 years of living outside of my motherland is that people of some nations are not willing to collaborate/work  on project/hire/get hired/etc. with people of their origin mostly FOR THE REASON OF THEIR WORKING STYLE!

I have no theoretical explanation of the phenomenon, but my humble observation (from the perspective of living in Austria) shows that:

 –ex-Jugoslavians never want to work with each other, although they mostly have to

-Rumanians avoid working with each other abroad

Jew tend to hire other nationalities but not their own

Germans love to work with Germans

Indians would prefer not to work for Indians

-Russians always prefer to work with Russians

Please mind that these are generalizations and of course there are exceptions.

My personal working experience in the Human Resources field proves that when living abroad Russians prefer Russians to work with mostly because of their amazing dedication and high sense of responsibility (I bet you did not expect that from Russians :)). This does not work for Ukrainians though – Russians abroad avoid hiring Ukrainians for the opposite reason -less dedication.

Another highly puzzling case are Jew: When in Russia they always stick together and try to get as many as possible to one work place. When abroad they try to avoid working at same places, and especially those Jew who have their own businesses always hire some other foreigners but not their countrymen.

I am sure many of my readers have their own observations of this topic, therefore observations and  – moreover! explanations are heartily welcome!

P.S. please note that the title of the post “Working with my fellow countrymen? – no, thank you!” by no means reflects my personal case 😉 I love working with Russians!




6 Responses to “Working with my fellow countrymen? – no, thank you!”

  1. Anand Says:

    Haha ! As an Indian PhD student working in Switzerland I can relate to many (almost all) of your observations :D.

    May I also add that Italians also love working with each other 😛


  2. Costel Says:

    Romanian living abroad theory is,
    -we are too few to not understand each other .
    But, you know, is a theory !

  3. Eugene Says:

    Hmm! This is an interesting observation. I’ve never worked abroad. But really want to get this experience. Maybe you can help me, Aksinya? I am Russian.

  4. dmitri Says:

    hhhh when i was in school we hade a class with studebts of russian nationalty only (ukrians too and kavkaz, buhara russian speaking i mean)…in israel live’s one and half russian papultion…and the russian amigrestion was a succus…many russian hold importent positions in israeli scosity…even have sccufull russian political party!!!

  5. swaps Says:

    Indians would prefer not to work for Indians

    Sadly, that is true. I have interacted with Americans, and I have found that they are skilled and humble… none of the I-know-it-all attitude some of my country men show. Indians are a mixed lot and cannot make any assumptions at all. Speaking about myself, I am obviously quite lazy (and dreamy) and get easily bored if the job is not challenging 🙂

  6. Harry Says:

    Axinia, you say you’re Russian. I thought you were Lithuanian. Please clarify. 🙂

    And which countries have you lived in, and for how long.

    Where in the world are you now? Which country?

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