It's our employees who make the voestalpine Group what it is: all kinds of characters, a potpourri of personalities, mentalities and cultures, and various fields of activity. In future, employees will report here on their activities and experiences at voestalpine. We start with Andrea Zajicek, who has moved from voestalpine AG to Villares Metals in Brazil.
Sumaré, Brazil – this is my new workplace. After six years in Group Communications at voestalpine AG, this autumn has brought me to Villares Metals, a subsidiary of the Special Steel Division. Taking the step of moving to an operative company is an exciting challenge, and especially worthwhile in a country like Brazil.
After almost a month I can now report on the first impressions I’ve gained in my new workplace. The culture of this country is an extremely positive aspect and one that strikes me daily; the people here are helpful, warmhearted, and friendly, and that has made my start here much easier.
As I see it at the moment, the 5 most important recommendations for working abroad are:
- Preparation is everything: Communication and information are the be-all and end-all when moving abroad, so you certainly need to learn the language in advance and find out about the country and local conditions.
- Relax when dealing with authorities: When you come to a new country there are a lot of bureaucratic hurdles to get through in the first few months. Patience is the name of the game.
- Ask lots of questions: As with any new job, it’s important to ask lots of questions. And when you’re also working in a new culture, asking the right questions helps you quickly find out how a company “ticks”.
- Make contacts: at home you have friends, acquaintances, and colleagues – a private and professional network. When you’re abroad you first have to build up your network, and so you should start making connections as quickly as possible.
- Don’t forget your home: the Internet makes it easy to stay in touch with family and friends these days. This lets you stay close to your nearest and dearest, and helps prevent homesickness.
Over the coming weeks and months, I will continue to report on my experiences here and the lessons I’ve learned.