Another Day, Another Croissant

This week my parents left Ireland, and I’m getting back into my old routine! Wake up, get ready for work, take the 1 bus to Violet’s Cafe, get my chocolate croissant, and walk 5 minutes to work! I am extremely happy (and surprised) that I get so excited to go to work in the morning. For one thing, having a routine is an awesome way for me to stay motivated. Waking up early makes me want to spend the remainder of my day making the most of it, whether that means writing a blog a day early or just seeing a new site in Dublin.

Having my parents here gave me a little taste of home, and at the perfect time too! I didn’t realize I was missing home until I spent time with them, and am thankful they visited. I am excited to go home, but much more excited to continue my journey here and make the most of it. I realize now that my time here is limited and I’m going home so soon! Only 2 more weekends and 3 more weeks of work! To say this trip is flying by is an understatement. I feel like just yesterday I was walking through trinity for the first time, and now I only have a few short weeks to discover Ireland as much as I can.

Professionally, Ireland’s culture seems to define ‘success’ in a different way than in the United States. In fact, the lines between professionally and personally tend to blur here. Rather than striving for success in a job or profession, success is based on happiness. A job or profession is more so seen as something that enables you to be happy. Having a stable job and income allows you to provide for your family, to travel, and to lead a comfortable life. So, professionally, I would say Ireland defines success with the phrase ‘work to live, don’t live to work’. Working is needed for survival and money, but it is not our top priority. As long as you are pulling your weight in an organization and are leading a happy life at home, I believe that is what the Irish would consider a success.

In my internship at Public Affairs Ireland, a successful employee would be considered one who produces quality work and shows effort and initiative. Rather than being an employee who is overworking and putting their life aside for work, it seems here that a successful employee is one that has a work-life balance. For example, my boss works from home on Thursdays and sometimes doesn’t work on Fridays. In the United States, this could be looked down upon. Here in Ireland, she was fully supported and encouraged to make this step, as she has children at home and a very busy schedule. My boss is not only an essential part of the business, but she also is a wonderful example of a great employee. By working hard when in the office but still making time for her family, she is what we consider a successful/effective employee.

When looking at how the behaviors and actions of a ‘successful employee’ differ from the United States to Ireland, it appears that Ireland prefers quality over quantity, while the United States prefers quantity over quality. I do think that my home country would prefer to have both, but they are willing to settle for lower quality if it means they can reach a quota. In Ireland, it feels much more like there is meant to be time set aside to ensure that everything is on track and accurate, even if that means not producing quite as much. Also, I think that successful employees in the United States at times could be considered a bit more ‘professional’ or closed off to forming friendships in the workplace. In Ireland, a successful employee would most likely be one who desires conversations with those around them. An employee who takes time from his day to ask other employees how their day is and to get to know their colleagues better. 

I am so thankful to be working at Public Affairs Ireland and to have learned so much about how our work cultures differ. Not only in company culture, but also in work pace, networking, and other vital business skills. I am excited to take all the lessons I’ve learned here and taken them to Pitt Business, as well as future internships and jobs! I’ve learned so much already, and I know I have a lot more to learn in the coming weeks!