Hello everyone and welcome back to another blog post! We are wrapping up the program and I have had a fantastic and rewarding experience. I am confident that it will contribute to my future success not only professionally but also personally. I know I have grown personally and learned a lot more than I expected, and I had high expectations. With success in mind, we will discuss the differences between success here in Spain vs the United States.
In the workplace and within culture, I have noticed there are a few differences in what defines success. I have noticed that the Spanish value quality of life and relationships over the conventional success that we are accustomed to in the United States. The Spanish workplace doesn’t seem nearly as competitive or focused on personal gain, but rather everyone is friendly and wants to enjoy all aspects of life, including work. I found it quite interesting how many breaks people took, and how normal it was to take long lunches altogether. This led me to believe that success was not defined monetarily or by revenue, but rather by the relationships that we have.
In contrast, the United States has a stronger emphasis on productivity and focused work. Many people do not enjoy their jobs and solely do them for financial gain. After work, people go home and may be alone or with their family. I have noticed that community is not as important to people in the States and that people are much more self-driven. Additionally, the relationships between coworkers may be more competitive. People may want to compete for promotions or raises and not believe that all can receive these benefits and that they must win over others to achieve success.
Though these are quite different views on success, neither of them is better or worse than the other. As a career and professionally motivated person, I sympathize with the United States’ view because I feel that I can achieve higher success across all aspects of life with financial security. I strive to have this sense of security, so I have time to focus on the relationships or aspirations I have. I understand that this will require sacrifice of my real time relationships and quality of life, due to overworking or solitude. The Spanish seem to try to enjoy life now regardless of this and are not as obsessed with finances. While I recognize this as an alternative and potentially less stressful way of life, it is not for me. Success for me is not defined by my real-time enjoyment of life. I strive to support and provide a great quality of life for those I love and who are close to me. It is much harder to do that with a relaxed way of life.
Overall, it was quite interesting to see an alternative perspective on success and to try it out for a few months. I understand the Spanish and their motives, and I respect what they value. I am excited to get back to work in the States, though, and I enjoyed this alternative perspective and opportunity.