Thursday, March 24, 2011

IRISH COCKTAIL: A MIX OF FUN AND PROFESSIONALISM

In 2002, when Dr Shabeer Ahmed planned to return to India after a ten-year stay inIreland, two of his Irish colleagues sent a written plea to the hospital director asking himnot to let Ahmed go. It is not often that you bump into such colleagues in a foreign land.But it is not unusual in Ireland. And that is precisely why the Irish are known for theiraffable and friendly self the world over.
“The Irish are naturally courteous and quick witted. You can actually pour your heart outto them,” says Ahmed. And they will go out of their way to find a solution. “They neversay they can't do it. They would rather finish all possible options before admitting it,”Ahmed, who worked at government hospitals in Dublin, Limerick, Dundalk, and Naas,says.
Is it good to build personal relationships? One could quickly run into a dichotomy-- intimacy and unselfishness might breed incompetence and adversely affectprofessionalism. But the Irish have their own way when it comes to productivity. Bybeing hospitable, the Irish make the workplace a comfort zone, but it happens withoutcompromising on the quality of work.
“Work culture is professional and yet quite informal. In a professional context, whatmatters is meeting deadlines and the quality of the deliverable. Whether an Indian does itor an American is irrelevant,” says Enwright de Sales, director with a global professionaladvisory services firm, who was in Dublin from 2000-2010. As a director of theorganization, he had a few Irish colleagues reporting to him and he says they absolutelyhad no problems in having a foreigner as a boss. In fact, Ireland over the last decade hasbeen home to people from many parts of the world and this is noticeable in cities likeDublin.Endorsing Sales’ views is Amit Wadhwan, who was executive chef in Wicklow and Dublin in 2008.
He says: “The theory is to work hard and play harder. Deadlines areexpected to be met and people are serious and more productive.”Though hard working, the Irish are dedicated to a less stressful lifestyle that allowstime for friends and family.
One of the things that is unique to Ireland is the `craic’,which simply means having a good time, whether it is a visit to the pub for a few drinks,meeting for a cup of tea, or just a chat in a corner. If that is not good enough for you to consider working in Ireland, check this out: The maximum working hours in a week is 48 hours, not including rest or lunch breaks.
Staying back after work hours might reflectbadly on one's performance.“Most importantly, I had a perfect life-work balance, enjoyed 5 days a week. In India,hotel professionals are still clocking a minimum of 12 hours a day and 6 days a week,”says Wadhwan.

THE SUCCESS MANTRA
When in Ireland, it is good to do as the Irish do. “One way to success is to be honest andtransparent. They aren’t nosy about your personal life. They are serious about their work,though the work culture is pretty relaxed," says Ahmed.

KNOW YOUR RIGHTS
Yet another reason that makes Ireland an excellent place to work in is that employeerights are clearly defined. You should receive at least the minimum wage –- this goesup annually, so check to ensure that you are being paid at least the national minimumwage. “Strong employment laws make work environment safe and secure,” says Sales.

ETIQUETTES
Victory sign is considered vulgarl Be warned about the Irish accent of English. But that is just a matter of time; you’ll getused to it.
Cricket can be the best topic to open a conversation, especially now with the Irish team’s recent victory against England in the World Cup

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