Are Aussies Too Brash To Work Overseas?

BrashMan.jpgExpat blogger Matthew Gain taps into recent news stories about how Australians behave in the workplace and discusses his own experiences working in London. He suggests that Australian directness can indeed be a problem when adapting into other workplace environments, and that this isn't always obvious if you work in an apparently similar culture like the UK:

In my case I spent six months not knowing what I didn't know and so went about my business thinking it was easy and exactly the same as back home. The next six months were some of the hardest in my working life as I realised what I didn't know.

Have you found being Australian a help or a hindrance when working overseas (or dealing with overseas organisations)? Share your experience in the comments.


    I found being an Aussie and advantage when working in the UK. The place I worked at had had good experiences with Aussies before so actually hired me above a local. I found at most places that we had a really good reputation.

    As a ex-Pom who lived and work in France for 4 years (which is much more hierachical and snobby when it comes to workplace behavior, unless you count having affairs) and then here in Australia for the past five years ... I gotta admit that the directness and "brashness" that Australians (and Kiwis to a lesser extent) have is refreshing and one of their strengths. It means we can put the bulls..t aside and just get the job done without worrying about what is essentially "management niceities".

    The UK has a "live to work" culture particularly in these tough times compared to Australia's (mostly - outside of Syd and Mel at least) "work to live" culture. Hopefully we don't fall down that slippery slope and follow the workaholic traits of the UK and US. It is a bit of a shock when you first arrive there - be aware.

    One thing that the article does have right - don't go on about how great Australia is. Even though you're right, you'll get the same "if you don't like it here then go home" response that we give to the whinging Poms who have just stepped off the plane and working in Sydney. Of course, the exception to this rule is when we beat them at the Cricket, Union, League, Soccer, Swimming, and pretty much every sport that counts.

    Personally I don't understand why Aussies want to go to the UK, or London in particular. But then I've renounced my British citizenship anyway - that gives you a clue how much I like that country - I'm a proud Irish-Aussie citizen and will stay that way. (or as we say around here ... a Queenslander first, and an Aussie second).

    If you are traveling to work in the UK, read Watching the English by Kate Fox. It's a very good insight into what makes the English tick. Coming to Australia at 3 years of age andgrowing up in Australia with an English Household and Aussie mates, i couldn't work out why my 'isms were different to the Dinkum kids. then i travelled and bonded with fellow poms and realised why. Then i read this book and it backed everything up!

    I find Australian expats brash and self-entitled. As the owner of a very large expat group, sadly, I know what I am talking about.

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