I was looking at the comments on the last pages and a Manager asking about personal goals caught my interest. I was thinking about how different work environments are in France compared to the USA. Just stronger differences of being "reserved or open" in various scenarios, in contrast to what are the norms for that in the USA. For example in France people rarely socialize after work. Should I say never? There are work organized events etc. but getting together for beers after work is a rarity for several reasons. First people are so reserved that it's just uncommon to make friends at work and the time is arranged differently so there is less time for that. In Paris most people commute to their jobs by public transport of car and since it's really hard to move here, slower to sell, three months notice to rent, high prices, (you can rent agency apts that are short-term for students and stuff) if you change jobs you don't move, sometimes even if it's a city 200KM away. So, people expect to keep their time for going to and fro to work and rushed errands before permentanly going home for the evening and not going out again. Also the work day lasts longer and people do errands after work and go home for a later dinner. While in the USA people eat earlier and still have time after dinner to do something. So, people really don't socialize with co-workers. Or it's a great rarity. T
he first idea I had when I read about the manager wanting people to speak about their personal goals I thought of job interviews I have been on in France; The have a different civil system here and they are not as strict about what can be asked at an interview, so basically anything goes. I have been asked how many children I have their ages, how long I have been married, do I rent or own, what kind of car do I have, I could go on, and sometimes they even do a handwriting analysis. I am not kidding. Then once hired they can let you go at any time for three months. And if they are still unsure they can keep extending that for up to a year. So people basically become crazed-conformist-work-zombies until that first part is over. Yet, after that phase you have basically a job for life with huge social protections. Like severence pay and up to three years of unemployment etc. One thing I miss about USA job interviews is that you don't have to put your age on the CV and you can take 5 years off by dropping experiences if you like in France you put your age right up their in the corner with your photo. Although generally people once a part of the office it is very warm and friendly. So that personal goals comment caught my eye because I was like jeesh I would have loved to have just talked about my personal goals to managers. On the flip side of being asked everything under the sun by management, although the general office or workplace reserve is very high.
How that might make me behave differently in the workplace now I can only guess. I imagine myself being more reserved, only time will tell.