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Lean IN- June Edition

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In Australia, we value freedom, respect, and equality. However, some New Australians are still facing challenges at work. 

In our special publication, “Lean IN“, we will invite one overseas-born Australian every month to talk about their work experience in their home country and Australia. Are there any differences? What’s their understanding of inclusiveness? 

Welcome to leave a comment, and let us know what you want to ask!

” I am more motivated when my work culture makes me feel included!”

Pronouns: she/her

Home Country: China

Language: Mandarin & English 

Years in Australia: 3+

Education: University of Western Australia 

"When you graduated from university in China, what was your first job?"

(简体中文/Mandarin) 我在中国完成了我的会计学学位,在中国的时候做过外部审计和国际贸易销售。

(English) I got my degree in Accounting, after that I worked as auditing assistant and Overseas sales supervisor for a local company. 

" What was your first job in Australia?"

(简体中文/Mandarin) 我是以背包客的身份来到澳大利亚的,刚开始是做Au pair, 之后的一段时间都在餐饮行业工作。

(English) I came to Australia as a backpacker, at the beginning I was an au pair. Then I’ve been working in hospitality. 

" What do you do now?"

(简体中文/Mandarin) 现在我在珀斯完成了我的市场营销研究生学位,我很喜欢市场营销。现在的工作也是在做这个行业。

(English) I finished my Master’s degree in Marketing in Perth, now I work as a marketing officer for an Australian company. I really enjoy what I’m doing.

"What was the work environment like in China?"

(简体中文/Mandarin) 我以前的同事都是中国人,但是来自不同的地区,我们的口音,饮食习惯,风俗都会有差异,但是感觉并不是很明显。在管理模式的角度,中国的企业更倾向于金字塔式的管理,我总是要注意措辞因为我这个人说话很直接。

(English ) My co-workers in China are all Chinese but we are from different areas. So our accents, dietary, and cultural are a little different. From the perspective of management style, Chinese leaders tend to sit at the top of the pyramid. It’s not smart to confront your boss or share what you think with the team, it more depends on how your boss thinks. It’s difficult for me as I’m very direct. 

"What about your current working environment? What are the differences?

(简体中文/Mandarin) 我觉得我们是个非常包容的团队。虽然我的英语水平不是特别好,但是我的同事们都非常包容我,很尊重我,即使我有的时候用错了词他们也不会当面指出让我尴尬。因为中国人很爱面子 哈哈。

(English) I think my team is very inclusive, we have team members from different countries. They are supportive and respectful all the time. Although my English proficiency is not perfect, my teammates wouldn’t point it out directly. If they do, I will feel embarrassed because the Chinese all care about “Face”.  

"How do you manage your cultural differences, for example, if people do something that challenges your values and beliefs. eg. Saving Face?"

(简体中文/Mandarin) 我去过很多国家,所以对我来说, 了解并接受一个文化一点也不难。比如在澳大利亚当有人直接指出我英语的错误时,我理解这只是他们的表达方式。我告诉自己他们这样说是因为想帮助我,而不是针对我个人。即使在我的文化中,这样的表达会让我很丢脸,但是我会告诉自己不要表现出来。

(English) I’m well-travelled. So it’s not hard for me to understand and accept different cultures. In Australia, for example, when people point out my English mistakes, I know it’s nothing personal and it’s only the way they express themselves. Even though in my culture, I would feel “lose-face”, but I wouldn’t show it. 

"If you want to, we also want to know some not-so-good experiences you had in your previous employments."

(简体中文/Mandarin) 好的没问题。其实在西澳工作这么久,遇到了很多人,大家都非常友好。作为中国人,我们不是很习惯直截了当地表达自己的想法,尤其是对上级。在工作中让我觉得不舒服的是,有的人会忽略文化差异因素,要求我像所有人一样做事情,说话。我总是感觉被冒犯,但是我不能告诉他们我的感受。我每天都在一点一点地学习澳大利亚文化,但是还有很长的一段路要走。我希望雇主们可以多点耐心,尊重我们学习的过程。独一无二也是很不错的!



(English) Okay, sure. During my stay in Western Australia, everyone is very nice to me. As Chinese, we are not taught to express ourselves directly, especially to our bosses. The only thing that made me feel uncomfortable at work is when my employer expected me to behave and talk like everyone else. I mean, like locals. I feel offended because I feel I did an awesome job eventually and I don’t want to pretend to be someone else. But I couldn’t speak up for myself. I’m learning Australian culture every day, there’s still a long way to go but I’m working on it. Employers could be more patient and respect the learning processes. Being unique is also a beautiful thing!

"Is working in Australia what you expected?"

(简体中文/Mandarin) 其实我对在澳大利亚工作没有什么期待,我当时只是想换个环境,找回自己的初心,然后活得开心和自由。这样想的话,在澳大利亚工作还是一个很不错的体验。很灵活,也很轻松,在中国有一个词“996”,意思是早上9点上班,晚上9点下班,一周工作6天。以我的性格我是绝对做不到的,因为我更看重真正的生活,而不是把工作当作生活。

(English) To be honest I have no expectations. I came to Australia for starting fresh, finding myself, and living a free happy life. In this way, working in Australia is a pretty good experience. It’s flexible and chill. There’s a word in China “996” which means work at 9am and finish at 9pm, work 6days a week. That’s a big NO NO to me. I value the quality of life, and work is not life. 

" Last question, what makes a good employer?"

(简体中文/Mandarin) 就像我刚才说的,一个好的雇主应该了解多元化团队的重要性, 尤其是在澳大利亚这样一个多元的国家。在雇佣员工的时候不应该因为他/她是外国人,或者签证限制就忽略了这个人的价值。好的雇主应该给所有有潜力的人一个机会,而不是选择一个人只因为对他/她的面孔和口音很熟悉。好的雇主还应该在工作场所推动文化包容和教育,这样才能从根源避免冲突。



(English) As I said, a good employer should understand the importance of a diverse team, especially in a country as diverse as Australia. When hiring an employee, the employer should not ignore the value of a person just because they are a foreigner or because of visa restrictions. Good employers should give all people with potential a chance, rather than selecting someone just because they are familiar with their face and accent. Good employers should also promote cultural inclusion and education in the workplace so that conflicts can be avoided at their source.