Before arriving to Berlin, I had imagined that a lot of my work would be in English but that I could speak German with my colleagues so that I would still get good practice. Unfortunately, I don’t speak nearly as much German as I had hoped to because, as it turns out, many of my coworkers are not native German speakers. This means that they usually have an excellent English vocabulary alongside their German knowledge and prefer to use this when speaking with me. My boss, who is Belgian, is one such example. Fortunately, there are many other ways to meet native German speakers!
At my workplace, I help mostly the sales the team. I have learned a lot about the field already. My biggest takeaway has been that sales is all about “contact, contact, contact!” I see my coworkers frequently sending emails, taking and making phone calls, and going on business trips in order to connect with existing and potential clients. While it all seems quite personable, I’ve learned that there exists a certain ruthlessness among potential business contacts. For example, a friendly telephone conversation and email address given at the end doesn’t necessarily mean that that contact will address your concerns seriously after hanging up. Similarly, a business person, whom you have never met but who asks to connect on LinkedIn, may not actually be interested in creating any real business relations with you. I was surprised to learn this because these people aren’t competitors, but potential partners. I am excited to learn more about why this is and what the best techniques are to navigate such scenarios and achieve your business goal!