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My experience leaving Canada and going to Poland to find a job

12 Feb 2011 #1
I have been following this forum for a while and I would like to contribute my own story to encourage others who are trying a shot at life in Poland.

So now the story…

I have been doing very well in Canada and I did not leave Canada because I had some issues. In fact, I was very happy in Canada but love sometimes works in a strange way…

I have a B.A. in psychology and I have been working in the Insurance industry for the past 7 years. On top of this, I speak, Czech, Russian, Polish, English and French

Before I left Canada I decided to test my value on the Canadian market by visiting a recruitment agency (I have been in the same company for the last 6 years). To me it was important to see what kind of offers I could get and what should be my objectives when I get to Poland. They were able to pull me out some very interesting job offers with attractive salaries. (Obviously, I am not expecting the same salary in Poland)

Now, It has been 3 weeks since I left Toronto and so far I was able to get 3 interviews in the 50+ resumes I sent. All these interviews related to positions requiring knowledge of Czech..

In my last interview they mirrored me a possible salary of 6000 in a non-managerial position.

Next Wednesday I have another interview for a manager’s position with knowledge of Czech.

This all sounds a bit strange since it looks like my knowledge of Czech is a major factor in getting into interviews… Probably, there is a big supply of overqualified jobseekers who have a good knowledge of most of the languages I speak (except for Czech)…

This is still an evolving story and many things can happen. If anyone is interested I will make sure to update this post once I get to “the end of the tunnel”.
plash - | 2
12 Feb 2011 #2
good luck keep it high and wish me also a good luck ;) finding a job in Poland, but me I don't have Czech
plk123 8 | 4,148
12 Feb 2011 #3
If anyone is interested I will make sure to update this post

you should. thnx
plash - | 2
15 Feb 2011 #4
have a look to this, may be it can help
A job offer for The CitiBank International in Warsaw
gumishu 12 | 6,045
15 Feb 2011 #5
good luck Fumon :)
BBman - | 344
15 Feb 2011 #6
Hey good luck fumon. You're very brave for leaving canada for poland to work. I did the same recently (for fun). I worked in Poland for a couple of years, made decent money for Polish standards, but the work environment in Poland is very primitive and brutal, thus i chose to leave. It was a great adventure though. Have fun and keep us updated!
Pinching Pete - | 648
15 Feb 2011 #7
Poland is very primitive and brutal

What do you mean? Can you elaborate?
BBman - | 344
15 Feb 2011 #8
The foremost issue I had with working in Poland was the discrimination I witnessed in the workplace. The first place I saw this was in the CVs: date of birth, self photos, place of birth etc. There is no reason for this kind of personal information to be available to an employer BEFORE the applicant is hired! It IS only used to discriminate and no one seems afraid to discriminate. I believe this because I've personally heard hiring managers openly talk about throwing away CVs of older applicants or young women, for instance. I've also seen managers fire older employees with excellent work performance only to replace them with younger people. The worst thing about this is that the sacked employee can't do much about this discrimination. Most Poles complain about all this too.

I also found the Polish workplace to be less professional than in Canada. I encountered lots of "hamstwo," lack of professional diplomacy, and generally speaking disorganisation. I think poles are still learning the new post commie ways of business and I have no doubt things will improve.
26 Jun 2012 #9
I completely disagree with your opinion. Im a polish woman and work in insurance industry. I work 10 years and never faced discrimination at work. On the contrary, at least in my industry, foreigners have more privileges on the job - even on this that they know the english language well. Of course that there are cases of bad treatment of foreigners, but I think that you can't just generalize (isolated cases). In addition you must to know that in Poland the standard is to provide personal information in your CV with photo and no one treats it as discrimination...

in different countries have different standards, that's all.

It just so happen that I'm going to move to Canada. Then we'll see what I write;-)
TommyG 1 | 361
26 Nov 2012 #10
Where are all my posts?

lol:D Have you tried looking in the bin? I know the feeling all too well.
Back on topic, did the OP make a new life in Poland? Anyone heard anything?
delphiandomine 88 | 18,454
26 Nov 2012 #11
I believe this because I've personally heard hiring managers openly talk about throwing away CVs of older applicants or young women, for instance.

Older applicants are always a danger, not least because they might have Communism in their head - and with it, the working practices. Young women are a danger - anyone who knows about the kodeks pracy knows that you simply don't want to give young women a job unless you're certain about them.
13 Aug 2016 #12
I am the original person who posted the initial post and things worked out very well for me.

In summary, I spent 3 years in Poland and was able to work in the financial industry in a shared service center. This was outsourcing but the experience I gained made a huge impact on my present career. I am now back in Toronto working in one of the 4 big banks earning a six figure salary. All of this is because of my time spent in Poland!!!

My goal is not to brag about making a big salary but to show you what you can achieve.

There are now many companies outsourcing work to Poland with good opportunities.

Some banks who are outsourcing work to Poland will even interview you while you are still in Canada.
peterweg 37 | 2,320
14 Aug 2016 #13
Thanks for the update, thats an encouraging and enlightening story.
Ianthe - | 5
23 Sep 2018 #14

Typical Work life in Poland

I am fairly new to this forum and I am unsure if this is just filled with trolls or actual people - apologies if that offends anyone.

I am wondering if you would like to share your experiences with working in Poland, whether it be what office life is like, the general disposition and temperament of people, culture, etc.

Maybe you are a foreigner and you could share the differences you've noticed when comparing to your home country, good or bad.
cms neuf - | 2,058
23 Sep 2018 #15
Its become full of people obsessed with migration plus a few Russian trolls.

Your question is pretty general - what kind of business do you mean ? Western one or locally owned ? Small town or big city ?
jon357 71 | 20,328
23 Sep 2018 #16
I am unsure if this is just filled with trolls or actual people

There are both here.

whether it be what office life is like, the general disposition and temperament of people, culture,

Office life is often a bit more formal than you may be used to. It depends a lot which sort of office your in, and where it is in Poland. Work ethic etc. can vary according to which part of Poland you're in.

About the people, again it can vary from place to place. In general, they can seem formal to the point of hostility with people they don't know, and very warm and friendly with people they know. You might notice that in offices too. People do tend to value their privacy, especially if they don't know the people they're talking to.

About culture, that's a really big (and vague) question. Do you mean the arts, or something more anthropological? If it's the latter (and this should chime with what I've just written) people can be quite reserved and correct outside the home, and let their hair down in private.

Not all Poles are the same though. The difference between what people in Australia call 'bogans' (millions of these in PL) and more 'refined' people is huge. Don't be taken in by outside appearances though; here first impressions can deceive.
Ianthe - | 5
23 Sep 2018 #17
Yes, my question was general intentionally, I thought it might be good to get an overview of the entire working experience inclusive of local and international companies. A thread were everyone can share their experiences respective of the location in Poland, company form, etc.
cms neuf - | 2,058
24 Sep 2018 #18
In work the culture is about halfway between a European type and an Anglo Saxon type. Poles are learning modern business ways quickly but there are a dee differences

It is not expected that you will go to the oub every friday with your colleagues- rather the reverse that they will often scoot off a bit earlier to start the weekend

On the other hand you are expected to attend and be cheeerful at company events (which is normally a bbq and beers next to some lake).
Atch 17 | 4,043
24 Sep 2018 #19
It kind of depends on whether you're working for a Polish company or a foreign company. If it's an American company then there will be a bit of an American work culture, somewhat adapted for local style, but only somewhat. For example your working hours may be different because of the need to liaise with America which is between six and nine hours behind. Office hours can be in the more 9-5 category, even if it's supposedly flexi-time. Poles often prefer to work 8-4. Also Americans are more likely to expect you to work late on a regular basis with no extra pay whereas a good Polish firm often pays overtime for that.

I disagree with CMS about the socializing thing because I think there is still a big drinking culture in Poland and certainly my own husband has found that the guys he has worked with in a few companies drink together after work on a regular basis. It often involves going out to eat first but the drinking carries on after the meal and if they're on flexi time gangs of them will show up at around 11 next morning and then work till 7 or 8 in the evening. He has also experienced a culture of 'celebrating' milestones and successfully achieved deadlines in individual projects so the team involved will go out to celebrate which inevitably means more drinking. You're not strictly obliged to attend these but there is pressure to do so and a slight coolness if you don't. In one company where he worked, (it was a Polish one) there were also things like spending a whole Saturday together to celebrate Christmas. It involved going to the cinema in the afternoon, then on for dinner and then to a club/bar for, yes more drinking! He didn't go to that. He draws the line at spending any part of a weekend with his workmates.

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