5 Useful Tips to Know Before You Start Working in Brazil
If you’ve just landed a job in Brazil, congratulations! I’d say to get ready for adventure, excitement, and one of the greatest challenges of your life, but chances are you’re ready for all that. Instead, what you need is some real world advice. What should you expect when you arrive at work the first day? Will it really be that much different than what you’re used to back home? Check out these 5 helpful tips to prepare you for the experience:
1) Don’t show up too early.
Yes, you’re eager to start your new position and show your coworkers what a great addition to the team you are. Showing up early to work in Brazil probably isn’t going to make that impression. Every work place is different, but as a whole, it’s safe to say that your coworkers won’t be arriving early. In fact, they may stroll in 20 minutes late and think nothing of it. Play it safe by getting to work just five minutes early. Be careful about getting too comfortable after a few weeks. Even though your coworkers may arrive late, you’ll want to be on time every day to make the right impression.
Both men and women may find that people in the office dress quite differently than what they’re used to. Due to the heat, lightweight fabrics are essentially a necessity. Jackets are popular among both genders, though depending on the formality of the individual work setting, polo shirts are another common alternative. To be safe, go more conservative on day one and take note of how people dress in the office.
3) Greet people appropriately.
Depending on your gender, the way you greet new coworkers may vary. As a general rule, a firm handshake between men is most appropriate. A man who is meeting a woman should follow her lead, initially shaking her hand, but leaning in for a kiss on the cheek if her body language indicates she is expecting it. If you are a woman who is new to the office, shake hands to show your professionalism, but be ready to get some kisses on the cheeks as well, especially from female coworkers.
4) Don’t start talking about work right away.
Socializing is an incredibly important part of Brazilian life, including the work culture. When you meet your coworkers, don’t be surprised if they jump right into personal topics, asking about your spouse, kids, or living situation. Take a cue from them and reciprocate their interest by asking about their families as well. Don’t expect your new coworkers to talk about important business topics right away and try not to get offended if they ask questions that seem invasive. Find a friendly way to defer the question if you feel uncomfortable answering it.
5) Be prepared to speak Portuguese…and English.
Learning Portuguese or brushing up on your existing skills before you move is critical. Whether you already consider yourself a pro or are new to the language, you will benefit immensely from knowing the language at any level. As you develop a new social and business circle in Brazil, don’t be surprised to meet some people who will be eager to practice their English with you as well. Be patient with them and share your knowledge, and you’ll both benefit from the relationship.
If you’re ready to learn more about Portuguese language learning in your area, contact our enquiry centre to get things started. And if you already have some knowledge of the language, why not take our fun and free online test to see just how much you know? Good luck moving to Brazil and making your mark on the local business scene!