Language Diversity @ Swisscom - getIT

Personal Development

Language Diversity @ Swisscom

As a child I spent my teenager years in boarding school in Montreux, on the beautiful Lake Geneva. These years shaped me in such a way, that since then I knew that upon starting my professional career I would want to live in Switzerland. It is this near perfection, where those aspects in life which matters for me unify themselves. Its amazing surroundings including its many lakes, the Alps, the proximity to bella Italia, France, and Germany make it for me the perfect country to live in.

Moving from Munich to Zürich to join Swisscom was no big deal to start a new chapter 😊 On the contrary! I was extremely excited about living in one of the most liveable cities world-wide. I don’t deny that enthusiasm was slightly impacted, when paying CHF 22.- for bin bags. 😱 Having worked in the Canton Vaud before, and visited Zürich, I more or less knew what to expect. What I did not fully consider, is moving into an attic without seeing the area it is located…. Meaning I ended up in Zürich's most vibrant part of the city, which is great but also the dirtiest, ugliest, and loudest street in Zürich…. Not to speak about all the dodgy faces… In fact, my bike got stolen! Silly me still thought of Switzerland of 15 years ago where you could leave your bike unlocked in from of the shopping malls without it being stolen. Even in Switzerland things can get worse 😜. As you can tell, no time to get bored since I moved to Zürich.

The start at Swisscom was great, upon arrival in Bern I was welcomed by a few colleagues who are based there, and a lovely bunch of flowers. Ironically, it took much longer to set-up my laptop and mobile device then it would with any previous employer 😉 As they say in French: "les cordonniers sont toujours les plus mal chaussés". Overall, the welcome was smooth, and my colleagues very welcoming.

What makes me proud, is when walking around or watching TV to see the Swisscom advertisements as it really creates a sense of identification. Identification and sense of belonging is a major topic at Swisscom given the four official languages in Switzerland. In Zürich, German obviously dominates at the Office, which is totally fine with me since I grew up in Germany. As newcomer, I would have however, expected and hoped for a stronger English component. As former employer of an US company, and an international organization, speaking six languages (French, German, English, Italian, Spanish and Dutch) and holding a Belgian passport I very much welcome Swisscom’s proactiveness moving towards an increasingly more international environment. Furthermore, it is nice to observe, , that employees can express themselves in the language they feel more at ease with, without being judged. This approach is rather inclusive and contributes in part to improved individual performance.

It's been now nearly two months with Swisscom, and like all new start bumps are inevitably, it is how you tackle them that makes the difference… So far, I mastered them, and not the other way around. I am very much looking forward to the August "Get Together" and encounter many more colleagues from the HR community.

For now, Ade, und Uf Wiederluege!

Rani Houyez

Rani Houyez

Future Workforce Manager

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