Fellow co-workers and myself getting the office set up and ready to go
1. Enthusiasm: The workforce is young, energetic and so willing to learn!
2. Patience: Costa Ricans are some of the kindest and happiest people I have ever met. They will do anything and everything make you feel more comfortable.
- This is almost always good, but can be frustrating in a work setting- The need to deliver happy news takes precedence over the need to be forthright with customers, superiors, etc. (I worked as our head of Customer Service. Customers needed timelines they could count on for their already late product. Everyday the answer was that the product was “just about done- ready for shipment tomorrow”- when a straight answer of “2 or 3 more weeks” would have been a lot more helpful for all parties).
3. Language: While Spanish is their main language, English is widely spoken. In San Jose and Heredia there are so many call centers and foreign businesses that Costa Ricans have stepped up to the plate and learned English like the best of them.
4. Learn: from your Costa Rican co-workers- Learn from their lead- You are working in their culture, in their country. You will get more accomplished if you work by their cultural rules, rather than trying to get them to work by yours. Learn about the culture. Learn about the food (Chifrijo, mmm), Learn about the volcanos and places to see. Learn, learn, learn!
5. Enjoyment. Most importantly- Always have fun! Make sure you’re not just working- get out and see the country- two coasts, gorgeous beaches, landscapes and a great history!