The Service Sector in Poland is Developing: a Chance for Young People
The numerical data that are presented in the latest ABSL report confirm Poland’s great attractiveness as a country where the modern service sector is developing. In the group of the countries of Central and Eastern Europe there is no better place to open a service centre when it comes to employee potential and office spaces. In 2004 the number of such centres in the country was 96, and today – already over 400. In 2012 in Cracow alone as many as 11 such centres were set up and the city was put on the list on 10 most attractive places for business services outsourcing (ranking Tholonos Top Outsourcing Destinations 2013).
Among employees of the corporations are young foreigners who wish to gain professional experience in Poland.
Erasmus – a good start
The development of corporations and inflow of foreign capital mean that for many graduates the first job involves the necessity to function in an international environment. What used to strike fear into people’s hearts, is no longer an obstacle today and all that because of programmes for students, such as the Erasmus programme. That kind of mobility is often the first international experience, paying off at later stages of professional careers. Such skills as: flexibility, team work or communicative skills are required in each company and an Erasmus mobility develops these to perfection. It is generally thought that studying abroad is one big party, however, reality is different – that kind of experience teaches good organisation and independence and it is also a lesson of self-confidence and tolerance. Meeting other cultures in the professional environment familiarises with different working styles and requires permanent communication in a foreign language and the fear of speaking is probably the Poles’ biggest problem. I have also observed that Erasmus participants are braver and not afraid of asking questions.
The world favours the open-minded
Over 15,000 students carried out Erasmus mobilities in the academic year 2011/2012 – over a thousand more than the previous year and it is worth stressing that the increase in the number of persons interested in such mobilities has remained stable for some years. That’s no wonder – this is an opportunity to change their environment, check their linguistic skills and get to know other cultures. Also foreign students come to Poland more and more frequently. The necessity to move to another town used to be daunting for many people, but today’s labour market for young persons is not confined to their native country. The language barrier is disappearing: according to the ABSL report over 90% of graduates admit being able to speak English, 40% - German, Russian and French – 10% each. Additionally, the number of persons interested in learning less popular languages, such as Thai, Vietnamese or Arab, is growing and that kind of skill may be quite a bargaining card when applying for a job. The development of service centres in Poland is also a chance for the return of those who once left our country.
The corporation – where different cultures meet
Corporations based in Poland employ about 250 persons on average, but there are also those which employ over 1000 people. Working in an international environment is a development opportunity. Training sessions, possibility of promotion or going to another country – these opportunities motivate those applying for positions in service centres. The decision to start working for a corporation is also a challenge linked to meeting representatives of other cultures, as your supervisor or colleague sitting at the desk next to yours may be a foreigner. Is the corporation a place of work suitable for all? Surveys say that such an environment is the best place for young people and the Cracow branch of a Swiss company, UBS, where the average age is 28 years, is the best example. The Cracow team is composed of people called “generation Y” who are ready to face challenges: tolerant, living in the global village, setting themselves ambitious career objectives. The development of service centres in Poland is also a chance for the return of those who once left our country. New work places, complying with West-European standards, may motivate people to end their stay abroad.
A tolerant country? Poland
Poland is successfully fighting its backwater stereotype and reports and analyses show it as a modern and dynamically developing country worth of including in your career plans. The Portuguese, Indian, English or German – foreigners are seen in the streets of Polish towns every day and Cracow is the best example thereof. Foreign employees are enticed not only by tourist attractions, but above all by an opportunity to perform ambitious tasks and to meet career objectives.
The author represents the USB Poland Service Centre company
Source: Gazeta Finansowa
30.08.13, issue: 35, page 26