A short while back in April, I wrote a post about a 23 year old Italian graduate, Too Young, Too Good, who was feeling too young to be so well qualified. Well, I received some feedback about the post the other day.
The comment was that the person I wrote about was too good for Italy. Odd, I thought, I did not remember writing this, at least not in so many words. However, I suppose that by ‘reading between the lines’ such a conclusion could have been reached.
To set the record straight, I don’t think that she is too able for Italy. What I do think, on the other hand, is that Italy is not always too good at recognising its ‘in-house’ talent. This is partly down to the prominence of the ‘it’s not what you know, but who you know’ system which exists here. And it is also down to the fear that certain interviewers here sometimes display when confronted by a candidate who they suspect may be so good as to do said interviewer out of his or her own job.
Of course, I’ve got no proof of this assertion, but for the fact that certain potentially good job candidates don’t seem to manage to get that job. It also appears that non-Italian organisations tend to be more objective when considering individuals for posts than perhaps some Italian enterprises are.
Stop reading, start speaking
Stop translating in your head and start speaking Italian for real with the only audio course that prompt you to speak.
I should add, that the young lady mentioned in my previous post, did in fact manage to find an internship, despite not knowing anyone. She also, possibly, managed to avoid making her interviewer feel too threatened, luckily for her.
Over on my ex-master student Savio’s Orecchiette alla Milanese blog (in Italian), there is a post, Le multinazionali: “Questi italiani bamboccioni poco intraprendenti” about the frustration of multinational companies who find young Italians both lacking in initiative and not having much of a work ethic. A comment on this post has been left by a disillusioned young Italian who, it would appear, has done all the right things, and is just the opposite of the Italian youngsters to whom the post refers, but this individual still cannot find the right job. One Sandro thinks that his problem is quite simply that his family does not know the right people. In Italy, where relationships matter, this can indeed be a snag.
On the assumption that there are not other issues which affect his ability to find a job, such as poor interview technique or bouts of arrogance, my advice to Sandro would be to confine his job hunting efforts to non-Italian companies. Or even to companies outside of Italy.
Strange how a country which loves to boast about its ‘Made in Italy’ brand seems to be reluctant to foster the talents of young people who have been, so to speak, ‘Made in Italy’.
Oh, by the way, Savio is not doing too badly. Indeed, he managed to find a position with Yahoo Italy. Well done Savio! Yahoo obviously realises that there are some pretty darn good people in Italy, and, so far, it has managed to remain free of nepotism and cronyism.