German mindset: Long-term Orientation

In my opinion, long-term orientation is very deeply embedded in the German mentality. As soon as you internalized this conception, you'd feel very confident and comfortable in Germany. In all areas.

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It is not uncommon for immigrants to experience a so-called culture shock when it turns out that people in Germany have very different perceptions and ways of dealing with "ordinary" things, let's say with a conception of Time.

For example, if you have to go to an authority or to a doctor, it is often the case that you have to make an appointment weeks or even months in advance. (There are of course exceptions, such as an immediate doctor's appointment for acute pain).

But in most cases, you cannot terminate your contract with a gym or landlord at short notice, just so. Because short-term changes would mean stress, effort and hectic. Germans don't like all that. The landlord also wants his stability. He needs time to carefully select a new tenant from several candidates. That's why Germany operates a notice period(so called K├╝ndigungsfrist). Usually it is three months.

Since the whole of German society participates in this game with the long-term orientation you can benefit from this too. How can you play this game? What are your advantages? What are the rules?

So, if you have a doctor's appointment in three months, you don't need to call in between and ask if your appointment still exists. Instead, you simply come to the appointment and can be assured that the time is indeed reserved for you. The same applies to your home and work. Just as you can't quit overnight, you can be sure that you will be notified months in advance if your work or living relationship should end. So you cannot be kicked off work or out of your home suddenly overnight.

How can I benefit from the long-term mentality

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2019 Jaroslav Plotnikov ( All articles )

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