August 3, 2018

"Leave Days" for Americans in 2019

U.S. Holiday Planner 2019
If you work on an international software team or on an offshore development team with American colleagues or clients, this post will act as a helpful guide to "off days" in many American offices. 

While this calendar is helpful, and will link to information about the holidays (how and why it's celebrated, greetings, and small talk topics), it's always helpful to request a holiday list from your counterparts as not all companies will observe all holidays listed here, they may have floating holidays, or regional holidays that may not be listed here. 

Days Off in 2019

When is .....  January 2019?
1 - New Year’s Day
15 Martin Luther King Jr.’s Birthday 

When is .....  February 2019?
Groundhog’s Day
4 - First Sunday- Superbowl (American Football Championship)
14 – Valentine’s Day
19 - President's Day (Third Monday) / Mid-winter break

When is ..... March 2019
All Month - March Madness
5 - Mardi Gras (New Orleans)
10 - Start of Daylight Saving Time  (Second Sunday of March) 
14  – Palm Sunday 
17 – St. Patrick’s Day Observation
19 - Good Friday
19 - Patriots' Day (Maine, Massachusetts, Wisconsin) * May be a floating Monday holiday
20-21 - Purim 
31 - Cesar Chavez Day (Observed in varying degrees in 10 states, see here.)

When is .....  April 2019
1 - April Fool’s Day
15 – Tax Day USA 
21 - Easter
19-27 - Passover
22 – Earth Day

When is .....  May 2019
1 - May Day
1-2 - Yom HaShoah
5 - Cinco De Mayo
12 – Mother’s Day (second Monday)
27 – Memorial Day  (last Monday in May)
May mid to June end- school ends USA

When is .....  June 2019?
Throughout June - Graduation Season USA - Dads & Grads
14 - Flag Day
16 – Father’s Day (3rd Sunday) (What is dads and grads season?)

When is ..... July 2019
4 - Independence Day (USA):  Greetings | Dress Code |  Going to the Park
July mid- September - "Back to School Season" School starts USA  
24 - Pioneer Day (Utah only)  

When is .....  August 2019
10-11 - Tisha B'Av

When is .....  September 2019?
2 Labor Day (USA) (First Monday)
11 – Patriot Day (USA
29 - Oct 1- Rosh Hashanah

When is .....  October 2019
8-9 - Yom Kippur
4-11 - Sukkot

– Columbus Day (2nd Monday)
31 – Halloween    Small Talk Tips

When is .....  November 2019?
1st Sunday 2am, (3rd Nov) End of Daylight Saving Time 
1st Tuesday after the 1st Monday, US Election Day
8 – Veterans Day
28 – Thanksgiving (USA)  (4th Thursday) 
29 Black Friday (Always the day after Thanksgiving, or the 4th Friday) 
29 - Family Day (Always the day after Thanksgiving, or the 4th Friday)

When is .....  December 2019?
22-30 - Chanukah/Hanukkah  
24 – Christmas Eve
25 – Christmas Day
26 – Jan 1 – Kwanzaa
29 – New Year’s Eve

Thank you for spending your time on the Authentic Journeys blog.

Authentic Journeys provides cross-cultural business consulting and training for your cross-border software teams. Contact us to get started today!

July 5, 2018

6 Easy Steps to Add Authentic Journeys Training to LinkedIn Profile

Display your professional development on LinkedIn.
Are you one of the almost 4,000 professionals who have attended a workshop, training program or coaching session through Authentic Journeys? 

If yes, do you want to display this on your LinkedIn profile? 

It is simple and easy in 6 steps. You can also add your certificate to your profile. If you did not get a certificate or do not have a digital certificate, contact us, we can send one to you! 

6 easy steps (with images) to Spruce Up Your LinkedIn Profile: 

Step 1: 
On your LinkedIn profile, go to the Education section > Click the plus sign to the right of the header to add something.

Display your cross cultural training on LinkedIn.

Step 2: 
Type in School Name as “Authentic Journeys” (Infopark should also display in small letters below it.)

Step 3 : 
In the “Field of Study” field, type in the name of your program. (ie. Business Etiquette in the U.S.. The title will be on your certificate. If you do not have a certificate, feel free to ask us.)

Display your career building classes on LinkedIn.

Step 4: 
Enter Year (optional)

Step 5: 
Course Description. This is optional. We will provide it to you OR if you don’t have it, get in touch with us to get a course description.

Display your corporate training certificates on LinkedIn.

Step 6: Media. Add your certificate PDF here.

Display your corporate training certificates on LinkedIn.

Feel free to follow our School Page on LinkedIn for updates and to see alumni.  

Authentic Journeys is a corporate training firm focusing on providing culture awareness training to those working between cultures with focus on India and the U.S. We have provided India Cultural Training and American Business Offshore Training Programs to over 4,000 professionals such as you since 2009.

**Note the image of a certificate shown is not of an actual learner. This is to protect the confidentiality of learners. Feel free to visit the LinkedIn School Page to see interested professional connections.

June 28, 2018

American Sports: What is Baseball?

The "Louieville Slugger" - Baseball in the US
As the weather in the United States warms in late May, baseball becomes a popular topic of conversation.  Summer and baseball are a perfect marriage.  So, if you are soon to engage an American in conversation, a timely subject would be baseball and the World Series. 

1. What is the World Series?

The World Series is the annual championship for Major League Baseball.  The winner of the World Series championship is determined through a best-of-seven playoff and the winning team is awarded the Commissioner's Trophy.

2.  When is the World Series? 
October of each year. 

3.  Why is it called the World Series? 

June 25, 2018

Use Active Voice For Crisp, Persuasive Business Communication

Uses of Passive Voice
Do you attend daily status report calls or stand up meetings? If you have to report a daily status to an American colleague or counterpart, this post will help you to communicate with more clarity, crispness and confidence to an American ear. 

The first part of the post will dissect and reconstruct common types of sentences or status updates, while the second part of the posts shares a video tutorial on uses for passive voice (image, to the right is a still from the video).

Are you guilty of saying any of the following kinds of statements:
  • Reporting what you have done: "The coding was done by me." 
  • Reporting what the team has done: "The bug fix was completed by the team." 
  • Reporting something that one person has done: "Yes, that was completed." 
  • Reporting something that will be done: "That task will be completed soon." 
While all of these kinds of statements have slightly different problems, mentioned below, the common problem they all share is passive voice. When we speak in an passive voice, it sounds a little weak and, often, wishy-washy (vague). Because of this, there may be a lot of follow up questions that could be avoided if we spoke in an active voice, and got to the point to begin with! 

Let's quickly review each of the type of statements above to get from passive voice to active voice in a business environment. 

June 20, 2018

Things to Avoid in E-mails With U.S. Clients

Dos and Don'ts of Emailing with US Clients
Last week, I kicked off the series “What NOT to say to American Clients.” In this second part of the series we will focus on mannerisms or language to avoid when it comes to e-mail. 

1. [Over]Use of Punctuation in E-mail 
In the original article, Gops mentions: 
In email communications, use proper punctuation. To explain something, without breaking your flow, use semicolons, hyphens or parenthesis. 

As an example: You have entered a new bug (the popup not showing up) in the defect tracking system; we could not reproduce it - although, a screenshot would help.

Notice that a reference to the actual bug is added in parenthesis so that the sentence flow is not broken. Break a long sentence using such punctuation.

Do not forget to use punctuation. Maybe the lack of punctuation could be an outcome of Mother Tongue Influence (MTI), especially if the mother tongue doesn’t use punctuation, or doesn’t use this kind of complex punctuation. While I don’t necessarily endorse this use of complex punctuation, I do want to remind every one to make sure they are using punctuation at the end of statements or questions. I have corrected many emails that are void of punctuation at the end of a statement, or has the wrong punctuation (the use of a full stop where a question mark should be or a space between the last letter and the punctuation mark). To learn more, read about how to use the full stop or the question mark.

What to do instead: 

Authentic Journeys: Work Effectively With Americans

Do you work with Americans on a global, virtual team? At Authentic Journeys we help you build your context with American business culture when you work with Americans from outside the U.S.A. Follow our blog our get in touch with us for live, in-person online training programs to increase your business acumen with Americans today!