5 Reasons Why Your Abroad Experience Matters For Employers
It has been a few months after I graduated and started to work as a researcher for a local executive search company. Before I got a job offer, I was in an active search for more than four months.
By active search, I mean visiting career fairs, logging résumé to databases of large international and national companies, tracking job advertisements and contacting everyone through my network.
During those four months of active job hunting, I was able to make some conclusions as well as observations regarding the labor market.
Through lots of Internet searches, as well as speaking with professionals, I was able to put myself in employers’ shoes. Here I will try to explain you the vision those employers have in their minds when searching for the perfect candidate.
We think communication is on its peak of development; nowadays we have lots of means for communication. However, communication is not only about technology or communication devices.
It is important to be clear while communicating and also understand the person you are communicating with. It might sound easy, but it is difficult because of the subordination, cultural differences or personality differences you may encounter when speaking to someone.
One of the biggest problems regarding communication is cultural differences. Abroad experience boosts cross-cultural communication skills, since people who live abroad encounter people with different cultural backgrounds.
Cross-cultural communication skills are important in developing communication skills, in general as well as the emotional intelligence. This skill is especially important if you are going to work in an international or a multinational company where you will communicate with foreign employees on a daily basis.
A smart employer is aware of the importance of right communication within company and therefore prefers to have people with potential of good communication skills.
Knowledge of a foreign language is a huge advantage for any person. It is not only the matter of speaking one more language besides your native one. Learning a new language or speaking another one enhances your cognitive skills and contributes to your intelligence.
People who can speak a few languages definitely have wider outlook and vision. Knowledge of foreign languages endow to their communication skills too. Sometimes it is difficult to find a common ground with a foreigner using commonly used language like English. Explaining an issue to a foreigner in his own native language can be both helpful and handy.
A person living in abroad, even for a short time, not only improves his language skills, but also learns other languages from people he encounters with.
Employers know the fact that a person living abroad is more likely to know more than one language which is important for any business. It doesn’t matter if you work for a local company or in an international one; use of a foreign language will always be helpful while making business deals abroad, visiting conferences or creating partnerships.
It is not only important to have some skills before joining a company or an institution, but it is also important to keep up with the company culture. That is why many people often indicate transferrable skill such adaptability in their resumes which means easily adapting to a new atmosphere or culture.
You cannot succeed in a workplace without adapting to it. No matter if you are an extravert or an introvert, what matters is to find a common ground with your colleagues, and absorb corporate culture.
Only then will it be possible to show the performance you aimed to show when joining the company. Otherwise, you cannot work hard and dedicate yourself to a new workspace without feeling comfortable in it.
People with abroad experience have first-hand awareness of adaptation to a new culture, since being in a foreign country requires acting as a chameleon, if needed.
You should fit into a new culture with a whole different mentality; it requires a lot of effort. Therefore, such an experience might be valuable for your employers, since they look for people who are going to easily grasp the new environment and start to show performance.
Employers are aware of the fact that it takes little effort for people with abroad experience to get used to a new environment.
A good leader is the one who is leading, not the one who is controlling and checking all the time. Therefore, many employers who have desire to be a great leader prefer to hire people who are proactive rather than reactive.
Modern day employers do not want to spend all their time directing people. They prefer employees who would be prudent and who would take the initiative to get everything done.
Luckily, proactivity is something that can be developed over time, especially when living abroad. Since moving abroad requires lots of planning, thoughts and calculations beforehand and after, this might be a great experience of developing thinking ahead and self-directedness skills.
While living abroad, a person always connects with different people. Moreover, every person living in a foreign country joins different clubs, groups or organizations to socialize with people and overcome homesickness.
This is a huge contribution for a person’s network, which can be turned into great business partnership in the future. This kind of relationship can also be used to get introduced to other people, or to get information regarding specific issues.
Employers are aware about the power of networking, and they prefer people with potentially large networks inside the country boundaries, as well as beyond. Moreover, it is more likely that a person with abroad experience has great networking skills.
While time moves forward many things around us changes or shifts. For example, education in an institution has shifted to education at home, need for reactive employees has shifted to need for proactive employees etc.
Modern employees that are sought by employers nowadays differ than the ones they valued in the past. Thinking that we are living in a global world with certain standards that should be followed by everyone, it is quite normal to have such a demand in employees with abroad experience who can supply that demand.
Therefore, there is demand for young professionals with abroad background.
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