Interculturally Competent and Considering a Global Business Career? ?
• What global business etiquette do you need?
• Do you have the SKE’s (skills, knowledge and experience) to compete globally?
One of the biggest trends in the 21rst century business landscape is the need for more global business executives. Increasingly, the boundaries between countries, cultures and business units are disappearing. Many business professionals choose to learn a second language and engage in international business and trade. Although many international MBA programs prepare students for business, they should also emphasize the cultural components for a successful Global Executive and successful expat assignments. The failure rate for global assignments is exponentially higher, than for national assignments.
Many, business professionals dream of working in glamorous, international destinations – but are not sure how to even begin to qualify for global jobs. A licensed career counselor, who specializes in global careers can help you create a “global career action plan.” Before you even begin considering which countries and companies and jobs to target – consider this. You may need industry specific psychometric testing, aptitude testing, career focus testing, and also assessments of your preferred “cultural style of conducting business.” Choosing a country as a global destination should be a well researched and well reasoned choice – not every country will be a match for you. I highly recomend informal or formal testing to determine your work style and business psychology style and the range of countries which you would be most suited for. See my post on “Random Expat Country Selection.”
Often, problems with expat assignments are not about an executives' experience or intelligence. Instead, most difficulties are due to intangible, cross-cultural misunderstandings. Thus, the choice of an expat assignment should not be taken lightly. It should be closely researched and matched with the SKE’s of a particular candidate. Remember, that a global employer will typically have to pay 3 times as much to import a worker as to hire a local worker. In many socialized countries, the employer will need to formally post the position through local channels and gather evidence that there aren’t any locals to fill the position. Only then, can they qualify to apply for an international worker. You will need to have some very, unique skills or some fabulous business contacts to even pass this first hurdle. Once selected, employers are very concerned that an Expat or ‘imported worker’ will not be able to withstand the rigors of a foreign assignment and foreign culture. In these risk-averse times, employers will look at your previous global experience and track record. Successful global experience is the best predictor of good adaptation and quick adjustment to new global assignments. Are you a good risk? How can you begin to build your global portfolio?
Once you are on the job, consider the cultural implications and cultural mores of doing business on a global scale. Learn how to navigate a new country, culture and business environment in an inter-culturally-sensitive way. This is an essential global, career skill. What we, as North Americans assume are standard business norms, are in fact culture-bound constructs. See my post on “Stages of Identity Development.
Working abroad will not be business as usual. It will instead contain an exciting, often bewildering and steep learning curve. Added to the complexity is any given individuals degree of acculturation. Some global professionals may in fact be bi-cultural, speak several languages and have more fluid business styles. I am someone who has lived, worked and studied in various global locations and am multi-lingual. The initial adjustment to a new global location can be very challenging, but for me – it has been ultimately rewarding.
More related readings
Take your MBA Global: Tips for International Executives.
Impact Of The Economic Stimulus Package On International Job Seekers And H1B Applicants
American Brain Drain = Global Gain: International MBA Students In The USA
The American Job Search and Cultural Roadblocks: Don’t Get Derailed!
Author: © 2010 - All Rights Reserved - Sharon B. Cohen, MA, Counseling Psychology,CPRP.
Licensed Counselor. Career Counselor and Career Transition Specialist.
"Virtual Career Counseling: helping business professionals, reach their career potential!"
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