International Work Experience
International work experience has great value and benefit in a world where many businesses expand over borders and continents. With so many international boundaries crossed, the experience of working with another language or culture can boost your employability. To any employer, you become an asset for expanding a company’s global reach.
One key benefit of an international placement is a gain of confidence. To work abroad successfully you require confidence and an outgoing personality, in other words you can easily and productively engage with clients. Alongside this, your communication skills vastly improve. Not only do you potentially have to navigate a different language, but also different nuances of culture and business. Actions and phrases can carry different weights to your home country; some can be offensive, others extremely helpful.
The ability to work alongside and be comfortable around different people is perhaps the most valuable part of international work experience. Working with other people is essential for all businesses, whether it’s with colleagues, clients or employees. Some people can be difficult to work with whether because of their personality or their habits. Working in a foreign culture enables you to adapt to other cultures of work and ultimately show future employers that you can work with anyone.
International work experience also demonstrates ambition. Employers can see you’ve stepped outside of your comfort zone, particularly if your work has been voluntary or challenging. Even if your work experience is unrelated to future employment, there will always be transferrable skills that can strengthen your job application. Using specific examples of where you’ve demonstrated communication or problem solving skills in your CV can be extremely helpful to any application.
As much as graduates are keen to gain experience abroad, they will have to moderate their expectations. Many of the available jobs will be found in developing markets, such as China and India, which are least popular with placements abroad. Although many might want to work in America or Australia, the best location for available placements is completely dependent on sector. Infrastructure might mean a placement in Central or South America or the Middle East, while finance could mean Singapore, Tokyo or New York.
Even if you have doubts and fears about working and living in another country, the benefits towards your career can be great. Work experience abroad instills confidence and other key skills such as communication, language proficiency, teamwork and the ability to work alongside other cultures. For an international career it’s an obvious choice.