Tag Archive for: Career Development

Photo by Brooke Cagle on Unsplash

This June, we celebrate Immigrant Heritage Month, a time when we honor the incredible contributions which immigrants have made to our communities, along with the strength and spirit of those who have sought to forge new paths, helping to bring unique perspectives and diversity to all our lives. Many of us have sought new opportunities ourselves and I wish to acknowledge the incredible perseverance and courage in each of you.

In saying that, there is currently a wave of women business leaders seeking new opportunities overseas, especially given the newfound freedom with remote and hybrid working. Working internationally can be a wonderful experience in your career development and when considering a global career, it is important to dig deeper and understand the reality of what it will mean to your time, energy, your morals and beliefs. All countries have preferences and cultures and it’s important to take these into account, along with understanding what is at the heart of your decision to work globally.

When I’m chatting with my clients about global career opportunities, I often have them reflect on a few questions to get them thinking about the direction they’d like to take and the challenges that can arise, allowing them to better understand the myth vs. reality. As I often share with my clients, a mindset shift often needs to occur as well. For example, instead of following the “career ladder” one shifts to the concept of the “career quilt or career portfolio”.

Photo by Brooke Cagle on Unsplash

Photo by Brooke Cagle on Unsplash

Below are some of the most pertinent questions to get the conversation started:

  • What is compelling to you about working internationally?
  • What do you value? What cultures value what you’re good at? Are your values aligned with the country you aspire to relocate to?
  • Where are you willing to work and where are you not willing to work?
  • What are you accepting when you decide to work globally? What are you willing to give up?
  • How will the new job (or the new culture) affect your work-life balance?
  • Is it more about the career or the lifestyle?
  • What travel is required?
  • What unique skills and experiences do you bring to the table? What’s your unique competitive advantage?
  • What’s the reciprocity of the opportunity? What does the company gain vs. what do you gain?
  • What are the mindset shifts needed to embark on an international career?
  • How do you position yourself to have the best chance of securing a global position?

For those looking to make a location change in their career, it is really important to keep an open mind and get clear on your why. During a recent discussion I organized with global women business leaders, we had a chance to reflect on what came up for them when contemplating a move and global career change.

In diving into the idea of the Why, we discussed the many myths vs. reality. One participant noted that she traveled a lot for work and while it may seem appealing to travel all the time, it can get very tiring and difficult to maintain responsibilities at home.

Additionally, cultural prisms are a factor to consider, especially when considering equality and equity. These cultural preferences can be tough to navigate or easier in some cases. For example, Soumya shared how it was more acceptable to build a business and be a female entrepreneur in the US and for this reason, she moved here 15 years ago. On the other hand, Laila, who currently lives in LA, is looking to move back to London for a better work-life balance. She found that she was seen as a strong American woman in Europe and as a result, she was treated differently and with more equality.

Language, politics and values also play a large part in one’s decision on where to relocate. Elif shared that after being in the US for most of her life, she is ready for a worldview that is less centric to itself. Barbara, who comes from a German/English family, studied in Germany when she was younger and is in a career transition to Europe, where she feels more at home and feels the country fits with her morals and values more.

During our discussion, we dug into detail about what is appealing about working internationally, the experience, cultural prisms, tradeoffs and the mindset shifts needed. Sometimes a location change requires a lateral move or even a backward move, which can end up being a positive thing. Jessie shared that it can also seem easy to return to your home country, so she noted it’s important to ask yourself – why do you leave it in the first place? In the role of a remote world, it doesn’t matter where you are located, so how and why do you choose to work where you do?

We wrapped up the discussion about career changes with thoughts on how to get started in a search, or assignment to another country. For most, the easiest way was via a work assignment with a sponsoring company. Others mentioned starting one’s own company as an option or researching a company that is the right size falls in line with your skills and interests. It’s also important to ensure your skills are transferable. For example, you don’t want to apply for roles where skills are so niche that they could become obsolete, especially if you are looking to make a temporary move and wish to return to your home country. Searches can be done via LinkedIn, where one can look for opportunities according to location. To close the conversation, Loren reminded us all that the global landscape is changing because of remote work and one can have a manager in France, live in Spain, and work with an office in Mexico.

In summary, a global career change can bring about a host of benefits, allowing you to truly get a deeper understanding of yourself and your values. One never knows where these new experiences and connections will take you and so if you’re feeling the urge to explore, I would say there is no time like the present.

Now I would like to hear from you. Have you gone through a global career change? What was your experience like? Or are you anticipating a shift internationally? What seems most interesting to you about this new opportunity?

Make sure to stay tuned for next month’s newsletter, where we’ll continue this conversation, touching upon relocation and having multiple home bases.

To Your Success,

Coaching Practices

Take Action and Put it into Practice

Take a moment to understand what is compelling about working internationally and go beyond the myth vs. the reality by reflecting on the following questions:

Your Values & Cultural Prisms

  • What do you value? What cultures value what you’re good at?
  • What is valued in different cultures?
  • Are your values aligned with the country you aspire to relocate to?

Your Tradeoffs & Mindset Shifts

  • What will you be giving up and sacrificing?
  • Are you willing to make peace and let go of those things?
  • What are the mindset shifts needed to weave in an international component to your career?

Your Experience

  • What unique skills and experiences do you bring to the table? What’s your unique competitive advantage?
  • What’s the reciprocity of the opportunity? What does the company gain vs. what do you gain?

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