Fast-track Your Career Success by Going Abroad

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"Today's students and young professionals must be willing to go global, not only get to the top, but to compete successfully in the international marketplace." -Stacie Nevdomski Berdan, marketing communications expert, author and speaker
Stacie Nevadomski Berdan started her career with Burson-Marsteller in Washington D.C., where she later transferred on to work in Hong Kong and throughout Asia. After realizing the direct relationship between working abroad and fast-track career success, Stacie co-authored Get Ahead by Going Abroad: A Woman's Guide to Fast-track Career Success with C. Perry Yeatman. Find out more at GetAheadbyGoingAbroad.com. Show Notes How can working abroad fast-track your career? 83% of women surveyed for the book agreed that their experience working abroad was key for their rapid career advancement. Here's why:
  • It differentiates you—you become an internationalist.
  • It offers opportunities that are not always available in your home market:
    • Smaller markets offer access to high level business contacts
    • It gives you the opportunity to take on general and line management jobs earlier in your career.
    • It offers you high visibility—people take notice that you are succeeding in a different environment
How can students prepare for opportunities like this?
  • Study abroad if you can. With U.S. currency as it is versus the strong currency in Europe, you may consider looking at other markets like Latin America, South Africa and Asia.
  • Do your research on companies and industries that offer more opportunities—those expanding or more global in nature.
  • Take an interest in language and culture—language will continue to be an important part of integration. If you don't already have the language skills, try an online course like Praxis Language (This shouldn't be a deal breaker, it just makes it a lot easier).
How can young people find these international opportunities? Finding a company with an international presence is a great way to go, but it may take a few years to get the skills and tools under your belt in order for the company to transfer you. Landing an international assignment is the most difficult part about the entire process itself.
  • You must be a top performer. This is a substantial investment for companies, and they don't send mediocre people.
  • Make it work for you and the company. What's so special about you that will help your company in a certain market?
  • Tell as many people as possible about your desire to go overseas.
  • Always be willing to go where the jobs are.
Some young people also find success moving to these countries on their own and looking for work. What are some of the Biggest Challenges About Living and Working Abroad?
  • It can be wearing to be the one who is different at all times—although this can be thrilling as well, and enables you to learn and grow much faster.
  • Learning new regulations and laws to work by—learning new things while unlearning old things while still being expected to perform at the top level.

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