Why be interested, why do it? Accepting an international assignment (IA) can supercharge your career! Here are a few reasons why…
- Career advancement means competition… you will have a significant edge
- Know more about more — IA’s will round out your capabilities and value
- Become familiar with other languages
- Gain an appreciation and understanding of other cultures
- Interact with the local citizens; make some international friends
- Learn about another history
- Become schooled in the complexity of international business
- Give your “business acumen” a boost
- Vastly expand your network
- Become “worldly”
If you have the slightest interest, make your desire known… the ol’ “squeaky wheel gets the grease”! Also, make sure you have a balanced view, be honest with yourself, do a serious self-assessment … it is outrageously expensive to send a professional out as an expatriate… so there needs to be an overriding benefit to the company. If you decide to pursue an overseas assignment it would be good if you are ready to explain your value-add as part of your request.
Behavioral Competencies are important to any successful international assignment (and domestic as well): Integrity, Ethics, Adaptability, Flexibility, Analytical, Team Player, Judgment, Work Ethic, Humor, Smarts, Continuous Learning, Humility, Care about others, Professional Presence, to name a few. Some others: Vision and Purpose, Intellectual Rigor, Leveraging Resources, Drive for Results, Managerial Courage, Strategic Thinking, Holding Self and Others Accountable, Developing and Motivating Others, Interpersonal Skills. You don’t need them all.
If you would like another culture to accept you, plan on going with your “hat in your hand” Notwithstanding your value add and contribution, always remember you are a visitor. You will be playing in some else’s sandbox. :>)
And, maybe even retire in a foreign country, I have friends that did. I have an overriding influence in my life, or I would have done so as well, long ago.
The following blog post speaks to the value of promotions that also feature relocation… it may not be for everyone but never underestimate the value to your career!
Go ahead, become worldly!
***** S&E *****