Build with Intention, Not Chance
Funneling ideas through a single lens not only limits vision, it blinds. And an inability to clearly see around you is a career killer.
Think about your industry and your profession. Where are the hubs? Where is business booming? Where is the decline? Who are the players creating impact? Now answer this: What role do you play?
Whether you’re launching your career or nearing that golden pen, staying abreast of your profession and your market – both domestically and internationally – is critical to keeping your career escalator greased and bump-free.
Commit to increasing not only your global knowledge base but your active participation in the world and the markets around you. It’s easier than you might think.
Hello, My Name Is…
Every major industry and profession has associations dedicated to it. This applies to country-specific business associations or international chamber groups as well. Research the associations in your geographic area and your functional specialty that address the markets and businesses you’re most interested in pursuing.
Join them. Read their publications. Attend their networking events. Participate and build your network. Take the risk and the reward can ensue. Associations are a great way to network and gain exposure to people who are active in the industries and markets that interest you.
So, go ahead. Slap on that nametag – grab a wingman to go with you if you need – but head out the door and join in.
Step Up on the Job
If you’re working in a company that is active in international business or projects, your foot is already in the door. While many project teams are focused on accomplishing functional tasks, there is still tremendous benefit to participation in terms of collaboration, experience and relationship-building. You never know what you just might learn.
Look for opportunities within your current position or corporate structure to get involved. Think about the skills and insight you might offer internal teams and step up. Be honest and unabashed about your interests and your goals. It’s your career. No one else can build it for you.
Expose Yourself (No, not like that!)
If you have never traveled outside of the US, consider making it a goal. International travel remains an incredible hands-on way to experience culture and social norms. There really is no substitute.
Likewise, if you’re interested in another language, invest in yourself. Learning a new language is both empowering and eye-opening. It enables you to experience the world from a different view, and it increases your net worth of skills. Download some lessons and practice on your way to and from work. You – and your goals – are worth the time.
If nothing else, get your passport. You want to be ready to go when opportunity comes knocking.
From education to exposure, increasing your global business skills requires taking an active role in your career. I’d like to hear what steps you have taken to increase your international opportunities