Who does not know tune from the famous Disney ride?
The song was playing in the back of my mind when last week I was talking to a group of bachelor students on the importance of international experience. To my surprise, only 3 out of a group of 50 were interested in an international student exchange program. It goes without saying that I have spent the following hour delivering a passionate plea to broaden their horizons and see the world.
But is international exposure really such an asset in today’s job market?
Over the last 10 years, technology has changed the world dramatically. Doing business on an international level in the nineties carried a high cost, financially but also on a personal level, whereas now you can talk to the world from your office within the blink of an eye.
New business challenges arose following the economical crisis. Companies needed to reorganize and reinvent their business in order to survive.
Following these changes, people were forced to be more agile and more resilient but they also needed to develop new capabilities.
Gaining international experience helps you to build those capabilities that are highly valued by employers:
- · Flexibility and adaptability to adjust to a new situation, to handle and manage change
- · An open mindset to accept differences within a team and to see them as an opportunity but also to seize the opportunity when problems arise
- · Creativity and resourcefulness to find solutions to problems that you have never encountered before
- · Cultural sensitivity enabling you to deal with people with a different background, ethnic origin or religion
Overall, international exposure will give you tools to survive and be successful in an ever-changing business environment. It will allow you to see things in a broader perspective and continuously challenge your own mindset.
Does this mean that we all have to pack up and relocate? Not at all, you can gain international experience and exposure in different ways: through working on international projects, through accepting job opportunities with a multi-country scope but also by having a multicultural circle of friends and by travelling the world.
So go out and look for ways to broaden your horizon because … it is a small world after all.
Through a personalized and tailor-made approach, Ingenium Executive Search aspires to assist you in attracting the right talent that matches the DNA of your company
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