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What Are the Best Tips for International Career Development?

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  • Written By: Laura M. Sands
  • Edited By: Heather Bailey
  • Last Modified Date: 12 November 2016
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The best tips for international career development include interning overseas, studying abroad whenever possible, setting strong career goals as early as possible and learning proper etiquette for conducting international business. When planning international careers it is also important for individuals to have a broad knowledge of world history, as well as maintain a keen awareness of current social and political events taking place around the world. Foreign exchange work programs are often an integral part of international career development and should be utilized by individuals targeting a career in another country.

International career development planning often begins in college. For some people, such goals are set while still completing a secondary education. One of the best ways to begin preparing for an international career is by participating in foreign internship or volunteer opportunities. By volunteering or interning in another country, strong networks are often built, as well as professional foreign experience. Doing so also offers future workers the opportunity to learn about working among different cultures and in different labor sectors before deciding to work in a foreign career on a full-time regular basis.

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Setting international career development goals early may also give individuals the opportunity to participate in programs that allow them to study abroad. Foreign exchange programs are often offered at the high school and university level, and can give students valuable insight on living in a foreign country while meeting specific goals. For non-students, foreign exchange work programs also exist where workers are traded among different countries participating in the program. Building strong relationships with native citizens and other students is often one of the most fruitful tips for international career development, as many people are able to create supportive relationships and future professional networks useful in international business for years to come.

Learning multicultural business etiquette is a very important aspect of international career development. Without adhering to basic business and social etiquette in other countries, it is easy for miscommunications to occur and cause irreparable damage to foreign relations. When developing an international career, local customs and traditions of the country one will be working in should be closely studied before deciding to relocate.

In addition to training for a specific career and preparing to live in a foreign country, a broad knowledge of current international events and history is also important for international career development. For reasons of safety and fostering peace, foreign workers should always be aware of and sensitive to current social and political tensions, as well as a country’s history. Doing so is not only respectful of fellow workers and native citizens, but can also provide important cues for how to safely adapt to a foreign environment.

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