By Meg Wallace, Social Media Manager Passport Career
- Learn the local language
Whether you achieve business fluency or learn how to ask directions to the grocery store, learning the local language will help you win points on all fronts. In business relationships, learning the language is a sign of respect and of your commitment to working with the locals.
- Expand your network
The best way to get your career on track is to strategically network. Use those new language skills to build relationships with coworkers and mentors. Your career will benefit and you never know where your new connections can lead!
- Plan some down time
Every transition, be it across the hall or across the globe, comes with natural stressors. Be sure to plan some down time with friends and family in the coming year to enjoy time with the people most important to you as well as to earn their support and get the most out of your transition.
- Take stock of your strengths
Allocate some time to inventory your transferrable skills, your strengths, and your weaknesses. The start of a new year is a great time to identify how you have excelled and what your goals are going forward.
- Revamp your Resume or CV
No matter where your transitions take you, a well-crafted resume or CV is one of your strongest tools. If you’re a Passport Career member, check out the country-specific resume/CV guidance in the relevant Country Portfolios for specific ways to strengthen your resume or CV!
- Delve into the culture
Similar to learning the language, there are endless benefits to immersing yourself in the local culture. You will expand your perspective, and may be able to approach problems or projects more creatively at work! Check out a vacation spot away from the tourists or celebrate a local holiday. Passport Career lists many of these places in the Making Contacts section of your destination country.
- Engage in country-appropriate etiquette
Business protocol varies from country to country and even from region to region. To really excel in your career, take some time to learn about the business etiquette in your home country as well as your destination country. It’s key to study both so you can make comparisons and avoid a cultural faux pas.
- Invest in yourself and your career
Evaluate your wardrobe and how you present yourself. If your employer did not provide you with business cards, or if you are seeking employment, invest in some locally-printed business cards from a reputable source.
- Keep in touch
Be sure to maintain relationships with friends and coworkers back home. Social media sites such as LinkedIn and Facebook allow you to initiate contact and post updates on your life, but be sure to send a personal email every now and then to stay connected!
- Plan for success!
To set yourself up for success you need to develop realistic goals for your time abroad. If you are a member of Passport Career, be sure to read the Job Search Overview in your destination’s Country Portfolio to get a picture of the local employment situation. Then set your goals accordingly. Spend time in the Strategic Approach section to master the key areas identified in the Business Culture section and apply that knowledge and cultural skills when you network with different groups listed in the Making Contacts section. Each listing of contacts includes guidance on how to network strategically with that type of group. Be realistic with your goals, be positive about the outcome, be strategic with your approach. No returning home with regrets!
Want to know more about how to kickstart your career this year?
Passport Career provides more detailed career information and extensive resources about finding a job, internship, or alternative career opportunities. If your organization, embassy, university/college, library or other institution would like to access to our country portfolios (15,000+ pages of expert content for 75+ countries and 250+ cities) to share with your students, employees, spouses/partners, and others managing a national or international career transition, please email firstname.lastname@example.org regarding a free, live, online demo and details on how to obtain a license to access Passport Career.
GOOD LUCK WITH YOUR TRANSITION!