Kickstarting Your International Career in the New Year

Looking to branch out and really take your career to the next level? As 2018 fast approaches, there is no better time to tackle this resolution. Here’s how to expand your business or personal career abroad this coming year.

Building an international career is a dream of many people. Expanding your career abroad may seem daunting at first, but you have to have a plan in place in order to cultivate the contacts you need and bridge the cultural gap, points out Forbes.

  1. Get Focused: First on the list is to have a plan and narrow down your focus. January 1 is a great time to do this – not just this year but every year. Flesh out your career goals and come up with a plan, and start putting more energy into building business relationships. Because expanding your career internationally will rely heavily on who you know, this is an ideal way to form and maintain connections more readily. Think about what your dream job entails and what it will take to get there. Once you have a vision, put it in writing. Refer to it often.
  2. Build Contacts: Tell everyone you know in your current business or industry what you’re planning to do. Reach out to anyone who can help you. Use social media to connect with people who can make things happen for you as you make the transition. Browse your LinkedIn connections with direct experience in your desired country. Start following people in your field on Twitter and strike up a dialogue.
  3. Tap into Online Resources: The American Chambers of Commerce International Affairs division has many resources that can help you direct your search.
  4. Have Patience. Don’t assume you’re going to see fabulous success right off. It takes time to build connections, foster trust in clients, prove your worth in your industry, learn the culture and most importantly, master the local language.
  5. Have Fun. Expanding your career abroad may mean you are splitting your time between the United States and, say, China. This grueling travel schedule will burn you out quickly if you’re not having fun at the same time. Take the information you’re learning in your language classes and go out into the community. Take the time to get to know people, both in your area of business and outside it. Having a career you love is about much more than making money. That feeling like you’re connecting with others and truly making a difference in the world will bring you far.
  6. Learn the Local Language and Customs: Achieving success in business abroad is predicated on having a solid grasp of the language and culture. Without that, you won’t get very far. Instead of taking years in a traditional classroom setting, try a more effective approach with BRIC Language Systems. This is an online language learning system that gives career-minded people like you the tools they need to succeed in a globally competitive age.