Self-Assess for an International Career

Edited by Lor777, Jonathan, Anonymous, estrella sacragon and 1 other

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Values, interests, personality, and skills take on new meanings in different parts of the world. The interest individuals pursue and the personality and skills they develop are very much affected by the culture in each country. For example, some societies emphasize family, hard work, or study as core values which may limit the pursuit of extensive outside interests because little time is left for additional involvement. Other societies are more social and encourage a balance between work and social activity. While individual privacy is the norm in one culture, strong interrelationships and socialization are key in another.

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The important things to think about in your self-assessment of an international career, is to be aware that people in other cultures may have different values, interests, personalities, and skills than we do in the United States. This awareness does not mean you should change to become like your international colleagues, but you do need to understand cultural differences in thinking and self-image in order to more effectively live and work in a different country. The following list provides you with some things to think about.

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Instructions on How to Self-Assess for an International Career

  1. 1
    Realize that what is considered a personal strength in one country may be perceived as a weakness in another country.
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  2. 2
    Important personal qualities to have are flexibility, patience, resourcefulness, and risk taking.
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  3. 3
    You must be comfortable with the unknown or unexpected.
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  4. 4
    You must not be easily offended by abruptness or aloofness.
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  5. 5
    Identify what skills are transferable that you can develop in the workplace in most countries.
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  6. 6
    You should know or be able to learn a new language.
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  7. 7
    Keep in perspective other culture's symbols of success or status.
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  8. 8
    You must deal with the fact that personal life and work are completely separate in most other countries.
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  9. 9
    In many countries, the family is valued as a top priority and the job does not interfere with this.
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  10. 10
    In most other countries, an American education is valued even more than work experience.
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Aggressive behavior can be viewed as a strength or a weakness depending on your cultural perspective. The following comparison of how aggressive behavior is viewed in the United States, the Pacific Rim, and the Middle East and Europe show why it is important to understand different cultural perspectives on behavior when pursuing an international career.

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How to Make Sense of Different Cultural Perspectives on Behavior

  1. 1
    United Status Culture.
    Candidates are encouraged to be aggressive in a job search so that the employer will see the candidate as someone with initiative and a real motivation for the job.
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  2. 2
    Some Pacific Rim Cultures.
    Candidates are discouraged from asking too many questions, because they do not want to embarrass a speaker or teacher who many not know the answer or feel as though the presentation was not well prepared.
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  3. 3
    Some Middle Eastern and European Cultures.
    In certain Middle Eastern and European countries,
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Students are taught to be assertive to get ahead.

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What should you have in your wardrobe in relation to your international career?

  1. 1
    Have available in your closet one or two tailored American suits since these are considered an international wardrobe for social or business functions.
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  2. 2
    Also, as a sign of courtesy, purchase for your closet at least two formal set of clothes native to your host country.
    The bigwigs in the engagements you will attend or will be invited to, will be flattered by your gesture of respect, through the native clothes you are wearing.
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Tips Tricks & Warnings

  • Aggressiveness is valued as a positive trait in the United States.
  • Asking questions to a speaker or teacher, can be offensive in some Pacific Rim cultures.
  • Sometimes during the interviewing process in the United States, several European candidates were identified as arrogant and very aggressive by employers.
  • You need to be aware of the fine balance between aggressiveness and arrogance.

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Article Info

Categories : Job & Work Ethics

Recent edits by: estrella sacragon, Anonymous, Jonathan

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