Work Abroad to Advance Your Finance Career at Home

For many of us the thought of working abroad fills us with trepidation. We ask ourselves if our future career will be negatively impacted, or if the skills we gain working abroad will transfer successfully to our home country. The reality is that there are a number of advantages to be gained working abroad, regardless of whether it is our first step in creating a viable financial career, or a step that our present company requires of us.

The reality is that there are a number of advantages to be gained working abroad, regardless of whether it is our first step in creating a viable financial career…

Develops Cross-Cultural Competence – There is no doubt that globalization has reshaped the flow of information, goods and services throughout the world. Working abroad can foster the cross- cultural competence that many Canadian companies are looking for as they seek to expand their overseas or even domestic operations. A prospective employee, who shows that he/she can live in another country, while advancing the company’s objectives, is a valuable asset indeed. In addition, companies who are not Canadian, but want to establish themselves in Canada, value someone who has a multi-cultural perspective. Taking a job with a company that is located in another country, but has global brand awareness, can also position you for success back home. It may help you build your global network and potentially aid you in making the transition back to Canada when you are ready. Regardless of your motivation for working abroad, the reality is that most major industries in Canada now consider cross-cultural competence a significant asset.

In addition, companies who are not Canadian, but want to establish themselves in Canada, value someone who has a multi-cultural perspective.

Builds Confidence – Nothing builds confidence like coping with the challenges of living in a new country and being successful. This type of confidence is unique in that it comes from pushing yourself, testing your limits and emerging a stronger, more capable person. In an interview, it is this confidence that makes the hiring agent believe that you can handle whatever is thrown at you and that your ability to deliver on goals, regardless of circumstances, is not in doubt.

This type of confidence is unique in that it comes from pushing yourself, testing your limits and emerging a stronger, more capable person.

Demonstrates versatility, entrepreneurship, independence and resourcefulness –How resourceful are you? In order to live abroad you must have a flexible and resourceful personality. Businesses today want individuals who are versatile, and able to transition seamlessly between one demand and the next. Working abroad fosters an entrepreneurial mindset, where calculated risks are taken and adaptability is the name of the game. These skills are prized in today’s fast moving organizations. If you do work abroad, take the time to embrace the culture, get to know the people and accept that things will not always go the way you expect them to. The food, culture and way of life will be different. It takes a truly resourceful person to excel in another country and companies value resourcefulness.

Working abroad fosters an entrepreneurial mindset, where calculated risks are taken and adaptability is the name of the game.

If you are considering working abroad, research where the real opportunities are. In finance, perhaps more than in any other professional sector, there can be a strong ‘disconnect’ between where people would like to live abroad, and where the opportunities are. Ask yourself what your goals are in seeking a position in another country. Is it for the experience, or to position yourself for advancement? What opportunities does your current organization offer for you to work in another country? Are you doing it for the adventure and challenge of ‘making it work’ overseas? Perhaps you want exposure to a world-class brand. Regardless of your motivation, rest assured that in today’s global marketplace, a resourceful, confident person, with cross-cultural competence, is a highly desirable employee for any company.