Given the highly competitive nature of the British job market, it’s no surprise individuals are doing whatever they can to get ahead of the competition. Whether it’s further education, extra training, unpaid internships or volunteer positions, we’ll do it — as long as it means standing out from the crowd and getting closer to that dream job.
There is another method of gaining valuable experience, however, that many rarely consider. Working abroad offers a variety of unique benefits that can help you put you ahead of the competition, boosting your employability.
Create a Network of Global Contacts
When it comes to employability, it’s all about the people you know. Not only do contacts often offer some of the best and most exciting employment opportunities, but employers may hire you based on — amongst other things — your access to beneficial contacts.
The more widespread your network is then, the better your prospects. By working abroad, you can form international business relationships to combine with your current contacts back home, building a network of global contacts. Perfect for finding new job opportunities and convincing recruiters you’re the person to hire.
Acquire High-Level Experience and Responsibility
In Britain, your qualifications and experience can be about as standout as a loaf of bread in a bakery, yet elsewhere in the world, they may be highly sought after. It is often not your abilities that hold you back in the job market — you are likely very competent at what you do — but everyone else vying for the same roles.
Across the globe, however, the skills and knowledge that you have are likely to be in shorter supply. In countries with up-and-coming industries, expanding economies and limited access highly qualified individuals, you’ll immediately have an edge over competing candidates — even just speaking fluent English can be valuable. The benefits here go beyond simple access to jobs, however.
Being a more valuable resource to international businesses, you are also likely to see faster career progression with greater responsibilities. These responsibilities — and the skills gained from them — are transferable, bolstering your experience and employability back on home turf.
Become a Multinational Candidate
By working in an international city/cities, you pick up on their unique business customs and cultures. In order to be successful — like anywhere else in the world — you must understand how your industry works and how to get things done within it. Whether this is making sales, meeting clients, gaining investment, local market knowledge is a vital part of employment no matter where you are.
Having such knowledge of international markets is a highly valuable and sought after attribute for multinational corporations. A London-based business that also operates in a number of overseas territories is likely to be hungry for candidates that understand the culture and values of their own business, while still having the knowledge and expertise required to successfully operate abroad. You can be that candidate.
Step Out of Your Comfort Zone and Boost Your Confidence
In a recent survey of recruiters, the good people at Forbes set out to discover the most important attributes employers look for when searching hunting for potential employees. The results? High-energy, professionalism and confidence.
By a pretty wide margin, genuine confidence is the hardest attribute on this list to achieve. Recruiters spend their lives looking at people’s faces, they known true confidence when they see it. However, gaining confidence is not easy, it takes more than a Monday morning pep-talk into the bathroom mirror.
Working internationally is the perfect opportunity to gain some genuine confidence and self-belief in your competence and working capabilities. Out of your comfort zone, in an unfamiliar area with different lifestyles and customs, you put yourself in a situation where you must use initiative and self-determination to succeed. Once you have conquered an international juggernaut — such as Beijing, Tokyo, or Warsaw — you’ll be confident you’re up to the task back on home turf.
Heather Darby is the marketing manager at international relocation specialists, Momentous Relocation: experts in global relocation.