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How international experience can benefit your career

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18 January 2015
How international experience can benefit your career
Have you ever wanted to work in the UK? Or move across the Tasman? As part of PageGroup’s Global Opportunities team, I see the benefits of an international career first-hand.
Working in another country forces you to step outside your comfort zone, which opens up opportunities to develop new skills and have new experiences.
 
From the employer’s perspective, our clients are looking for professionals who have been exposed to more advanced processes and structures in more developed overseas markets. A good example of this is Australian companies seeking digital and e-commerce specialists, from more established markets like the UK. Because the local market is younger, digital professionals who have spent their entire career based in Australia may lack the experience of their overseas counterparts. It’s a similar story for FMCG candidates who have worked in the big multinationals in the UK and Europe – their experience is looked upon very favourably in the Australian market.
 
Another instance where companies will put a call out for overseas professionals is to fill skills shortages. In New Zealand, for example, candidates with experience in property and construction, oil and gas and technology are currently in high demand as there isn’t enough local talent to fill available roles.
 
Right now, New Zealand is a popular location for skilled foreign workers due to the strength of its economy and the entrance of many international firms. According to Statistics New Zealand, migrant arrivals have reached a new high of  103,900 – a 15% increase on last year. We are also seeing more overseas professionals choosing New Zealand over Australia due to Australia’s more subdued economic climate.
 

Working in another country forces you to step outside your comfort zone, which opens up opportunities to develop new skills and have new experiences.

 
That said Australia remains a desirable destination, especially for professionals from the UK. Recent proposed reforms to the 457 Visa will make it easier for overseas workers to obtain sponsorship, without undergoing labour market testing. The Australian Department of Immigration is forecasting a net migration gain of 246,300 – a 4.5% increase on the Australian Bureau of Statistics estimate.
 
With some global markets being challenged at the moment, there is no shortage of roles for good international candidates. In fact, the Global Opportunities team has so far placed 10% more professionals this year than at the same time last year.
 
With that in mind, it’s worth considering the skills to be gained from international work experience.
 

Improve communication skills

Working with people from other backgrounds exposes you to different working styles, forcing you to develop stronger communication skills and confidence as you progress your career. In multinational companies, for example, teams are usually made up of professionals from various parts of the world, giving you the chance to develop cross-cultural communication skills.
 

Build a global network

Accepting a role in another country will help you to establish a network of valuable contacts. This will help you stay abreast of the latest developments in your field as you progress your career, especially if your overseas role is in a more developed market.
 

Find fresh ideas

Working in a new country will force you to be more resourceful and independent than you need to be in your home country, opening up new creative channels and ideas.
 

Gain a competitive edge

Overseas experience on your CV will make you more competitive when you return home. A global perspective is highly regarded by employers, which will open you up to excellent opportunities into the future.
 

Do something different

The lifestyle factors of working overseas are not to be underestimated. You’ll get the chance to see new places and make new friends. When you’re forced to network, you might find yourself taking up new hobbies and sports. Plus, we actually see a lot of our candidates meeting their partners in their adopted country!
 

Global opportunities

ABOUT OUR GLOBAL OPPORTUNITIES TEAM

PageGroup’s Global Opportunities team places hundreds of qualified professionals in roles across the UK, Australia and New Zealand each year and are one of the very few dedicated global recruitment teams in our region. The Global Opportunities team works closely with the Michael Page and Page Personnel teams in order to identify industry needs and market trends, and to assist high-quality candidates with their international career search. The team sources 1,000 active global candidates across the region each year.
 
Find out more about how the Global Opportunities team can help with your next career move.
 
 
Summary: 

International experience can have huge benefits for your career, including:

  • Improving your communication skills
  • Building a global network
  • Helping you find fresh ideas
  • Gain a competitive edge
  • Chance to do something different