With more people striving for fewer jobs, many of us are looking for skills or experiences that make us stand out from the rest. However, we often overlook simple things right in front our faces that could give us an advantage.
Do you remember all those interesting articles about China that you read in The Economist? What about the years of Spanish that you took in college but never used? Many universities encourage students to study abroad, but what about working instead? There has never been a better time to get international experience!
There are many good reasons for working overseas, but there are also a few things to be aware of. Check out this list of the five best cities abroad for professional women:
Benefits of Growing Your Experience Abroad
A Different Experience — Shaking up your routine occasionally can be beneficial! You may learn the most about yourself and your capabilities when you step out of your comfort zone.
A Booster for Your Career — Due to the global economy, corporations are more inclined to hire workers who have professional experience in different countries. If you’re looking for a management role, having first-hand knowledge of the country could give you an advantage over other candidates.
Untapped Markets and Opportunities — If you own your own business, you may be surprised by how invaluable your Western education and mindset are in other countries. Often, your skill set will be applied in a very different way, which gives you new opportunities to refine and strengthen those skills.
Things to Be Careful of When Taking an International Business Opportunity
Business Traditions Might Be Different — While this may be glaringly obvious, many business practices in other countries may come across as corrupt. Even deals that are totally kosher might go down a place in KTVs or massage parlors, so do your research ahead of time.
Your Reputation — In order to avoid cultural misunderstandings, it is important for female business professionals traveling to other countries to research and be aware of the customs and norms before attending any meetings or presentations. Depending on the country, some customs that are seen as perfectly normal in America may be considered rude behavior.
Being an Expat Only — Although it would be more comfortable to only associate with English speakers or Americans, the whole point of moving to another country is enjoying new experiences and meeting entirely new people! You never know how helpful other local professionals can be until you start interacting with them. Their unique perspectives and experiences could benefit you in ways you never dreamed of.
The Best International Cities for Professional Women
Shanghai — Women in Shanghai tend to be wealthier than their counterparts in other cities, and they are known for being strong and determined. You can easily find successful women to emulate and look up to as mentors in this rapidly growing city.
Sao Paulo — Not only is there a thriving expat community in the city, but the entrepreneurial scene is also booming. There are several incubators and mentorship programs specifically for women looking to start their own businesses. And despite its reputation as a party town, hard-working women here have a great reputation for finding success.
Bangkok — Women occupy 45 percent of senior management positions in Thailand, the highest proportion in any country. Bangkok is fast becoming the creative and design hub of Southeast Asia.
Singapore — Singapore is known to be one of the most family-friendly cities in the world, and its business laws are easy to follow, which eliminates much of the paperwork and permits that would normally stress out anyone trying to start their own company. As women continue to value education highly, they are also taking on more leadership roles within institutions of higher learning.
Luxembourg — If you work in luxury or research, this is an excellent market to enter. This small city-state takes the top spot for estimated earned income and has one of the most sophisticated consumer markets available.
Stockholm — Sweden is an excellent place for working mothers, as it offers many progressive professional and maternity laws. Additionally, more women are stepping into male-dominated roles such as law enforcement and high-level corporate positions.
Don’t be afraid to make decisions that could change your life, but only after you have done thorough research. Gaining experience abroad is a fantastic way to build your resume and further your career, especially early on. Don’t worry that it will set you back; if anything, it will help you get ahead faster!
If you could work anywhere in the world, where would it be? Share your thoughts with us down below!
Where in the world would Robin Bronk, CEO of the Creative Coalition, like to travel and why?