Tips for Americans Working Internationally Early in Their Career
Adam Kaufman is General Manager at dLife Healthcare Solutions (http://www.dlife.com). In this video he shares some tips for Americans working internationally early in their career.
- Anticipate the potential personal impact
- Be aware of cultural differences
- Be aggressive- go out & make the job
- Plan when & how you’ll come home
- Prepare for reintegrating into the U.S.
So my first job after undergrad was in Mexico. In Northern Mexico for a large actually cement company. Company name Cemex. I had just set up their own internet incubator and I learned you know so probably 5 key things about being a young American working abroad.
First I didn’t anticipate the personal impact. How it would cut me off from my friends from school who all were in the same city working with each other. The impact it would have on my girlfriend at the time and how that relationship didn’t quite make it.
Second I you know wasn’t as culturally sensitive to the way that different places and cultures mix work and play. So you know if you’ve grown up in a place you get a sense of what’s an appropriate amount of you know partying, hanging out and that’s obviously a big part of being a young person. So you know different cultures do it differently. Is it okay to drink with your boss or not. Do you hand out on the weekends or not. Do they expect that and so you know learning that and being sensitive to that I think will be important.
Third you may show up if you’re hired you know moving abroad and you get hired without really a job to do. You’re going to have to go make that job because they’re not quite sure what to do with you. You don’t have the skill set you’re not from a background that they can fit exactly and what you’re going to do. You need to go out and make that job.
Fourth and probably the biggest decision you’ll face is when you leave when do you come home? You know there are plenty of Americans who went abroad and have never come home. Plenty who come home too early and it’s really a tough decision you know. How far can you take that particular job as part of your career? What does it mean to come back? How does that experience fit and so something you need to think about.
And then lastly once you come back to the US you’re going to have to worry about reintegrating in you know. Remembering the skills you had but again that cultural stuff is different. Is it appropriate to party? Is it appropriate to hang out? How does those job expectations. So in summary you probably want to think from what is life going to be like personally to what is the social aspect of the job to how do you go make this a job that’s relevant for you to then when do you leave and come back. And it all has to fit together but I think it’s a great experience and would recommend it to anyone who’s up for the adventure.