Why is international work experience so important?
Working abroad can lead to a lot of great opportunities: travel, language acquisition, immersion in another culture and endless amounts of new food to try. But it can also come with its share of hassles. There are visas to get, living arrangements to make, new cultures and schedules to adapt to, and you never know beforehand how much you’ll like the place you’ve been assigned to.
So, are the personal and career benefits worth it?
We say yes. So does Financial Times writer Janina Conboye. She asked senior staff at a few large international firms how important prior international work experience was for new candidates and their answers were unanimous: candidates who already have international experience under their belts are more adaptable, confident and engaging.
More and more companies are operating seamlessly across borders, and those interviewed argued that potential employees need to be able to do the same. Language skills are also critical, especially given how low the level of second-language fluency is throughout the English-speaking world.
“Companies are operating over so many international boundaries,” a director for a large international search firm told Conboye, “so the more languages and experience with different cultures you can bring to company, the more you can help expand its global reach.”
This is especially true in Spain. While companies out of the US, UK, France and other parts of Europe have been operating on an international level for decades, Spanish companies are still finding their place in the English-speaking market.
What that boils down to, is that the demand for English-speaking employees here, and the potential benefits for your career are both huge.