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Starting your career far from home

Even if jobs far away from company headquarters may have downsides for the career of experienced executives, young people at the beginning of their working life should consider an overseas stint. Antoine Tirard is a talent management advisor and the founder of NexTalent and Claire Lyell, founder of Culture Pearl, explain why. Both have an MBA from Insead.


Picture: anyaberkut / fotolia

Tirard and Lyell interviewed successful professionals, each at a different stage of his or her career. Their diverse life stories show that overseas experience provides irreplaceable career and personal enrichment that, contrary to xenophobic political rhetoric, ultimately works to everyone’s benefit.

They see that the more exposure a young person has to travel, difference, risk and challenge, the more likely he or she is to seek more adventure in his or her professional life. Expatriation is one of the simplest ways to acquire all of these and more, and our subjects took to it with varying degrees of motivation and success. “Those seeking not just career success, but also a great, engaging and satisfying life, should seriously consider getting 'far away' early on in their careers.”

Here is their advice for first time expatriates:

Start early. Travel, explore the world, look for internships or summer jobs abroad.

Study internationally. Find a university with an exchange programme, take international courses.

Learn the language. Pick up the local lingo as much as you can.

Be open. Challenge your assumptions, get out of your comfort zone.

Immerse yourself in the local culture. Find local friends, go out, socialise.

Navigate the emotional roller-coaster. Most expats go from enthusiasm to culture shock to adaption.

Seek support. Ask your company for a cross-cultural training, find a mentor. 

Find full report here:
Starting Your Career Far from Home


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