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10 secrets to a successful international career

Clarify why you want to work abroad

First of all, you need to clarify whether what is important to you is your career or your lifestyle. If your ideal lifestyle involves working during the day and heading straight from the office to the beach, moving from London to Sydney may be the right fit for you. However, in terms of career advancement, it will be a lateral move and there will not be a very dramatic change.


Flexibility is key when choosing a location

If you're looking to gain international experience to advance your career, you may want to look beyond the obvious places. Joanne Chua (based in Singapore), client development director for Southeast Asia and China at Robert Walters, says, ``It would be a good idea to take an adventure and consider expanding into emerging countries such as Thailand, Vietnam, and the Philippines. The market is not very mature, but there is less competition and a lot of opportunity."

“In emerging markets, you can be part of a small, new team and be involved from the start of the business.Many people are drawn to glamorous locations with vibrant lifestyles, such as Tokyo, Singapore and London. However, in these places, it is necessary to accumulate training for a long time.Therefore, if you are ambitious and want to advance your career and play an active role internationally, it is important to move into territory where you have the possibility of expanding as early as possible in the long term. We need to keep an eye on it.”


Think about what you can do within the constraints.

Depending on where you currently live, your options for moving abroad may be limited by legal considerations such as passports and visas. “Even if you dream of living here or there, those dreams may not come true if you don't have the right visa or passport. How much effort will it take to secure the necessary documents for your dream move? Once you know your limitations, you can start doing more realistic planning and research.”

Ask if it is possible to work overseas

If you're considering an internal transfer within a global company, make use of the human resources department and talent development team. Talk to your human resources or talent department to get advice on how suitable an overseas assignment is for you and what kind of advancement you can expect within your organization as a result.


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