No matter what job you’re looking for, some specific soft skills will always be valued by recruiters. They are unique, personal attributes that are typically developed through experience and make you a better professional. And guess what?! Working abroad is certainly one of these experiences!
Here are 5 soft skills you’ll develop working abroad that will accelerate your personal growth:
Resilience is the ability to rapidly recover from difficulties and adapt well in the face of adversity and stress. Whilst working abroad, you’ll encounter situations that will force you to step out of your comfort zone, such as language barriers, culture shock and homesickness. Not having your close friends and family will push you to pick yourself up and confront these challenges head-on.
Employers want strong individuals that persevere and refuse to give up when facing challenges. Resilient employees will take initiatives to overcome barriers and lead the team throughout the process with their positive and dynamic approach.
2. Problem solving
Immersing yourself in a different environment among a diverse team will certainly provide you with a broader perspective. Constantly exposed to new experiences and challenges, you’ll start to develop a better understanding of the issues at stake, think outside the box and adopt innovative approaches. Soon, you’ll no longer ask yourself ‘can we fix this’ but rather ‘how can we fix this’.
Employers love problem solvers because instead of just raising issues as problems, they come up with solutions. They take the time to thoroughly analyze all components involved and use creativity and their own experience to help build a unique, effective plan of action. Their determination to find a solution for even the most complicated problems will outweigh any lack of enthusiasm within the team.
When fully immersed in a different culture surrounded by unfamiliar faces, you’ll become much more aware of who you are and where you come from. You’ll start to observe the local habits and ways of working and be able to directly compare them to your own, helping you to recognize your core strengths and areas of improvement. With an increased self-awareness you’ll further develop intuition, which will certainly come in handy when you have to make important decisions on your own.
Top performers at work are able to optimize their strengths and work on their weaknesses in order to maximize their potential. Self-awareness will also help you to recognize the work environments in which you thrive and enable you to make informed career decisions.
4. Multicultural adaptability
Working in an international environment will raise your awareness about global differences. You’ll start to assimilate certain nuances, enabling you to anticipate potential misunderstandings during cross-cultural engagements. As a foreigner, you’ll observe the local way of working and start to adopt certain habits of theirs, combining them with your own cultural practices. Overall, you’ll become a more dynamic and tolerant worker.
With companies becoming more and more international, the ability to effectively adapt to different cultures will certainly make you a valuable employee. You’ll develop the skills needed to bring in new business partners and maximize the performance of a diverse team. And so you’ll be at the top of the list for international assignments, which have become an increasingly common business practice.
5. Interpersonal skills
Interpersonal skills refer to the ability to communicate and interact with people in a friendly and effective way. When you’re abroad, you’re exposed to different languages, cultures and body language expressions. Through these interactions, you will develop a strong capacity to decode and interpret your interlocutor’s ideas, mindset and point of view, as well as expressing your own messaging in a relatable manner. As a result, you’ll start to build meaningful relationships of mutual trust and respect.
Being able to communicate and collaborate effectively with your team will make you stand out above other employees. Your ability to relate to others and respect their opinions will also help you build a good relationship with your manager, who will appreciate your positive response to feedback. Beyond your co-workers, your capacity to form and maintain relationships will help you to expand your professional network, deepening connections and pushing them beyond just surface level. Overall, your professional circle will highly value your positive and approachable nature.
In sum, your work abroad experience will help you develop the soft skills that all recruiters are looking for. Not to mention, your high level of independence and confidence will place you above other candidates and prove your ability to handle rapidly-changing work environments on a global scale.
To start developing these highly in-demand soft skills today, join our Work Abroad Program.