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Ready for an international assignment?

October 28, 2009 1 comment

Very simple article that mentions the 5 things to bear in mind when considering an international role.

1. Consider if the move is going to help your career

2. Find a niche that the locals cannot do

3. Consider the paperwork and bureaucracy

4. Evaluate your finances

5. Know yourself

Of these I think 2 and 3 are most important to keep in mind.

Why should an employer in a foreign land be willing to pay a premium for you?

Any international transfer is hard work at the best of times. So if a skill set is available locally that is where most employers would prefer to spend their dollars. Anyone looking for an international assignment is therefore advised to do one of two things

1. Focus and develop a skill set that they believe would be of value in the market. General advertising account management skills are getting increasingly commoditised and thus hard to generate value. Digital, CRM, ROI etc are currently in favour and are likely to be for a while in the near future.

2. Look at a market where your skills would be of value. As an example a market like China was very hungry for people of servicing skills as it was a new economy market. as time has gone by, it has evolved to needing more of the specialised skills mentioned in point 1. So looking at the skills you have and identifying a market to target would be the other route.

Yes there are still the alternates driven around networking, or network agencies actively seeking to develop careers of their stars. It still requires some selling in to local country management.

So help yourself. Develop a niche strength.

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Recession and one of its impacts

I just returned from a trip to India.

Was talking to a former colleague who is just leaving his job.

And not having a job in hand, in this environment, did not dampen him one bit.

He had lined up a plan to start a business in a related line. Two friends of his, who work in agencies, were planning to quit their jobs and join him.

And he had lined up some clients as well.

In a completely unrelated line another friend of mine in anticipation of being let go, has quit his job and is starting a consultancy in a related line.

In the former case his business puts him in competition with his current company. Whereas in the latter’s case it is a related but non competing line.

So the irony is that recessions is when business is tough. Big companies hunker down. Cut costs, usually by asking people to leave.

And in this same environment, dozens of entrepreneurships take shape. Capturing little bites from big companies in terms of business and talent. Not to mention at lower prices.

When service businesses calculate the cost savings by letting people go, they need to factor in the added cost of potential loss of business to the people they let go, and if the business is really small pressure on them to cut the cost of services.  In a manner prolonging the recession.

And that is not a pretty picture at all.

Harish

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