3 Steps to Kick-Start Your International Career

Laura Liisa is 22 years old  foxy read head with a bubbling personality and with a go-getter attitude. As we wait for our breakfast to be served she turns to me with a big smile and asks :“ So, should we start now?“

So, Laura Liisa, spill the beans, how does a young person kick- start their International career?

I think there are 3 really easy steps for that

Firstly, take interest in the global world.

You have to take an interest in the global world and think bigger and further than just the reality of your home country and constantly develop that type of a mind-set.

One might ask how to develop that interest or why one should even be interested in global issues. I think that the whole world is moving towards being united and connected. Take for examples the EU, we do not have these kind of boundaries that we used to have in the region decades ago. It is smart to think through even before you start your career how are you going to fit into that society and working culture we are moving towards to.

Secondly, join and international organization.

I joined an international organization in the beginning of my university because I realized this is the best option where to get that international experience from early on.

Joining an international organization puts you into a position where you are facing different cultures and where you have an opportunity to learn from someone and build that foundation of cultural understanding. For example I am currently working in a company with 5 Latvians and 1 Brit (and then there’s the one Estonian, me). And already they have difficulties with communication and understanding each other although they are from the same part of the world. In order to be efficient in an international company you need to be able to communicate well with other nationalities. I think one of the reason why I was hired to work at that company is that I don’t mind stepping out of my comport zone, and it is relatively easy for me to connect with different people. And this is a skill set that I possess right now because I was part of an international organisation.

If you are actively participating and doing different things in an international organization, you are actually developing yourself because an organization is a legal body as any other company with the exception that people are more personally motivated to do things. They are motivated by self-development, and they joy of giving versus just being motivated by money. In an organization you see the structure, you understand your role and see how your contribution affects the overall results. And this is the same when working in a small or medium sized company.

Thirdly, apply for that job.

I consider this to be the trickiest part. Maybe others experience this differently but it took me 2 years to gain that courage to apply. When I started to think about applying it took me another 2 months to actually send out those applications. By that time I had been a board member in AIESEC, I had taken care of the over-all finance and lead teams, which is one of the biggest challenges. And the responsibility that came with these positions was huge. Another good thing about AIESEC is that it is okay to try and fail, which is not always the mind-set in companies. And my AIESEC experience gave me the necessary confidence and skill set to apply.

Are you interested in an international career? Check out the opportunities AIESEC has for you! youth.aiesec.org

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