You need clear strategies to boost your career after returning home from studying abroad, leverage your advantage of being an international student, and achieve your career goals
Today’s job market is highly competitive. Therefore, having a competitive resume is a must. You need that extra something that makes you stand out.
If you are one of the lucky few who had the chance to study abroad, stay tuned to this post to find out how to leverage your study abroad advantage to boost your career prospect and make the most of your international education and experience.
International education can give your credentials that extra boost and teach you skills that will help you shine in the workplace.
Moreover, you will also have the advantage of being exposed to other cultures by studying and working with classmates from all around the globe.
This will provide you with an excellent ability to adapt and work with pretty much anyone, including people who have completely different cultures and backgrounds.
For many people, the opportunity to study abroad is used as a stepping stone to having an international career, where they apply for jobs and stay in their host country or move to another country after graduation.
But that is not always the goal for every international student. Many of them, for one reason or another, choose to return to their home country after they get their degree.
The reason may vary. Some students received scholarships or funding from their government, the company/institution they work for, and so on, to study abroad.
They are required to return home after graduation to work and put into practice what they learn for the betterment of their country, society, or the company/institution that sent them abroad.
Others might return for personal reasons such as returning to their families, wives and children, elderly parents, and so on.
Whatever the reason might be, if you were lucky enough to have a study abroad experience and had to return home upon graduation, don’t consider moving back home as a failure.
On the contrary, it is an opportunity for you and your surroundings to see how much you have learned from your experience abroad. You might be surprised by the skills that you have learned and by the changes in your personality and perspectives after living abroad.
Be proud of your achievements and prepare yourself for what’s to come, and build a long and prosperous career in your country, while applying the lessons learned abroad to create a better, healthier, and more functional society in your country.
Here are some of the tips on how to leverage your study abroad experience to boost your career after returning home:
1. Give Yourself Time to Adjust
You might be eager to move fast and hit the ground running as soon as you return home, but don’t rush into things, especially when it comes to your career.
As much as you enjoy the advantage that an international bachelor’s or master’s degree will bring to your career, you need to acknowledge the fact that you’ve been gone for a while and there are changes in the workplace in your home country.
It could be anything, such as changes in the recruitment process, the pension package, the tax rules and regulations, the work culture et cetera.
Perhaps you will only need a little time to adjust to the changes, but maybe you will need additional training or an internship before you get the position you desire.
Be open and accepting of the opportunities around you. Don’t think of it as a setback. Think of it as part of your adjustment process.
One small step back to propel you higher and further in the future, as well as prepare you for a whole new experience and environment so you can gain valuable work experience.
After all, returning home after studying abroad and having a career change is a big step that requires time and dedication if you want to succeed.
In addition, you need to have the willingness to adapt to the local mentality and current business culture in your home country.
2. Highlight Your Language Skills
How can studying abroad help your career? Well, by giving you the opportunity to gain some specific skill sets that will set you apart from the other candidates.
One of the biggest advantages you will have is language knowledge. Studying abroad will give you the opportunity to master the language of your host country.
Mastering a language up until an academic level is not easy, it will take years to master. So, if you study abroad, this is a very valuable asset you can leverage to boost your career, since there will not be many people in your home country who master the same language.
Many universities in a non-English speaking countries offer an international program taught in English. This type of program was what I attended several years ago when I went back to school as an adult student, a student mom, and an international student in Italy.
If you took an international program like me and use English in your classes, you could still have the opportunity to master the language of your host county since you will still need to use it in daily conversation and to go about your business as an international student.
Even if you study in an English-speaking country, it won’t give you big leverage in your career back in your home country since nowadays, everybody speaks English anyway, your ability to speak at native speakers’ level due to your years of experience living among the native speakers will still put you ahead of those who never get that opportunity.
Furthermore, mastering a language could open many doors. Use it to your advantage and search for opportunities that will appreciate it.
For example, you can always seek opportunities in international companies or industries that collaborate with or have offices in your home country.
3. Highlight Your Other Skills
People have their own cultures and backgrounds, but when they have the chance to work in an international environment, they will use the international standard of work cultures and work ethics, such as being organized, punctual, flexible, and so on.
Thus, as someone who studies abroad and works together with people from all over the globe with people with different backgrounds, your work ethic might be stronger than what is common in your country.
These traits are not only positive but also have been an essential behavior standard for an ex-pat. Having them will make you stand out even in a larger working environment.
Do not try to adapt back to the comfort of your country’s corporate culture, especially the negative ones. Keep on working according to the international standard that you have grown accustomed to instead.
4. Use Your Connection
Having the experience of studying abroad means now you have international connections. Another advantage that you can leverage is to help you boost your career at home after returning from your study abroad.
Communication with expatriates, professors, classmates and so on that you met in the country you were once studying in will build a bridge of communication between the professional from both places.
Because you’ve met them personally, face to face, and have interactions with them (and you even interacted with some of them on daily basis for several years, throughout the duration of your study abroad) the connections are real.
Therefore, when you need someone abroad or from a certain country to collaborate with, the chance of your collaboration to succeed will be higher since you know them personally and worked with them before on school projects, in an internship et cetera, instead of looking for the person you could collaborate with through social media, for example.
5. Negotiate Your Salary
According to this survey, many employers are looking for graduates who have international experience, with 64 percent of employers considering studying abroad experience to be important, and 92 percent of employers looking for transferable skills that are typically gained from the experience, such as the skills we mentioned above.
Another survey found that nearly 40 percent of companies missed out on international business opportunities due to a lack of personnel with international experience.
Therefore, your study abroad experience can be a powerful resumé booster that shows employers that you have the skills they need to achieve their business goals.
You can leverage this to boost your career. It gives you have high bargaining position to negotiate the number of salary and benefits packages you want.
This could be a good beginning for the start of your career after returning home from your study abroad.
It will set a high standard for you because unless there are some specific things or conditions that required you to accept a job with a lower salary and package from the previous one, your packages will only become higher and higher from this point on.
Use this printable workbook to record your Back to School Research. Don’t make all that Campus Visits, Virtual Tours, Webinars, and Q&A with the school’s admission personnel go to waste !! Write down the information you have collected in this workbook.
Study them later carefully to help you weigh in the pros and cons of each university and decide the best place for you to continue your study.
6. Contribute to Your Home Country
By immersing yourself in another culture, you develop valuable life skills needed for personal growth, including independence and adaptability. These skills can give you an added boost of confidence in your personal and professional life.
Studying abroad can be overwhelming, but the challenges you overcome can help you become a more mature person.
Moreover, the skills you’ve gained from your study could be very useful for the development of your country, especially if an expert in your chosen field or industry is still rare in your country.
Apply all your skills gained from your study abroad experience. through your work and the influence you do on others, you might find satisfaction in doing something meaningful in the place you grew up.
This will not only boost your career but will also bring you the pleasure and satisfaction to know that you have made an impact on your country, as well as future generations.
Over to You…
Studying abroad allows you to see the world and travel to new places you would otherwise not have visited.
Studying in a new country exposes you to increased career opportunities, depending on your field of study.
Moreover, studying abroad, especially in an area where you are interested in working, gives you the chance to showcase key skills and relevant experience on your resumé.
But, if after studying abroad you’ll have to return home, that doesn’t mean that the skills and knowledge you gain from the experience will be wasted.
You will still have the opportunity to showcase your key skills working in your home country and boost your career.
All you have to do is give yourself time to adjust to being home in your country after studying abroad while trying to find and excel at work by highlighting your language skill as well as other skills you’ve gathered from your experience studying and working at an international level.
You can also use your international connections to build your network and use that advantage as one of the leverages you could use to have a higher bargaining position when negotiating your salary and benefits package with your employers.
Remind yourself that in the end, working and building a career is not always about getting a high position and a fat salary.
It’s also about being useful to other people, helping and contributing to your country, and using the skills and knowledge you’ve gained from your study abroad.
Returning home, whether willingly or not, can be a valuable experience that might allow you to be appreciated home more than anyplace else.
With some good preparation, you will be able to see your country with new eyes and enjoy being back, having the satisfaction of somehow contributing to the development of your country, while enjoying a great and rewarding career.
Did your return home after studying abroad? How was the experience? Do you have anything to add? Share it down below, pin this and share them on social media, it will mean the world to me…
Thanks so much and till next time!!!
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- 7 Promising Jobs You Could Do While Studying Abroad
- Back Home After Studying Abroad, Now What? 6 Things You Need to Do Immediately to Get You Hit the Ground Running
- 7 Essential Things I Wish I Had Done at University to Increase My Value in the Marketplace
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