What assets contribute to employability?
Many people immediately reply technical skills, and in the modern world diverse technical skills are important. Others talk about work habits as assets. Do you show up on time? Are you pleasant to coworkers? Again, these are important skills and are well worth cultivating.
What about your cross-cultural skills? Are they up to snuff? Have you ever thought about yourself in a cross-cultural context?
The best places to work are global
What do Facebook, Apple, Microsoft, Hyundai and Volkswagen have in common? They are all great places to work and they are all global. Truly international organizations require employees who are comfortable in cross-cultural contexts. Global companies require employees who speak more than one language and can adapt to cultures other than their own.
Cross-cultural skills change the way you think
Studies show that understanding and speaking more than one language improves your cognitive ability and increases the variety of mental tools you bring to problem-solving, and even provide cognitive health benefits later in life. Cross-cultural understanding gives you the ability to shift your mindset to see problems from a different perspective. These skills also grow an entrepreneurial mindset. It becomes easier to see how products and services can alter and grow for international markets.
Cross-cultural skills develop agility
Modern business shifts constantly. Today’s supplier down the street may be replaced by a competitor in Mumbai. The largest customer in your portfolio may become a woman in Lagos. Agility is the ability to cope successfully with rapid change, and agility is more important than ever in work and life. Global organizations value agility above almost any trait.
How to develop cross-cultural skills
Writing in Medium, Tim Rettig suggests that individuals create a plan for developing cross-cultural skills. Even people who cannot travel outside their country immediately have ways to gain exposure to other cultures and other ways of thinking. If you’d like to discuss your cross-cultural skills feel free to contact us. We can help you in becoming aware of your cross-cultural skills that will help you in your job search.