Alumni Careers Management Course: Operating in a Global Environment

01 August 2018

Alumni Careers Manager Caroline Egan discusses the latest careers management module available to WBS alumni.

Enabled by technology, global working is now commonplace. People are working in increasingly connected, interdependent and integrated teams and work streams around the world, irrespective of their organisational structure. The global workplace has changed and how you manage teams and develop your leadership skills requires a new way of operating if you want to thrive in this global workplace.

The latest module in our Career Management online course ‘Operating in a Global Environment’  will help you understand what you need to do to adopt new ways of working and ensure that your skills remain at the forefront of an increasingly complex, global workplace. It examines how you can develop yourself and your career and acquire new skills to take advantage of these new ways of working.

Containing an engaging mix of advice, interviews with and advice from alumni, videos, and ‘Stop & Think’ moments for you to reflect on your own experience, and resources to explore this further, it represents a great place to start your global career development.

Virtual teams

Your earliest experience of operating in a global environment is likely to be in a virtual team, and the module starts with an examination of:

  • What a virtual team looks like
  • The benefits they bring to an organisation and its individual team members
  • The challenges they bring, both to the organisation, the team members as well as to the individuals leading virtual teams
  • Explores different strategies for the effective leadership of virtual teams.

Leading and managing yourself in culturally diverse teams

When you have to deal with Americans who precede negative comments with three nice ones; French, Dutch, and Germans who are as direct as they come and get straight to the point (‘your presentation was awful’); Latin Americans and Asians who are steeped in hierarchy; and Scandinavians who think the best boss is just one of the crowd - the outcome may be interesting or funny at times, but can often be disastrous!

The module introduces you to the skills necessary to navigate your way through cultural differences, and to decode cultures different from your own. It offers an introduction to the work of Erin Meyer and Geert Hofstede on how people in different countries around the globe vary across a number of dimensions of national culture. They offer models for decoding how cultural differences impact international business and combine smart analytical frameworks with practical, actionable advice for succeeding in a global world.

These models will help you learn and apply strategies to improve your effectiveness at solving the thorniest problems caused by cross-cultural misunderstanding and hopefully how to avoid them altogether.

Making an International Career Move

Having experienced a virtual global team, and developed your ability to deal with a culturally diverse team, you may want to gain some international work experience to develop your skills and experience ‘on the ground’. On the other hand, you may simply have a desire for adventure, curiosity to see the world, or simply want to earn more money!

Whatever your motivation, senior managers in global organisations are increasingly expected to possess international experience and, whilst it is possible to get exposure by managing global projects and teams, there’s no substitute for first-hand experience.

The module finishes by covering a number of key areas including:

  • Strategies to prepare for an International move
  • Researching your destination(s)
  • Networking overseas
  • How to make the move: job searching overseas
  • Securing a job at a distance
  • Experiencing an international move
  • Repatriation and moving on
  • How to articulate the skills you acquire through living/ working overseas

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