There’s no doubt we live in a globalised world. From international commerce to entertainment and cultural influences, we’re more connected than ever before. In essence, globalisation refers to the worldwide interconnectedness that crosses borders and operates on many levels, including the economic, cultural, logistical, and health spheres.
But what does globalisation mean for businesses and individuals across the globe? If you want to work for an international organisation, or virtually any modern organisation, it’s important to understand what it means to live and work in the age of globalisation.
What Does Globalisation Mean?
Globalisation refers to the process of making the world more connected and interdependent, namely through trade and technology. Beyond this, the concept also covers how countries across the world have changed economically, socially, and culturally as a result of this process. In short: goods and information can now move easily across borders, making us more connected and transforming the world on multiple levels.
Globalisation is far from new, but it has greatly accelerated in recent years thanks to factors such as:
- The rapid evolution of technology, particularly in the areas of transportation and communication.
- Many countries have reduced barriers to doing business across borders and institutions have developed services that make international commerce easier.
- Increased consumer awareness of and enthusiasm for international products and services.
- Closer international relations between the world’s largest economies.
Doing Business Globally: What Does It Entail?
A global business may have offices all over the world, or work with suppliers or distribution centres in other countries. International companies may operate out of only one country but sell their products and services across international borders.
There are various ways to do business internationally, such as:
- Operating in international markets through branches or offices in various countries.
- Selling and exporting products internationally.
- Buying products or services from other countries.
- Using manufacturing, research and development, or distribution facilities in foreign markets.
International business is critically important these days given that almost all companies are either multinational themselves or compete with multinationals. Each country has its preferred method of conducting business and each international market has its own optimal processes and procedures. For professionals, this means that it’s important to have some level of understanding of globalisation.
What it Means to Work for an International Company
For modern professionals, many of the best career opportunities involve working for an international company, regardless of the sector. With more companies working globally than ever before, many roles also involve this context.
Working for an international company means that:
- You’ll have the opportunity to transfer to locations all over the world
- You may also be required to travel internationally for meetings and conferences
- You can build a global network of colleagues
- You’ll likely be able to add a globally recognized company to your resume
- You may face cultural and language barriers in working with team members from other countries
How to Prepare for a Global Career
Working for an international company comes with many benefits, but it also has its challenges. There are certain steps you can take that will help you get ready to work in a global company and prepare for a global career.
Learn Other Languages
Communication is key in any workplace, and if you want to build a global career, being able to speak more than one language is very useful. Even if your dream employers speak your native language, being multilingual will allow you to communicate with clients, colleagues, and stakeholders all over the world. It also demonstrates to recruiters that you have a global focus and are keen to learn.
Develop Cultural Awareness
Aside from being able to speak the language of your international colleagues and clients, it’s also critical to understand their culture. Every country has their own cultural norms and perspectives, and knowing these will help you to build strong relationships, work effectively with others, and avoid offending other people accidentally!
Get an International-Focused Qualification
If you want to apply to work for an international company, having a degree or qualification with an international focus will help your resume stand out from other candidates. These employers look for new hires that understand what it means to do business on a global scale, so a qualification like a Master of Science in International Business Management is extremely valuable.
Start Building an International Network
We all know how important networking is for your career, so if you want to build an international career you need a global network. International contacts can help you identify opportunities with global companies, give you tips on applying to certain organisations or countries, and may be able to act as local referees.
Online study at institutions like EDHEC is a great way to start building your international network – at EDHEC, you can connect with a student cohort that is made up of professionals from all over the world.
How to Pursue a Global Career
Globalisation is not new, but it has certainly accelerated in recent decades and especially over the past few years. Furthermore, this shift only seems to be gaining momentum.
So, what does globalisation mean for your career? Today’s hyper-connected world means more opportunities and exciting career paths that could literally take you anywhere.