Tuesday, November 8, 2011


Globalization is an opportunity to build and grow your career. You should look upon it as a gift of modern times rather than as a threat to your career. Those who are able to navigate their careers in the new global market place will have tremendous career opportunities.

Workers in the global economy require new skills and new knowledge to succeed. They require ongoing training and education to remain competitive in the changing environment. Each individual worker must be willing to take personal responsibility to increase one’s value in the changing environment. You can make yourself the most sought after worker by acquiring the needed education and occupational skills.

Here are some strategies you can employ to build your career in the global economy.

·         Adopt continuous learning and flexibility. These are essential requirements for careers in the global economy. We are surrounded by change. Many of yesterday’s jobs have disappeared, and many jobs today did not exist a few years back. You should continue to acquire new knowledge by reading professional publications and participating in seminars and meetings.

·         Focus on your skills and areas of interest. Identify what you are good at doing, and build those skills further. Tune up your skills to adapt to new cultures. An open mind and the desire to collaborate with people from other cultural backgrounds will make your skills more valuable in the marketplace.  

·         Develop the ability to market yourself. This means knowing your skills and areas of competence, and effectively presenting what you have to offer.

·         Gain an understanding of other cultures. Travel to other countries. Become friends with people from other cultural and ethnic backgrounds. Participate in multi-cultural experiences. Encourage your children to study abroad. Always show respect for customs of other countries and build an understanding of business etiquette in the country of your interest. Ability to collaborate in multicultural settings will be a great asset for careers in the future.

·         Learn foreign languages. While you can get by in most countries by your knowledge of English, you need to acquire knowledge of the local language to work in other countries. Also, it is a good idea to take courses to acquire knowledge of customs and business practices in other countries.

·         Getting a global job does not necessarily mean that you have to live in another country. According to one estimate, about 80% of international jobs – jobs that require extensive contact by American businesses with other countries are based in the U.S.

·         Create a high quality resume and cover letters. There is a full chapter in this book devoted to the preparation of resume and cover letters.

The Internet has revolutionized communications around the world. The confluence of democratized knowledge, political reform, free trade, and economic development have torn down the walls that prevented many countries from participating in the world economy prior to the mid-1990’s. As international trade grows, the economies of different countries are becoming increasingly interconnected.

When I founded Mehta Consulting as an executive search firm in 1997, my intention was to limit my operations to the United States. After I was in business for 5 years, one of my clients asked me to find a manager who would be willing to relocate from the U.S. to Jamaica to manage their call center operations. I was able to successfully complete that search and find a qualified candidate for that position. A year later, the same client came back and asked me to find another manager for their expanding operations in Jamaica. Again, I was able to find a suitable candidate for that position. Then I received a phone call from a company that had recently established a call center in the Philippines. They asked me to find a manager who would be willing to live in the Philippines for a couple of years to manage their call center. I was able to find an excellent candidate for them who moved from Boston to Makati City in the Philippines. That led to an on-going relationship to find additional candidates for that client’s call center in the Philippines. Because of globalization, it has become easy to serve customers in countries far away from where one is located. Although I was a small business owner, based in the U.S., my company was able to have a global reach and serve clients in several different countries.

There is no question that American workers can thrive in the global economy. But it is going to require hard work and initiative. You have to think globally in order to survive. This requires taking control of your career development, acquiring new skills, and maintaining a positive attitude to succeed in the new environment.