If you plan to, or even think about, advancing in your career globally, then why not leverage the networking opportunities you come across during your travels? We’ve composed 5 tips on how to expand your network while working abroad.
Tip #1: Go Above and Beyond the Language Barrier
Tip 1 is dedicated to “the gift of gab”. In today’s day and age, most of us know as a fact that English is the dominant global language — especially in the technology and scientific fields. But, when we find ourselves in foreign lands, your native language doesn’t always make the cut and you’ll soon find yourself in a tiny bubble if you don’t expand your linguistic horizons.
It’s essential that you take the time to learn the “hellos” and “goodbyes” and any other pieces of practical language you can absorb while in another territory. This will help you be more sociably accepted by the locals and to gain access to non-tourist streets, shops, restaurants, and take you to the next level when holding a conversation with a future prospect. Trust us, it’s charming and a show of respect — no matter how goofy you may sound in the beginning.
Tip #2: Empower Yourself through Social Media
With the ability to reach the masses at your fingertips in our own home, still in our pajamas and slippers, social media has made a global impact. Social media offers extraordinary tools that can set the right circumstances for your business, and yourself, to be seen all over the world — building an international following through just a few clicks. Admittingly, you will have to invest a good deal of time to build a booming social media presence on the multiple platforms available. It’s definitely a good place to start to connect to like-minded individuals and businesses.
Tip #3: Scout Coworking Spaces and Business-oriented Social Activities
Once you’ve established a firm grip within the social media universe — use this powerful tool to scout for meet-ups, coworking hot-spots, and other social activities within your desired field. Keynote speakers, workshops, and interesting topical lectures can be discovered on a weekly basis if you search for them — seek and you will find.
Once you’ve found your niche, make good use of that cozy coworking space to interact with other like-minded individuals, or specialists, that will continue to expand your horizons of the city, town or wherever you find yourself. This will be of quintessential value to you in the long run. Plus, it’ll be a good spot to take your clients, prospects or future partners to get a feel of your environment.
Tip #4: Engage in the Local Ecosystem
Two keywords: Observe and Absorb — this is your homework in the newfound country you inhabit, in order to be able to behave as a local and to assimilate the environment. Catching up on current events, news, pop culture, and local media will give you an in-depth view of what goes on at a micro and macro level of the country you now reside in. Not only will you know what is currently trending in your respective area, but you’ll also have an insiders scoop to markets in and out of your business territory.
This is a very important point. Imagine yourself in a meeting with a local native who might be of great help to achieve your goals — if you demonstrate know-how about the region you’re looking to expand into, it shows your prospect that you’re serious and have a strategy regarding your target area. Identity is the key to empathy in these make-or-break situations.
Tip #5: Manage Your Time — and more important— Your Expectations
Time is the ultimate currency of life — the more you invest, the more your expectations grow that you get something positive in return. So, if you plan on living on the other side of the planet, then it’s worth your while going for an extended period of time in that destination.
Sure, a month or two will be beneficial for your language skills and you’ll be able to meet some interesting people — but, it may not be enough time to build a solid base and really benefit from the networking aspect of working abroad. Spend as much time as you may need, move on once you’ve invested enough, in order to get your business to the next level. Networking to get a foothold in the global marketplace is no different.
As the world becomes ever more connected through the internet and the globalization, it’s very notable that networking is a major key when roaming in other countries or working around the globe.