“I believe international experience is the new standard by which job applicants will be measured, so having international experience will be crucial for future job searches.”
-Respondent of the Youth Global Employability Survey
More and more young people dream about having an international career. For some, it’s the desire of seeking for adventures in a foreign culture, for others it’s a must to get out of unemployment. Whatever the reason is, there’s no lying that employees are moving across borders like never before. According to a survey conducted by PwC, 74% of CEOs are looking for the best people regardless of their location, and 77% are moving employees to wherever they are needed. It looks like the job market is no longer tied to the borders of your country. This made us curious, and we wanted to find out, what makes a young person employable globally? So, we asked this exact question in the Youth Global Employability Survey, and these are some of the answers we got.
- Flexibility and the ability to adapt to new situations
This was by far the most common answer. Employers are looking for a person who can adapt quickly not only to the culture of a new country, but also to a new corporate culture. Cross-cultural understanding and tolerance are qualities that are required for bridging the gap across cultural boundaries. The respondents mentioned that it is also important to have the opportunity for cultural sharing in the workplace. In addition, having a general understanding of what it is like to work in a multinational work environment and wanting to learn about business practices and cultures around the world are seen as advantages.
According to the respondents, being open-minded and flexible will make a young person suitable for any kind of job. In today’s work environment things change quickly, so the young person should embrace new opportunities with a positive attitude.
“It starts with an understanding that perspective matters, and that different cultures are going to have different perspectives. Can you be on the same page in a multi-cultural setting? If you’re not on the same page, how can you change things, so that you can help move the project forward? That’s globally employable.”
- Soft skills and foreign languages
Many respondents listed “having the right skillset” as essential for landing a job abroad. Some even went so far as to describe this as a skillset that is useful no matter where you come from or where you work. More specifically many listed soft skills, such as decision making, problem solving, communication and leadership skills. To be globally employable, a young person should understand the bigger picture and be able to motivate and lead others regardless of the cultural differences.
If we had to pinpoint one key skill, that would be language skills. Knowing English is no longer enough, but a globally employable young person should know at least one other foreign language. The ability to communicate with other employees in their native language was definitely seen as an advantage. This comes hand in hand with international experience, which was seen as the opportunity that provides young people with the needed skills to work abroad.
“A young person is globally employable when they are able to communicate, collaborate, and lead teams.”
- Passion and a strong work ethic
Standing up for what you care about and working towards that seems to be what makes you a hard worker. Employers are looking for someone who has attitude and works hard to achieve their goals. Being committed and proactive come naturally if you love what you do and believe in the change you are making in the world. Sometimes it is not easy, but with passion, any challenge can be overcome. Employers want to see the real you.
“It means being an individual with a broad and dynamic way of thinking, engaging with relevant causes and generating positive impact through his attitudes.”
- Learning attitude
You don’t need to know everything, but employers are looking for someone who has the willingness to learn and invest in their knowledge constantly. The world changes all the time, and we need to keep up by developing our skill sets to match the demands of the future. Employers want you to develop and grow throughout your experience, but they are also expecting the foreign employee to help their other employees develop themselves. Peer-to-peer learning through the sharing of experiences is what brings the extra something to a workplace, especially if this learning is intercultural.
“Youth get an exposure to a different culture, country and people. They get to learn varied things from a diverse background. They also get their own skills and talent to a workplace where they are associated with. All of this brings intercultural learning to a workplace.”
- Willingness to develop the company and shape the corporate culture
Lastly, employers want you to put your passion, strong work ethic, language skills, learning attitude, and multicultural point of view to develop their company. The spirit of a globally employable person should go beyond their own interests to contributing to the organization’s mission. The beauty of bringing someone from abroad is the diverse way of thinking and seeing things that can just take a company to the next level. Creativity and innovation are the outcomes that employers are looking for. So, a young professional should align their strengths with the goals of the company and have the confidence to shape the organization’s brand, values, and practices.
“By providing the right knowledge, tools and skills to our Millennials we are equipping them to become the future leaders and entrepreneurs our global community needs. We have tremendous talent, innovation and a generation that is not afraid to step up and take risk, the challenge though is that they need the right tools, knowledge, hands-on skill and mentoring to help them reach their full potential.“
Do you want to give your opinion? The Youth Global Employability Survey is still open for responses.