Government Path - there are all kinds roles dealing with international issues. Almost every government branch has some sort of international activity going on. For example, you can work for an Embassy abroad. You can work for Commerce department dealing with trade. Or you can become a politician and through your role you will automatically become involved in all sorts of international affairs. Getting into each of these areas will require some effort and time on your side. Diplomatic or political roles require special training, step-by-step move up through the ranks and a great deal of patience. Other government roles may or may not require any relevant international experience.
Non-Profit Path - there are ton of humanitarian, cultural, educational and news organizations doing work around the world. You can do some research on these organizations, learn more about what they do and do some soul searching to figure out if you are passionate about any of their causes.
Business Path - here you have two choices: work for an existing company doing international trade or start your own international business. Both are achievable. Almost any business can be international. Working for an existing company can give you good experience and perhaps, you would enjoy staying on and doing that work for the rest of your career. Or you can branch out and try it on your own, which would open up absolutely all matters related to international trade for you to learn.
So, what kind of basic steps you can take to start yourself on the international path?
- Interest and openness to international dealings is the first ingredient you need to have. You need to remember that people are the same around the world, we may just speak a different language and perhaps, have some different traditions, but fundamentals like family economics, need for social infrastructure (rules, utilities, laws, etc.), human qualities (friendship, support, need for communication, etc.) are the same. Once you realize that all people in the world are the same, then you will not fear or hesitate to reach out to each other. Doing some travel is a great way of expanding one's openness to the world.
- Figure out which of the 3 paths above is more suitable for you. You may work in all 3 categories, which is fine and will get you experience, but figure out where you want to start first. Do some research.
- Get some education. You can get education through college or through private training. Colleges try to cover as much as they can and end up becoming too general and theoretical. I remember learning about interest rate parities, foreign exchange rates, global economics and such, but my courses did not teach me how I should apply it in my personal life or work or business. Undoubtedly these theories are there and good to know, but they start making sense only after you know and experience how it applies to your business. At SALAMA INTERNATIONAL we offer international business training for practitioners that can help you sort out the areas pertinent to the business world. We can teach you about each area and help you get into a certain function, build/improve your international business operations. This is the fastest track to get into international business.
- Take some steps to build your reputation in the industry and add to your resume. You can volunteer for international events - local organizations like Chambers of Commerce, sports commissions, sister city organizations, cultural societies always have some events going on. You can approach existing companies for an opportunity to do paid or unpaid internships as well.
- Then go ahead and apply for jobs or start your own international business.
Posted by Nilufar Salama of www.salamatrade.com on 8/6/2015. SALAMA INTERNATIONAL - Providing Value in Growing Your International Business.
August 6, 2015