Economies worldwide are going through changes that are having a significant impact on international job seekers and those currently working abroad. It's important for those looking to work or advance overseas to understand this new and changing employment climate and the opportunities and challenges it presents if they want to succeed in it.
Expanding globally, particularly into emerging markets, will be a means of survival for many companies in the coming decade. In a recent Mercer survey, 47% of employers reported plans to increase their use of international assignments to support their revenue and growth goals.
Companies in emerging markets also need leadership that their current local talent cannot provide.
This is good news for the international job seeker. It means there is a growing demand for professionals and executives with specific skills, experience, and the desire and ability to relocate overseas.
However, since the economic downturn, companies have been forced to cut costs while investing in sending more people overseas to develop talent or realize business objectives. With the cost of sending an employee overseas ranging from $75,000 - $125,000 and reported current assignment failure rates of up to 30%, companies are racing to reevaluate and revise how they select, manage, and compensate their international assignees.
Changes in how companies are handling international assignments include:
Much of this is not such good news for international job seekers and those looking to advance their careers abroad.
As a result, many of the international job search strategies from the past will no longer be as relevant.
All that said, the global war for talent is fierce. Companies are desperate for seasoned experts with specific skills and experience that can effectively manage, lead and thrive in different cultural environments. Reports prove that these companies are willing to pay handsomely to get and keep that talent.
Global companies realize that without the right people in the right place at the right time they will not survive in today's competitive global marketplace.
Both opportunities and challenges abound in this new economic climate. Changing needs and demands are redefining the terms of engagement for employers, job seekers and those in pursuit of career advancement overseas. Those who understand how to best operate in this ever-evolving global employment environment and have the right mindset, tools, and strategies will be well positioned to capitalize on opportunities and build a fulfilling career and a life abroad.
About this author...
Megan Fitzgerald is an expat career and personal branding coach, CEO of Career By Choice, and your guide to the world of international careers. With two decades of experience supporting professionals and entrepreneurs in 40+ countries across 6 continents, Megan uses a 360°approach to help expats and international job seekers become highly visible, sought after, and land work abroad. You can read about expat careers at CareerbyChoiceBlog, and also find her on Twitter as @ExpatCoachMegan, on Facebook and Google+, and, of course, on LinkedIn.