How to succeed in a globalized workforce – The Etownian

Employment is the one constant that will permanently change within the business world. For decades, it was customary for you to work at the same company for the entirety of your career, and now,changing jobs at least three times has become familiar. Remote work is the go-to option for employees.

For the past few decades, humans have been the most globalized in the history of mankind. Our economies are intertwined and companies have different parts of their production in other countries. With our increasing ability to work for different companies now across the world because of advancements in technology, we must ask ourselves as future employees: How globalized are we? How can we compete in today’s workforce of such diversity?

Cristina Ciocirlan, Head of the International Business program and professor of management at Elizabethtown College, has many different viewpoints regarding our globalized workforce.

Ciocirlan believes that our world is exceptionally globalized despite disruptions that may have evolved through international policies and COVID-19, even if there is talk of localization over globalization. Europe is a prime example of this, since the top eight of the ten most globalized countries are European. Though there are threats to globalization, the movement of globalization, especially in employment, will increase.

With all this change, companies have needed more new employees and ideas, as older generations of retirement age make up 31 percent of our workforce. Generation Z is expected to become managers or heads of departments within the first three to five years of entering the workforce. Thus, companies have been working on strategies to attract good potential employees from Gen Z. Increasing benefits, salaries, chances of promotion, flexibility and even reaching out across the oceans to other potential employees. 

She described how boundaries of traditional workforces are quickly falling and companies favor remote jobs, as 8 million American expats work abroad and one in seven Americans work for a multinational company. Digital nomads and contracted workers have become more prominent than regularly-employed employees in company life. According to Business Journals, the current ratio of contractors to employees is 63 percent, or one in five, since 2019, increasing 23 percent over the last two years. With this as the future of employment, we can expect a need to differentiate ourselves from others.

Ciocirlan described what she has learned from International Business Day, where her board members explained what they wanted from future employees and people who want to become the leaders of their businesses someday. Employers are mainly looking for people who want and wish to learn and admit that they don’t know something. Teaching a graduate the required hard skills is more straightforward, but the person’s internal aspects are more complex. 

Emotional intelligence is a necessary requirement for potential leaders, especially in our current world. Ethics are the foundation of anyone you surround yourself with, and companies are considering this as they are looking for the most ethical candidates to ensure their business does right by their company’s values. 

Language and cultural understanding are a few skills that the company needs. The ability to interact with anyone from any point of view can show an employer humility and willingness to understand, growth as a person and the ability to find a different perspective on any problem. She suggests putting a failure section on your resume to provide evidence of how you could grow if you failed at something, proving your authenticity and the ability to deal with things from a different perspective.

As the world becomes more intertwined, we must realize that we must identify what makes us unique and incorporate that into our skill sets. Currently, we are entering into a fantastic time in the market as prior generations leave their jobs. This does not give us a reason not to grow our skillset and the ability to stay in the game. For every one of us, it is possible to become a future CEO, but we must realize what we must do to stay competitive today.

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