I have been working with top executives worldwide as well as in Silicon Valley for a number of years now. They are primarily employees of the big multinational European and American companies. Some are Americans, most are not, and many were educated in the USA at a top business school. The vast majority of them are not company "lifers" in that they haven't been with the same company for years, but have job hopped from company to company and country to country.
A Silicon Valley executive called me the other day thinking he needed to make a job move. His company (a top Fortune 500 software provider) was insisting that he take a promotion and 4 year transfer with his family to China. With a Chinese wife and his two small children becoming bi-lingual, this would have been a good experience for the family. He is in finance and the role would have been at the country level running all operations. It was a plum assignment. With Asian experience, he would be able to attract the best global opportunities from other corporations after this assignments. It took much refection and research before he convinced himself to take the opportunity and see it as such.
In the corporate multinationals, having global experience on your resume is expected, even anticipated. In fact, it is understood now that if you are working in corporate America or corporate anywhere that working internationally will keep your career moving. This could take a number of avenues from doing international business development to working with distributed teams; taking short term assignments or actual relocation to other countries.
In this week's Time Magazine, Rana Foroohar's article, Companies Are the New Countries seems to sum up the global corporate employment situation from her vantage point at the World Economic Forum.
Here is an excerpt:
Meanwhile, the top companies seem to exist in a world apart: they are booming. If there was a metatheme to this year's World Economic Forum, it is that the world's largest companies are moving beyond governments and countries that they perceive to be inept and anemic. They are operating in a space that is increasingly supranational--disconnected from local concerns and the problems of their home markets..
...business leaders blamed for not sharing the $2 trillion in wealth sitting on corporate balance sheets argued that they did create jobs and prosperity--just not in the U.S....
...It's an argument that has more moral weight than you might think. You can say that creating jobs in China and India, for example, increases global well-being more than creating them in the U.S. would, since per capita GDP in those countries is so much lower.
There has been, since this year's Davos meeting, a recurring theme of stories on the issues of the employment dislocations, and the redistribution of jobs by geography, class, and education. It would be a nice reverie to think that this economic tsunami could just somehow be reversed and jobs would return to the USA. But that's not going to be the case. I spend considerable time strategizing with clients about their next company choice and geographic location, and on how to stay local and be global.
Where in the world are all the new opportunities, start-ups and business ventures? How can we position ourselves and transition our careers to take advantage of them as they arise? This realm of the global job search, the multi-hemisphere network, cross-border connections, and the online well-positioned personal brand.
Read the article here:
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