Updated: Sep 11, 2020
Mike Hoer, Egypt Country Director at LDS Charities, outlines exactly what you need to do to launch your international career. He briefly explains 4 methods: the Green Beret, the Traditional, the Frequent Flier, and the Home Country Expert. If you are looking to kickstart your international career, this is a great place to start!
The first is what I call the Green Beret method. So the Green Beret method is the most exciting. It’s the most risky. It may or may not give you a lot of financial benefit, but it’s going to be a great experience. The Green Beret method is, basically, you just go to a country you start looking for work. I always recommend don’t teach English because that doesn’t look good on a business resume. So try to find some job or some occupation. Even if it’s service work that you can spin into a business career and a business resume.
The second method (I call this more traditional method) is you graduate from school. You go to a good company that you can see has an international footprint. They’re willing to send you overseas. You let them know that the reason you’re joining their company is because your hand is up; you’re ready to go to Albania. I’ve always wanted to go to Albania. I know you have business there. I know you make products there. You’re trying to expand. I’m the guy that wants to go. But what you do is you work there for a couple of years. You show them that you’re the trusted employee. Nowadays companies send trusted employees overseas. It’s a little bit more difficult to send an untrusted, brand-new rookie overseas, especially with a significant financial package. But once you become the trusted employee, and they need somebody that’s going to uphold the company values, the company culture, knows the people back in the United States so they could communicate in an easy smooth way and get answers and do the business, then that is the type of trusted individual that they want to send overseas. This is really the traditional way of having an international career.
The Third Way, which is becoming a lot more common now, is you can live in the United States or your home country and commute. I call this the frequent flyer way. So the third method is the frequent way. I’ve done this. I did this for six years. I went back and forth from Hong Kong every two to three weeks. I have a million and a half miles on a couple of airlines. You can do this now because communications are so easy. You can do video conferencing. Everybody has some electronic way to communicate very simply at the drop of a hat. You can have your office in the U.S. but spend a lot of time traveling in the country or doing business from the U.S. in the country.
The last or the fourth way, which I’m very excited about because I think as the opportunity for a rookie job placement overseas, that window is closing a little bit, maybe more competitive because so many international students are in the same space. If you look at the fourth method, I call this the home of country expert. We just talked about the international countries need to be more global now. So you have a lot of international companies that are coming to the U.S., and let’s say that your home country is the U.S.. You then become the expert on U.S. opportunities. I sit on the board right now of a company. It’s a Taiwanese company. Great company and such high integrity great people. But the tough question that I got just a while ago was should we send out Thanksgiving cards or Christmas cards? Because we know that you know Thanksgiving is important and Christmas is important. What should we do? So you can do my job right now. Those are the kind of things (I’m being a little facetious), but when you go to a foreign country, you need local country expert. That is a great way to have an international career never leaving your home country, if you want but usually leading to an opportunity to go overseas at some point.