This past year, YSN decided to get a closer look at college students around the globe to better understand the next generation workforce young people launching their careers. In case you haven’t heard, over the next 10 years more than one billion young people will enter the workforce. They may be your kids, your staff, your partners, your peers or even your competition, but however pervasive they may be in your world today, it’s time to ask yourself if you’re ready for these sweeping market and demographic changes. Are you globally savvy or internationally challenged? Are you ready to join the new world order?
The “Global Career Mindset Study” we conducted was the first of its kind, surveying students from 50 countries. The most compelling finding: 55% of students are looking abroad to launch their careers, and only 20% plan to look for work locally. What’s more, they’re skilled, they’re ambitious, they’re hungry for new opportunities to show the world what they can do, and they’re savvy — about politics, geography, world affairs and culture. Plus, they have the business skills the top employers and entrepreneurs are looking for in young talent.
Between the current economic turmoil and the workforce crisis, building a solid business or finding and keeping a great job is going to require a lot more effort. If you want to give yourself every possible advantage, it’s time to expect more from yourself. I firmly believe the smartest thing you can do to be competitive in the global workforce is to become more globally savvy, aware, skilled, refined, and cultured. Stop thinking of your own city or country as your community and start thinking of yourself as a citizen of the world. A few tips:
- Keep up on international news. Read it online or watch international news broadcasts.
- Build and nurture relationships with people from other countries, on and offline.
- Join international membership organizations.
- Attend and participate actively in global conferences and events.
- Travel as much as you can to experience different cultures first hand. In your own country, spend time with immigrant families with a strong sense of their native culture. (Visit with them in their homes if you can)
- Learn different languages. At the very least, learn hoe to exchange pleasantries (hello, how are you, nice to meet you, thank you, goodbye) in a few different languages. Practice and learn more every chance you get.
Lastly, open yourself up to new and different experiences. Embrace the idea of things and people who are unfamiliar and look at your exploration of the world as an adventure that will not only open up your opportunities, but change the quality of your life.
My best advice: Think like an economist, act like an entrepreneur and set your sights globally.