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From Local to Global: How to Transition Your Marketing Career Internationally

Climbing the corporate ladder is the game we all play in order to boost our income and get to a point where we can really use our expertise to influence and change the direction of the companies we work for. However, while this can be an exciting prospect, when working in cheating industries like marketing, remaining in just one location can seem to put a damper on proceedings. Marketing is a heady mixture of art and science, and as such, those in this sector can often feel trapped if there is no way to step out of their comfort zone and branch out into something a little more exciting. Fortunately, with the right attitude and desire to learn, there are very real possibilities for those floundering around in local marketing careers to move up, not just in terms of career progression but also in terms of being able to put their mental faculties to better use. The obvious following question is how? Well, this article will take you through a variety of methods you can use in combination to increase your chances of getting selected and put your skills to better use on the world stage.

Don’t Assume Your Current Knowledge Is Enough

Marketing is marketing, is marketing…right? Well, I hate to break it to you, but while some fundamentals remain in place regardless of location, the discipline varies wildly from place to place. If you really want to move to greener pastures elsewhere in the world, you may have to leave a few preconceived notions at the door and get stuck into learning a little more about how marketing works elsewhere. In practice, this could mean enrolling in an online course to gain a coveted online international relations graduate certificate that will not merely teach you about the various differences but should give you a high-quality credential to show to an employer that you mean business. These qualifications will teach you how to navigate the rapidly changing world and how to capture the imaginations of highly disparate demographics. 

Check If Your Current Employer Has International Opportunities

Once you have gained certification, the next step is typically to cast your net out far and wide in search of jobs in the kinds of places you want to be. This is a perfectly acceptable step, but instead of looking outward, it could be more fruitful to look inward and see if your current employer has any international postings waiting to be filled. Obviously, this will depend heavily on the size of your existing company and whether they are large enough to have an international department. Nevertheless, you may be surprised that even if they aren’t particularly big, they could have partnerships with other organizations that are worth exploring. 

Network With International Marketing Professionals

Networking is and has always been an integral component of any professional occupation, and marketing is no different in this regard. Throughout your professional life, beginning at university, you should have developed a network of friends, acquaintances, and other general connections that you should be able to tap into when you are ready to move up. You can also utilize inline channels like Linkedin to push your CV out to the world and reach out to those who may be in a position to hire. Just make sure your profile is up to date and others have endorsed your skills.

Embrace Cultural Differences For Success

Working in one place for too long can cause the mind to calcify and make you end up believing that every nation, culture, and person on the planet acts in the same way as you have been taught. This is wrong, wildly wrong, and if you are unable to shift your mindset, you can say goodbye to any chance of putting your marketing skills to use in another country. Although you won’t be able to learn every culture in existence, you should have an idea of where you want to work and, therefore, the culture that you must understand to have any chance of success.

Tailor Your Skills To Adapt

Following on from the previous point, once you have an understanding of the main differences between your home country and the place you want to work, the hard work will begin. This will mean relearning much of what you might have taken as gospel in the past and learning how to play your new learnings to the market you’re advertising to. To be clear, this doesn’t mean entirely abandoning everything you have learned over your lifetime but considering how you can use your existing knowledge to promote products or services to other types of people.

Learn Global Market Regulations Thoroughly

You will probably get up to speed with these points as you progress through your international marketing course and, in practical terms, on the job. But it should go without saying that if you fail to acknowledge the differences between the regulations of your own country and those of another, you will fail and fail badly. For example, what might be allowed in the USA may be heavily regulated in the UK. By falling foul of these regulations, you will risk receiving enormous penalties for the company you work for, which, suffice it to say, won’t ingratiate yourself with them much.

Master Multilingual Communication

If you are American and moving to Australia, outside of the local slang and various colloquialisms, you won’t need to adjust too much. However, if you are an English speaker and want to move to another country that doesn’t have English as a first language, you will need to learn the lingo to have any chance of finding success. You will never be able to understand a culture unless you understand that language. In some ways, this could end up being the most challenging aspect of your career change, but the more effort you put in, the more you will get out of it. Moreover, by learning the language, you can interact with the locals better and gain a more profound understanding of how they tick and strategies that might work for them.

Marketing is an exciting beast to get your head around and becomes even more complicated when you decide to market things to cultures other than your own. However, if you accept that you may need to relearn and recertify, the world can indeed be your oyster.

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