How to Turn Overseas Deployment Into Your Best Career Move

Your company needs representation overseas, and they’ve chosen you! This fact should tell you that they think you have what it takes to get the job done. Excelling at your overseas posting could be your biggest career success ever. But making the most of the opportunity will take a little forethought on your part. Is this opportunity really for you? What do you need to do to make it the most positive move you ever made?

Your company needs representation overseas, and they’ve chosen you!

1. Be Ready to Take Care of Yourself

You can try asking your employers to cover some of the extra expenses you’ll incur if you take the consignment. For example, you’ll need health insurance for Americans abroad, and if your employers won’t cover it, you’ll have to factor it into the costs related to the opportunity and weigh the pros and cons of footing the bill. Be ready to take care of yourself, but ask important questions like whether your employers already have offshore contacts who can help you to get settled.

2. Understand Your Career Objectives

It’s great that your employers have chosen you to represent them, but to make the most of the career opportunity, you need to understand the goals they’re hoping you’ll contribute to whilst there. Understanding the key performance areas under which your work will be evaluated will help you to prioritize. Most employers understand that what they get relates to what they measure, so find out what metrics will apply to your work so that you can focus on the results they’re hoping you’ll deliver. For example, if you’re an industrial engineer tasked with improving efficiency at an overseas plant, find out what measurable made your employers act in the first place. That’s where you’ll begin work.

3. Get Your Offshore Support System Working for Your Career

If your employers can only offer you a limited support system, expand it. Talk to people in ex-pat groups. They may help you with more than just finding your way around – they might introduce you to networks that can genuinely benefit your work. Find allies wherever you can, and get in touch with them before you even make the journey to your new home base. The more people you know who are willing to support your personal and professional goals, the better!

4. Use Your Status as an Appointed Representative in Your Career

While it’s always great to be deferential and polite, know what your status as an appointed representative of your company means. You’re not just a John or Jane Doe in a foreign country: you’re the person chosen to represent your employers. Of course, you’ll stick to the limits of authority you’ve been assigned, but you’re still something of a VIP. Use this knowledge as a means of highlighting your status and, where appropriate, as a means of gaining a bit of extra clout. Do be clear about the decisions you’re authorized to make, and run everything else past the appropriate individuals before making any commitments.

5. Talk to your Employers About New Opportunities

Your employers may have had specific ideas and strategies in mind when they chose to deploy you, but once you arrive, you might spot additional opportunities you could explore on their behalf. While you might think that acting on them is sure to impress, do check that they’re aligned with your employers’ goals. And if they are, find out what priority you should assign to exploring them further in your career. Spending all your time on a pet project that isn’t seen as a high priority would be unwise, so no matter how passionate you are about exploring any extra opportunities you might spot, be sure that you have management’s support before you just dive in.

6. Give and Get Regular Feedback

Don’t be out of sight and out of mind, even if you think you have clarity on what you should be doing and don’t have much to report as yet. Report regularly references the goals you’ve been given, and asks for feedback from your direct superiors. Are you fulfilling the brief? Is there anything else you should be doing? What progress have you made so far? If possible, try to cover all management’s concerns in your regular reporting and get feedback on their opinions regarding the next steps they think you should take.

7. Never Assume You Can Ask

Being away from direct supervision and having been given decision-making powers may look like freedom, but you may be sure you’ll have to answer for every move you make. Never be hasty, and never assume if you can ask. Being trusted in your career to representing your firm also means being trusted to keep them well and truly in the loop. If you’ve reached an assumption regarding something that may contribute to your progress and which isn’t in your original instructions, be sure to ask before putting it to work.

8. Communicate More Than Ever Before

Being offshore can be highly challenging especially if your support system and network of local employees and managers is a small one. Ensuring that you and management back home are on the same page will require excellent communication as you explore your responsibilities and execute plans that contribute to your company’s success. Ensure that your energies are being expended in line with your employers’ expectations and keep on staying in touch. Great communication skills are always important in business, but never more so than when you’re thousands of miles away from HQ.

Overseas deployment is a challenge, but if you can meet it successfully and deliver the results your employers are looking for, it could be the best career move you ever made.

The post How to Turn Overseas Deployment Into Your Best Career Move appeared first on ERP News.

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