Continued market jitters, increased layoffs and the decline of the U.S. dollar are causing angst in professional circles here in the U.S. Worries about the viability of sub-prime mortgage lending have hit financial systems hard, while soaring oil prices have affected most every other sector. Economic slowdown, recession, hard times - what ever you want to call it - seems to be brushing up against, if not hitting, the vast majority of Americans.
Despite the economic slowdown in the United States, globalization provides a cushion of employment in other markets around the world - if you're game to work outside your comfort zone.
While globalization has increased the frequency and spread of such financial crises, severity is less as the impact is shared. At this time, in particular, Americans are feeling the pinch and are wondering what to do about it.
I say go global. No, not on holiday - U.S. destination vacations have the double-benefit of both pumping money back into our economy and costing less overall if properly planned - but to work.
Although working abroad is not right for everyone, the vast majority of professionals who work overseas fast-track their careers in terms of financial remuneration and professional responsibility AND have a great deal of fun doing it.
If you've ever thought about doing it, timing is right to make the leap and take your career international. Reasons are many.
1. Working overseas may be your best bet for job safety over the next few years. Companies are cutting back and eliminating jobs in the U.S. The economic slowdown is affecting business growth, which translates into reduced raises, little or no bonuses and more layoffs.
2. American business experience remains a highly sought-after commodity in markets around the world. Although the U.S. slowdown will continue to affect other markets, significant growth continues in countries such as China, India, Brazil, Mexico and the Middle East. Whether working for a U.S. company abroad or another multinational outside the U.S., the benefits are great.
3. Decline in the greenback makes American intellectual capital more affordable. Companies based outside the U.S. are finding experienced U.S. workers more affordable due to the decline in the U.S. dollar and strength of such currencies as the Chinese Yuan, Brazilian Real and Euro.
4. International experience adds value to a resume. Probably most relevant to long-term career success, international experience will make you more marketable and sought-after in the U.S. after the economy rebounds. Global knowledge gained from direct experience working as an international player is a highly valued and still relatively scarce, commodity in the US.
5. Living abroad is one of the most rewarding experiences you'll ever have. It's fun! Cross-culture living has its personal benefits as well - and most who've worked overseas credit the life-changing experiences to the personal growth. You'll broaden your mind, as well as add a few lines of gold to your resume when you write "international experience, having worked in Shanghai and Sao Paolo from 2008 to ....."
Americans need to tap into the global economy in more ways than simply buying products manufactured elsewhere for cheap. We have an opportunity now, while our economy settles and eventually rebounds, to take advantage of opportunities in other countries around the world to the benefit of both of us.
Do it: Go Global.
Follow Stacie Nevadomski Berdan on Twitter: www.twitter.com/stacieberdan