Cross Cultural Skills For Fresh Graduates: Enabling Success In the Very First Job!

Posted June 12, 2014 by
Vineeta Tiwari

Vineeta Tiwari

Businesses today have now started looking out for other special skills other than just technical or organizational skills. One of the top-rated skills of recent times is cross-cultural skill set, which catalyzes international communication and transactions in a smoother way. Let us understand the importance of the skills for a debutante professional or a fresh graduate and how he/she can easily deal with cultural sentiments of clients effectively, in the very first job:

Globalization: The New Corporate Concept

Globalization is no longer a buzzword across corporates, it is reality. The idea has taken the corporate world by storm as it catalyzes the wealth generation and growth. With the idea of operating, the global way, there have been unprecedented changes in communications, transportation, and computer technology, which in turn has made the world even more independent.

The businesses are partnering across nations and are working with clients, belonging to different nations and cultures. The new working protocol has given a boost in the requirement of a workforce that is not only technically qualified but also expert in maintaining good relations with customers across the globe. Before, jumping onto the ways of acquiring the skills, let us first understand the importance of the skill:

Importance of Cross-Cultural Skills: From Hiring Perspective

Employing staff with adequate cross-cultural skills has become the need of the hour as such a workforce will assure a streamlined international business transaction and good client relations.

According to a study done by the British Council, the HR managers are now associating intercultural skills with significant business benefits. The study has proved that employing staff with fine cross-cultural skills can offer following benefits to the organization, as a whole:

  • Bring in new clients
  • Strengthening trust with clients
  • Streamlined communication with overseas clients
  • Increase in productivity
  • Increased sales

An experienced employee can very well understand the importance of the skills; however, for a fresh graduate the skills will appear as a mystery sort of thing. Let us explore the importance of acquiring cross-cultural skills from a graduate’s perspective:

Cross-Cultural Skills: Importance for Fresh Graduate

Being an adept communicator is very important to sustain in a fast moving corporate world. The education acquired at university level is oblivious to what is trending currently in the market. The future workforce of any business is hugely dependent on the fresh university graduates and therefore, it is important for these fresh talents to know about the skills that companies prefer and how easily can they acquire all of them. From a location perspective, there are certain countries that are attracting a high number of job seekers every quarter. The jobs in nations like UAE, Middle East and even the European Union are high-paying and high on satisfaction quotient.

Having a basic idea or sometimes a deeper perspective of the cross-cultural skill set can be beneficial for a graduate so that when he/she enters a corporate arena, things remain smoother.

Following reasons back the importance of the skill for graduates:

  1. Freshly hired, unexperienced workforce will have ease in understanding the client’s cultural sentiments and differences
  2. Having knowledge of the skill will help them understand the fact that customers across geographies need to be dealt in different ways.
  3. Acquired cross-cultural skill set will avoid any chance of offending a client due to inappropriate use of language or gestures while interacting
  4. Help the professional indicate respect and trust for clients stationed in different nationality
  5. Having cross-cultural skills will help a fresh professional sustain in countries, which regard its tradition more than anything else, such as the UAE and other Arabic federations.

The story doesn’t end here; there are a slew of experienced working professionals who lack the abilities to communicate with people stationed in different geographies. The companies round the globe who understand the worth of cross-cultural skills are now taking initiatives to help their working lot obtain the skills:

Few Initiatives & Options For Good!

Existing employees can keep on polishing their skills while their stay on the project; however, the situation looks tough for fresh graduates who are oblivious to dynamic client sentiments and cross-cultural scenarios. There are certain ways through which the new entrants in the employment market can brush themselves for good:

  1. Graduates can ask the curriculum authority to conduct workshops that aims at offering cross-cultural education
  2. The students after their college can join language classes so that they can learn corporate-chosen languages other than English, such as Spanish, French, to list a few. This can also help them understand their lifestyle and dynamic requirement.
  3. A new employee can be asked to relocate to another country, which can make them face cultural shock to a good extent. This can be helped if the graduate or an aspirant can go for some self-analysis on the targeted company and its client base.
  4. As for initiatives, there are companies who build up their own programs for the fresh lot of employees, which targets to educate them about cultural differences and problems faced in communicating with a client.

Before We go…

Companies in different countries are partnering with each and therefore, there is a lot of cultural difference noticed. In such scenarios, companies look out for people who understand client sentiments and cultural differences. A graduate can grab a good first job in a big corporate if he/she is prepared beforehand. This will not only help them in settling down well but also help them working in different country.

Author Bio

Vineeta Tiwari is a professional writer and blogger, who follows and writes about global economy and different employment markets. She has been making use of her writing skills to carve a niche for herself in the communication domain for quite some time now.

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