If you are learning a language for reasons of business you may soon have the opportunity to travel internationally with your work. An important detail to keep in mind is that, in order to have a successful business trip, you’ll need to know more than the language that is spoken where you are going. Forbes Magazine recently put together a comprehensive article with tips, resources, and important tasks to complete before you step on the plane that may be your key to having a positive experience.
Your Basic Guide To Business Travel Abroad
Written by Jacquelyn Smith, for Forbes.com, 8/27/2012
Read the full article with is lists of important questions and resources here.
You’re probably familiar with common business practices in the U.S. and less accustomed to the way things are done abroad. That’s OK; most people are in the same boat. But if you do plan to travel for work, you should know that most of our customs don’t fly overseas, and you’ll want to do the necessary research before you go.
Due diligence is a must
“It’s not only important to prepare for a business trip abroad, it’s essential,” says Dale Kurow, a New York-based executive coach. “If this is your first business trip outside of the U.S., due diligence in learning about the country you’ll be visiting is a must. You’ll be interacting with colleagues with country-specific business acumen and your lack of knowledge will be evident and damaging.”
Andy Teach, a corporate veteran and author of From Graduation to Corporation: The Practical Guide to Climbing the Corporate Ladder One Rung at a Time, agrees. “It’s essential to prepare because there are so many more chances for things to go wrong compared to a domestic business trip,” he says. While abroad, you’ll be dealing with different people, different customs, and different rules.
You are representing your department, your company, and your country
“It’s important to remember that when you travel abroad for business, you are not just representing yourself, but also your department, your company, and your country,” he adds. You are an ambassador and should act accordingly.
Without adequate preparation, you’ll not only appear naïve and unsophisticated, but you run the risk of insulting the very people you want to impress, Kurow says. “Or worse, you could be labeled as clueless and not ready for a position with global reach. International experience is the proving ground for many a rising executive. Not doing your homework before you travel abroad could have a serious negative impact on your future career. It doesn’t get much more important than that.”
If you become sick or have a bad case of jet lag—which could easily happen if you don’t prepare properly—you won’t be 100% focused on what you need to be focused on, and this can certainly affect your productivity while you’re overseas, Teach adds.
You could offend people, lose an international account, or worse, lose your job
He says the best advice is to study the country you’re traveling to. Know the culture and customs of the people who live and work there, and plan your trip so that you have some time to rest before your business begins. Speak to other businesspeople who have previously been to that country on business and ask them for advice. Furthermore, act like a local, not like a tourist, he says.
“With so much on the line for an international business trip, every detail must be thoroughly examined,” Teach adds. So to help you with those details, we’ve constructed a brief guide for business travel abroad. Rules and customs vary by country—and it’s important to know those specifics before you go—but here are some universal things to think about.
For the full article visit Forbes.com