As of writing this on the day celebrating the independence of the United States of America, I want to begin by saying this post is not political, or in the favor of any particular viewpoint or stance on issues. It’s simple a call to action for a generation that has many problems to solve for our own nations, and our world at large. And never before have we had such an ability to find and share solutions with each other.
Amidst a New World Order
While born in the transitional period that saw the unnraveling of the Soviet Union, and the subsequent end of the Cold War, we have seen a changing world developing faster and faster. New global players offer or challenge solutions and global influence while states and individuals increasingly have access to technology and the wealth of information.
Through the channels of international organizations and institutions , we have moved to address global issues AIDS, poverty, and disease head on. But the bumps in the road that have highlighted our lives have shown the complexity of our opportunities and solutions.
Amidst the currents of globalization and technology, we have seen countries rewrite their histories overnight. We have seen the power of small groups change the foreign policy of entire nations just as quickly. The world is changing fast, and our generation needs to keep up the pace. The sense of feeling ‘lost’ amidst the economic calamities we face, and the opportunities that fade on our homelands (for some nations are surely harsher than others) push our youths to ask themselves where their place is.
In 2008, I was leaving high school and bound for college, expecting myself to become an art student at a leading art school in the USA. The world market spun out of control and as we all know, the entire world fell with it. Everyone has felt it, whether in rising property prices, the lack of access to jobs. Many Western countries face working shortages, difficultly to accessing affordable education, and high inflation. College loans, weak job markets, and the fear of what tomorrow will bring.
Collapse of Order
In the past years, across the world, various movements have ignited across the world. On January 4, 2011, a 26 year old Tunisian fruit vendor self immolated himself in an act of protest and desperation that changed the world forever. His influence triggered a public backlash, that grew to topple the Tunisian government.
What we have seen in the years since, has been a complex cascade of events that have defined the complexity and neccessity of solving world issues, economic, and beyond.
Some of these events have triggered national conversations about individuals economic, social, political, and basic human rights. Occupy Wallstreet brought the issue of economic disparity and inequality to national attention. Students and others across the USA used Twitter to establish public protests across dozens of US cities. Millions of people took to the streets declaring their frustrations over their economic situation.
Finding Opportunities and Solutions
Establish Your Path Abroad
College students across the world ask themselves where their future is when news outlets spread bleak messages of economic disorder. As a college student, I often asked myself – and continue to this day wonder the following:
- How do you get ahead and advance your life and career amidst uncertainty?
- How Can You Find Work and a Stable Job When Jobs Are Being Replaced Rapidly?
- What if there was an alternative to Outsourcing jobs? What if you Could Outsource Yourself?
Understand Your Place in Society and the World
In political science, there are said to have been numerous phases of globalization in world history. We are currently experiencing the most recent phase, that has defined our lives through the speed of mass communications, technology, economic influence, marketing, advertising, and entertainment.
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A Call to Action
In our Generation, we have the opportunity to use diverse skillsets and personal experiences of our own cultures, languages, and home countries to establish our working abilities in companies and organizations across the world. We live in a moment where simply being able to speak English can propel you to nearly any country in the world and provide you the basic needs to get by. We live in a world where businesses seek to develop international work forces and global-oriented strategies.
We are a globalized generation.
In the issues surrounding the world today and the opportunities that exist across the world, we should all ask ourselves whether we are willing to move and work abroad. Are we willing to export our unique skills and expertise in foreign countries? Perhaps adapting our daily lives in a foreign environment could better shape ourselves as working professionals in a world that increasingly sees international business experience as a strong trait. Some say that today businesses cannot fully compete globally, if they do not think and act globally.
Falling on the cosmopolitan philosophy that we are not simply citizens inside our countries (nationalism), but we are simply citizens of a larger world community of shared interests, values, needs, desires, and skill sets. I am telling you right now that you should consider beginning a career overseas, establishing international partners for your own personal ventures, and expand your outlook of where you may be five years from now as a curious young college student who seeks adventure amidst this change.
Develop Skills and Expertise
Have you ever sat in an interview and been questioned about your qualifications? Does simply knowing MS Word and Powerpoint set you apart from other job seekers out there? Developing and branding your college experiences into professional and digital mediums will be key in the future.
Learn a Foreign Language
For some people, learning a foreign language seems daunting, but you should not be discouraged. Even a little basic understanding of some phrases, enrolling in a few semesters, or tutoring one-on-one in language exchange are all beneficial. The ability to speak foreign languages today will pay off rewardingly in the future. In business, personal lives, and even your own relationships – communication is a powerful tool and you can wield your personal influence if you use it right.
In my quest to learn Russian, I gained the opportunity to learn, create a better understanding, and to communicate with a generation previous and present that has lived inside and outside of the legacy of the Cold War. Following graduation, I went abroad after landing internships through the School of Russian and Asian Studies. I have never had an idea of what I would use the language for, but I knew it was intriguing. And by following my interest, I embarked on a post-college experience that took me across Post Soviet States, where the some of the more meaningful memories and challenges I faced in life, were faced head on, on my own, and in a foreign language.
Right now, there are skill sets not taught in college that can get you employed. From web developers, marketing gurus, and even bloggers, the skills such as SEO, Copy Writing, and Internet Marketing are growing incredibly fast. There are numerous success stories of individuals who have struggled to find purpose in the 9-5 lives, and have instead pursued the route of SEO and Copy Writing and have established their own businesses to help them get by – just from behind their computer screens.
By adapting to new skillsets and moving with the digital media and social networking, you can prepare your post-college prospects by crafting more options for yourself, and to brand yourself as a more well rounded and capable hire.
Most people would like to attribute diplomacy to governmental purposes, but I find it’s application to business to be an appropriate example the needs and opportunities we will find in our lifetime. Our generation can use it’s opportunity to establish international work experience and to help new and emerging markets establish themselves. International markets need international players, and I have never seen more French people in my life than since I arrived in Shanghai – working for wine imports and exports. Or perhaps my friend from Latin America working to establish an animal product supply chain in from the Americas to Southeast Asia. The future is global, and we all will find our place in it.