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In the past couple of semesters the topic of expatriates has come up a lot. I’m beginning to see that’s it’s an important issues since we now live in a global market. I do believe that if your successful in your career the likely hood of receiving an expatriate assignment is high. The Houston Business Journal conducted a survey of one hundred companies and sixty percent predict that the expatriate population will increase, while twenty-five percent said it will stay the same (HBJ, June 98). Since the probability is high that I will be asked to go to another country, I’ve had to do some serious reflecting. Would I be a good expatriate employee? There are qualities one must have in order to become a successful expatriate. According to Jeff Freeburg a consultant for H.R. International certain qualities one should have are motivation, receptiveness, Patience, sense of humor, initiative, confidence, dependable, savvy, persistent and decisive (Freeburg 99). I feel that I do have most of these qualities but is that enough? I am fortunate that I’m able to speak Spanish fluently, I can also read and write it. It was easy for me to pick up different languages since I’m a first generation U.S. citizen; I grew up with my family members speaking both languages to me. Because of that exposure I have the desire to learn other languages, I can read French and hope to learn Italian and Japanese if time allows me to. Even though I speak a different language I have never left the states to visit other countries either for personal or business reasons. Shannon Roxborough author of The Guide to International Work Success lists other important things one must do before venturing abroad.
An expatriate should learn some history in order to deal better with the cultural differences. Learn the business culture, as we have read in the case study of Buckeye Glass Company in China, we have learned the importance other cultures place on building a personal relationship that goes beyond the normal business relations in this county. Learn how to negotiate, American business professional must learn how to conduct proper negotiations in other countries, not every one rushes to the table to hammer out an agreement. Also as we’ve read other countries use tactics such as long pauses or touching during negotiations that seem strange to us but are perfectly normal for them.
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