Help me transition from finance to international management
December 10, 2012 7:29 PM Subscribe
I'm thinking about a career-change into international management. What steps should I take over the next year or two that will make me an attractive hire? Details below the fold...
posted by Guernsey Halleck to Work & Money (6 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I've spent my entire 12 year career in finance, with a specific focus on Asia for the last 5 of those years. During this time I've acquired a very specialized skill-set that makes me very employable in a small niche market, but these skills are otherwise completely non-transferable outside this niche.
For various reasons, both personal and professional, I've decided that I'd like to make a career change. I'm much more interested in working for a real business that provides real economic benefit, as opposed to the paper-pushing of Wall Street.
In particular, I'd like to get involved with international management. As I mentioned above, I've spent the past 5 years focusing on Asia, and I really love the interaction with people abroad, navigating foreign business environments, and just generally immersing myself in other cultures. While I'm not looking to relocate abroad, (I'm in the US,) I'm perfectly fine with extensive travel.
So what do I bring to the table, given that my primary skill-set is totally non-transferable? Well, for starters, a good portion of my current job involves reading and analyzing country- and industry-specific economic and strategy reports. What else? I'm good at synthesizing data points and information into a coherent thesis. I enjoy strategic planning. I'm a good decision-maker, and am comfortable working under pressure.
All of these things are good, but most would probably fall under the category of "soft skills." What can I do now that will make me a stronger candidate 18-24 months down the road? I intend to stay at my current job for at least another year, but I do have plenty of unsupervised downtime. I'd rather not spend the 2 years and enormous sum of money that business school would entail, but I may be open to the idea in some circumstances.
Any advice the hive-mind can provide is greatly appreciated!