Report focuses on qualities required for success in expat business life

Published:  15 Dec at 6 PM
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A recent research study has identified the personal qualities and characteristics which make up success as an expat.

The report,‘Predicting who will be a successful expatriate’, followed a comprehensive research study involving not only expats but also managers, employers and subordinates in both expats’ home and overseas countries. Feedback on performance, personal success, cultural integration and ability to communicate was analysed, giving a snapshot of the qualities necessary to make a success of an overseas assignment.

The study’s findings pointed out key characteristics needed by expats in order to make the best of new opportunities in an unfamiliar culture. Keys to success included openness to change, emotional stability, an awareness of and sensitivity to cross-cultural aspects, skill in adjustments to differing customs, business practices and perspectives, respect for different viewpoints, a strong sense of autonomy and, importantly, a sense of humour.

Research director for the project Dr Katherine Lochner said the research clearly identified the type of expat able to succeed in an unfamiliar environment. She added a predictive model has been set up with the ability to show whether any one individual will adapt, perform and cope with the professional and personal challenges of emigrating as well as managing their own stress levels. The model is expected to be of use to employers looking for suitable candidates in a variety of sectors and positions.

The innovative study itself was based on previous research and proves the use of psychometric testing in assessing the personal characteristics of potential expat employees. Personality questionnaires covering subjects such as interests, job-related values, motivation and motives can give employers a clear view of the potential of job applicants for international postings and ensure the right person is selected for each position.
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