6 great things about working in a multinational and multicultural company
Callum Thomas is the CEO of Thomas Thor Associates, a global executive search and recruitment business in the energy sector.
I am fortunate enough to work in an environment with colleagues representing 14 different nationalities. The close team working culture at Thomas Thor Associates means that the opportunities to experience the benefits of working in a multinational and multicultural environment are particularly prevalent.
Six benefits of an international workplace
I would like to share some of the great things that I have observed from working with people from a diverse mix of countries and cultures. Here are six factors that can benefit your career, your lifestyle and you as an individual:
› It increases your value to employers
Today’s business environment can most definitely be described as global. The vast majority of employers are either busy expanding their operations into new countries and continents, or planning to do so soon.
As the CEO of an international recruitment business, I can report that over 80 per cent of the job descriptions we receive from our clients contain either a mandatory requirement or a strong preference for international and cross-cultural team experience.
The fact is simply that, if you have this international experience, you are more attractive to employers and more likely to be involved in interesting multicultural environments and expansion projects for your employer.
› Learn about other cultures and customs
One of the best things about visiting new countries is experiencing new cultures and customs. Imagine if you could do that in a meeting or during your lunch break!
This is a daily possibility when working in a company with staff from different countries and cultures. I have had many a fascinating conversation with my colleagues at work, covering topics such as living in the UAE, farming techniques in Wales, employment in the US and buying property in Asia!
› Insights and creativity thrive
I am not a psychologist, but I do have a keen interest in behavioral psychology and there are countless studies proving that creativity and new insights thrive in environments where people have different ideas and perspectives.
Henry Ford, American founder of the Ford Motor Company, said "If you always do what you've always done, you'll always get what you've always got". Working with diverse people gets the creative juices flowing and opens the mind to new ideas.
› It gives you the experience to move internationally
Most people I meet have a plan at some point in their life to move and work in another country. Having already worked in a multinational and multicultural environment gives you the experience, credibility and confidence to make these moves.
At Thomas Thor we give people the opportunity to move internally to other countries and our vision is to keep expanding worldwide to increase the options our employees have in the coming years.
Whether it is for an internal move or to join a new company, understanding different cultures and nationalities opens up new opportunities.
› Free exposure to other languages
Learning a new language is time consuming and challenging, and your level can drop quickly if you don’t practice.
Whether you are picking up a few words of Russian for the first time or practicing your French to keep up your level, working around people speaking different languages is great.
Speaking other languages gives a much greater depth of understanding of a culture, which is useful in- and outside of work. If you are looking for an even stronger reason to pick up another language then bear in mind that it is clinically proven to delay the onset of dementia in older people!
› Plenty of holiday destination ideas (and people to give you contacts and advice!)
The best holidays I take are the ones where I either have a local guide, or benefit from the knowledge and recommendations of a local before going.
One of the best things about working with people from many different countries is the never-ending suggestions for holiday destinations, and the amazing restaurants and beaches that they recommend that are way off the normal tourist path!
I look forward to travelling the world in the future and meeting up with various friends and colleagues that I have met along the way.
Seize the chance!
So if you have the desire or opportunity to work with an international or multicultural organisation - seize it! It can open up the world to you in more ways than you think!