Thursday, July 3, 2008

Taking a Marketing Job Abroad

Today in my marketing blog I am going to cover the decision to work abroad. It is a tough decision for anyone, especially in marketing. Simply stated, there are cultural issues, language barriers, religious issues, and economic issues. What if your company asked you to work in the Middle East? I am "Just a Girl in the Marketing World" and as a young woman I am not sure I would want to tackle the Middle East.

I am a high-achiever and I have overcome barriers in the past and I still have tremendous experience to offer the U.S. If all expatriates such myself only acted in the realm of safety and security would the U.S be as global as we are today?

The Middle East’s housing is different than the typical western-style. There are parts of the country, which are set up as diplomatic areas. These communities are rare, but could be considered a safe area for U.S. citizens such as myself. I may not want to live in an apartment area such as this, but this form of housing is an option to help me feel safe.

I am also a family girl and the culture in the Middle East isolates the females in the country. I experienced this when I visited Bahrain. People tend interact as a family unit. I never met any of the family members of my subordinates. Women are not allowed to drive, ride a bike, or travel without a male. Females are very restricted. Surely the my company would provide me with a driver and it is common for expatriate women to use a taxi, but this can make the strongest woman feel dependent.

I guess it takes a certain kind of person to embrace and understand different cultures, but being open does not ensure success in a foreign area of this nature. What do you think?

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