Understanding Business Culture is Critical in any Job Hunt
By Britteny Egan
Understanding the differences between business culture in the United States and overseas is critical to landing a job in either market – whether the job candidate is an American student looking for work abroad or an international student looking for work in the United States.
That was one of the key lessons students could take away from Nov. 8 workshop delivered by Lynn D’Angelo-Bello, a Lehigh career counselor for graduate students. During her talk, which was held as part of Lehigh’s International Week, D’Angello-Bello spoke about specific differences between the United States and other countries when job hunting.
Among the many differences between U.S. corporate culture and workplace culture elsewhere, D’Angelo-Bello highlighted the fact that the United States is more about individualism and getting right down to business, while in other countries employers focus more on the group and building relationships before dealing with business.
Also, in other countries employees try not to stand out, but in the United States to do well employees are almost required to do something to make them get noticed. Another difference is that in the United States many people like to tell it how it is and tell the truth regardless of feelings. In other countries, there is more emphasis on feelings and preserving relationships. Likewise, in the United States it’s okay to say “No,” but in other countries that isn’t always the case.
D’Angelo-Bello wrapped up the workshop by stressing that Lehigh Career Services is an essential stop for all Lehigh students as they begin the job hunt, no matter where they hope to be employed. Lehigh does everything it can through the Career Services office to prepare students to enter the workforce after graduation, whether they intent to work in the United States or overseas, she says.
Career Services often works with international students on resume preparation and sharpening interview skills, D’Angelo-Bello says. And, American students looking to apply for jobs overseas can use Career Services as a tool to prepare themselves for the different obstacles that working internationally may bring about, she says.