But how is that exactly?
A major part of soft skills relates to interpersonal skills. Now when I refer to interpersonal skills, I’m not talking about when you simply write ‘interpersonal skills’ as part of your key skills section found on the majority of CV’s. Interpersonal skills can be broken down and the majority of these are utilised within teaching roles. Interpersonal skills are skills used when you are interacting with other people. This can range from other employees in the company your work for, to working with the public, to liaising with external partners. Examples of such are; Communication Team working Conflict resolution Negotiation Listening
When teaching abroad you will need to apply these skills when interacting with children, other members of staff, and possibly parents. The fact that you will be doing this in a foreign environment will enhance and refine them much more than a normal job within your own culture.
These sets of interpersonal skills are applicable to every industry and in a teaching position abroad you would not only utilize them but also enhance them. In particular communication and listening skills are important when attending an interview for a job so don’t underestimate them.
Transferrable Practical Skills
In addition to the interpersonal skills I listed you will also gain and enhance vital practical skills transferrable to any industry from teaching abroad.
Some of these practical skills are even more vital in specific industries so if you are aware of what skills your industry requires in particular then you should not miss the opportunity to improve them. Below I have listed the main practical skills that you will use when teaching abroad. I have also broken down each so that you can gain an understanding of how you may use them in that context:
1. Planning – You may have to lesson plan, plan activities and as you will be abroad, planning your own personal activities outside of your teaching role.
2. Time management – This is directly related to lesson and activity planning. Remember that your time during the day is limited so being able to manage what you do within that timeframe will be crucial.
3. Dealing with difficult situations – In any job, there will be times when you have to deal with difficult situations. Imagine the challenge of having to deal with a difficult situation when you are in a completely different environment to what you are used to. If you can deal with a difficult situation while teaching abroad, you can deal with them anywhere.
4. Adaptability – Being able to adjust and adapt to a different working environment and culture will be a must while teaching abroad. The different customs and working practices will leave you with adaptation skills which you can use throughout your career.
5. Language and communication skills – Now this may not apply to every person who teaches abroad but if you are able to use a different language while working, or if it is a catalyst for you to begin your own language learning journey, the possibilities are endless. Research conducted on employers from 9 different countries including the UK and the USA showed that employers ranked language skills as the 2nd most valuable intercultural skill found among candidates for their jobs.
Open Yourself to Opportunities
As you can see with the combination of transferrable practical skills and soft skills, teaching abroad can not only be a unique experience, but a beneficial one to your career. The bottomline I want you to understand from this post is that teaching abroad is not just for people interested in a career as a teacher. Look deeper and think about both the personal experience as well as the career boosting prospects that it holds.
Find a paid teaching placement here, or find other voluntary and short-term teaching placements through Global Volunteer or Global Entrepreneur here.
This article was written by Rohan Harris. He is the founder of www.Inter-CV.com, Director at Gouni Careers, consultant and public speaker. He is passionate about careers, guiding young people, personal & Professional development, as well as business.
The main goal of Inter-CV is to assist students in their career journey while in the UK, ensuring they make the right decisions to enter their desired industry. You can find out more at www.inter-cv.com