CHOOSING A CAREER / JAN. 14, 2015
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How to Prepare Yourself for a Career in International Affairs

A career in international affairs can be an exciting one, filled with amazing opportunities to travel, meet new people, and make a real difference in the world. But it’s definitely not the easiest of careers! Not only are the academic requirements demanding, but you’ll find that a lot goes into preparing for your studies and life in the field of international affairs.

If your goal is to work in this field, here’s what you’ll need to do:

Brush up on computer skills

Most professionals need to be skilled with computers, but this becomes even more important if you work in international affairs. After all, most of your communications with be done via computers, and you’ll need to learn how to research online. Work on your internet research skills, as well as your ability to work with computers in general.

Learn a new language/s

You will no doubt study and work abroad, so you’ll need to master at least one language aside from English. The more languages you learn, the greater chance you have of succeeding abroad. Consider learning Mandarin, French, Portuguese, or Spanish, or learn the language of the country you have in mind.

Work on public speaking

If you are to become a diplomat, a dignitary, or an international politician, you’ll need to make speeches in public. Many people struggle with public speaking, so it’s time to brush up on your public speaking skills. Once you are comfortable giving speeches, you’ll find it’s much easier to do your job!

Study

You’re not just going to need to learn about your particular job, but you’ll need to learn about economics, law, history, international politics, finance, and more. The truth is that international affairs is a multi-specialized career, and there is a lot you need to know before you can even begin to take part in real international affairs.

Keep abreast of current events

Want to be the best professional you can be? Learning more about the world at large is the best way to do so! Watch the news, listen to the radio, and read the newspapers, particularly the international papers. Make sure to learn as much as possible about what’s going on in the world around you, and keep up to date with all current events.

Improve your writing skills

You’re going to need to write briefs, speeches, statements, reports and so many other types of documents that it will boggle your mind. If you don’t think your writing skills are solid, practice, practice, practice! Not only will you need to learn how to write well, but you’ll want to invest time into becoming a better researcher as well.

Train your brain to be analytical

It takes a lot of practice to train your mind to weed out important information from news broadcasts, speeches, news articles, and complicated texts. But this is a skill you will need to hone in order to succeed in international affairs. Start summarizing articles, speeches, and news reports, deciphering complex texts, and even practice giving simple, concise reports summarizing complicated topics.

A lot goes into a career in international affairs, so it’s essential that you are prepared if you want to succeed!

 

Image: iStock
 

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