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The Case for a Culturious Lifestyle

Four Reasons to be Globally Aware  

by Kate Berardo


Intercultural skills improve communication abilities, social benefits, job opportunities and job stability.

Intercultural awareness is an enriching lifestyle and mindset, not an obligation or one-time training.

Job Opportunities

Being able to work and communicate with people from different backgrounds and cultures is essential in today's world and workplace. A global skill set ensures a bright future and an interesting and more enriching life path.

To work internationally today, an understanding of other cultures is essential. So is an ability to effectively communicate and work with people from these cultures. Without intercultural competence, the chances of landing and keeping a job internationally are slim to none.

Not to mention that we live in a constantly globalizing world and in a diverse country with a diverse population. Increasingly, these days, cultural competence is essential to work within the US.  

A decade ago, an understanding of computers was a highly marketable skill as business and computer technologies became highly interdependent. In the 2000s, it’s not an understanding of computers (now commonplace), but an understanding of how to work with people from different backgrounds that is essential for most jobs today.

Job Stability

You may still be able to land a job without demonstrating cultural competence for a small time in the future, but keeping it is another story.

People who know about other cultures are more able and adept at working in today's world. People who know how to work across cultures can turn differences into opportunities and can find success in situations where others find only failure. They can communicate effectively, solve problems creatively, and keep an open mind when others shut down. This means a job well done.

Social Benefits

Interculturally aware people are interesting. They engage in compelling conversations in a wider variety of settings, take advantage of opportunities that others shy away from, and think with an adventurous and open mindset that enriches their lives and life experiences. They have interesting things to say and can express themselves well.

Ongoing Rewards

Intercultural awareness is an enriching lifestyle and mindset, not an obligation or one-time training. It adds colors to your life, opens doors of opportunity, and leads to extensive, dynamic growth.

Kate Berardo is a Northwestern educated intercultural specialist who helps people from different cultures, backgrounds, and schools of thought understand each other and work effectively together. She is the co-author of Putting Diversity to Work with colleagues George Simons and Simma Lieberman, the Executive Planet Guide to Doing Business with the US, and the founder of, the culture destination portal dedicated to building intercultural awareness in daily life.

 This article may be reprinted with the author’s permission. Please contact us with reprinting requests.

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