What if you moved to a new country and had to start your career from scratch? Or you stayed home to raise your family for years before trying to head back to the workforce? Or what if you were looking for a job in your field over a period of time?
Julie Price took on all of these challenges simultaneously and yet managed to expertly steer her career in international trade. Flexible learning options, like the online FITTskills courses for international business, played a big part in her success story.
Starting from scratch
Back in 1995 Julie moved to Edmonton, Canada from London, England. At that time she made the decision to focus on raising her young family.
When Julie decided to return to the workforce after eight years, she found it very challenging to find something suitable in her field.
Julie’s job search included all the things that job seekers are advised to do; information and networking sessions, countless applications, informative interviews, etc. Eventually Julie found work but not quite in her area of expertise.
“I found it really difficult to get a job in my field, so I took a job in administration because that is what I did prior to my degree,” says Julie.
Online international business learning and career growth
Things changed for the better when, at the advice of one of her managers, Julie began her first FITTskills course in 2007. She is currently on her eighth and last course of the series, steadfastly headed toward her CITP designation.
“FITT has helped my career enormously. My on-line tutor Douglas Marshall (Knowledge one/eConcordia) encouraged me to look at different career options” says Julie.
“When a research officer position became available in the Public Service, I applied and was successful. Then I moved into an International Relations Officer position,” she said.
Every FITT course I have taken has given me a greater understanding of international trade.
The decision to heed good advice and stay on track with her global trade training, one course at a time, while holding down a full-time job, has had a direct impact on Julie’s career growth.
“When applying for the research officer position, I was asked if I had ever conducted a major research report,” said Julie. “I had just finished my International Trade Research project so I was able to share that information. Not only did it show that I had well-developed research skills but it also showed that I was motivated to advance my career through education with the aim of gaining certification in international trade.”
Practical training courses improves job performance
Julie finds the FITTskills courses extremely practical, and well-suited to address the challenges faced by international trade professionals.
“My department recently organized a trade mission to a new emerging market,” she shared.
My most recent course, Legal Aspects of International Trade, helped me understand the risks involved and what companies need to know in order to mitigate risk and protect themselves legally.
I asked Julie, if she could travel back in time to 2007, how she would advise a younger version of herself to prepare for the FITTskills program. These are Julie’s tips:
- Take a look and see what other programs are out there (to see how comprehensive the FITT program really is)
- Gain a greater understanding of FITT and how it can be of benefit to you and your career
- Examine each course outline to understand what each course entails
- Decide which course would be most relevant at that time (says Julie “I did that, I liked that you could choose the order of the courses”)
- Take a look at the Certified International Trade Professional (CITP) certification and decide if this is something that could assist you with your career goals
Is the FITTskills program for you?
Developed by business for business, FITTskills meets the needs of those who are
- seeking to enhance their import-export career standing,
- new to exporting or importing,
- and those who simply want add to their expertise or gain valuable educational credits.
Luckily, Julie’s employer also understands the value of practical, industry-validated international trade training, and its positive impact on workplace competencies.
“The Government of Alberta encourages staff development,” she said. “I think you need to continually expand both your knowledge base and your network of colleagues. FITT and the CITP designation provides opportunities for you to do that.”
As in any field, building an upwardly mobile international business career is not without challenges. Julie’s story shows us that, however daunting the task, it is possible to reach career goals given patience, planning, and perseverance.
Maybe Julie has been lucky to find a supportive employer, an active partner in her career success. There’s no doubt though that Julie took the initiative to steadily work towards the career success she deserves.
What steps are you taking to reach your career goals? Are there any factors that have slowed down your career in international trade?
Do share some tips and best practices that have contributed to your own global trade career.