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#IWD2020: How to Thrive in an International Career

International Women's Day 2020

With the arrival of International Women’s Day, we spoke with Anna Dirr, Head of Operations at TrueProfile.io, about her career which has taken her all around the world. The theme of International Women’s Day 2020 is #EachForEqual, promoting equality and inclusivity and drawing on the notion of ‘collective individualism’. With a flat organisational hierarchy, an equal gender split and a multicultural working environment at TrueProfile.io, Anna shares more about how to build and find your dream career abroad. 

1. Can you give us an overview of your career history?

When I was still in high school, I knew that I wanted to work in an international environment, therefore I made internationality a priority for my university and career choices. I did a double Bachelor degree in International Management in Ingolstadt and Shanghai and a Master’s degree in Computing & IT in St Andrews. When TrueProfile.io initially launched under the name “DataFlowPlus.org”, I became one of the first team members. Since then, I have grown alongside the company and became Head of Operations at the end of last year.

2. Which countries have you worked in?

I am currently working from my home country of Germany, but have lived and worked in Thailand for six months. Although my main work location is Munich, I frequently travel to meet my colleagues. No matter if it’s the Philippines, Vietnam, Thailand, Dubai, India or the UK, it is always exciting to explore a new city or country. My favourite so far: Thailand!

3. How did working internationally contribute towards your experience and how do you think this helped your career success?

Working in an international team usually exposes you to a much more diverse group of people. Your personal background is not only different from everyone else’s, but working styles, communication manners and differences in cultural norms can create problems if you are not communicating efficiently. So, my international job has definitely taught me how to communicate better and more frequently, to be more self-aware about my own habits and to understand the value of good relationships with the people around you.

4. Can you tell us more about what you do at TrueProfile.io?

When I first joined in 2017, I was responsible for smaller Operational projects. This allowed me to work autonomously very early on and gave me the opportunity to get a deep understanding of the several departments at the DataFlow Group. After I completed my Master’s degree, I joined TrueProfile.io full-time. As Head of Operations, I am now working alongside the entire team, not only to provide great service and easy verification solutions, but we are also creating new exciting features which will benefit our Members throughout their career journey.

5. What is the team at TrueProfile.io like?

The TrueProfile.io team works from eight different countries, it’s roughly 50/50 male/female split and has a flat organizational hierarchy. Although communication with a time difference of seven hours can sometimes get tricky, our different backgrounds are not only a big advantage for each team member personally, but also for our customers. Diversity in gender, nationality or our worldviews helps us to build an exciting product for everyone.

I personally really appreciate the empowering atmosphere we have in our team. You are evaluated based on your performance, not on your experience or position within the company. We are currently looking for an Operations Assistant in Manila, Philippines. If you are interested in a new challenge or want to start your international career, and have previous experience within Operations – please get in touch!

6. On International Women’s Day, what advice would you give women who are keen to pursue a career overseas?

If you want to pursue a career overseas, don’t be afraid! Apply for jobs you are excited about and that are relevant for your skills and education. Don’t get demotivated if you cannot find the right fit straightaway, it can take time to figure out exactly what is best for you. It’s good to know where you want to work, but you should also be flexible if a great opportunity comes along somewhere you hadn’t considered working before. Even if you realise that an international career is not what you are looking for in the long-term, you always learn from your experience and can carry it forward to your future roles! Of course, TrueProfile.io is here to help you – so make sure you sign up as a Member and build your digital CV. 

Ready to take Anna’s advice and get that international career on track? Sign up to TrueProfile.io, add your career information to your myTrueProfile page and make your information viewable to employers all around the world. 

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