By René Paula
At ZX Ventures, we always say that we are a global startup. If you haven’t worked globally, though, you may not realize what that really means on a day-to-day basis. It sounds exotic and exciting to work all over the world—and it is—but you must first acquire certain necessary skills and make a few mental adjustments.
First, and most critically, speaking multiple languages is essential to being a global citizen working with companies around the world. We are constantly either in, or at least on the phone with, other countries. We talk with businesses, suppliers, employees, customers, service providers, distributors, and dozens of other people in countries all around the world. Not all of them are proficient in English, especially when it comes to discussing the specifics of their work or a particular job. Only speaking English is a true handicap for our employees. Most people around the world know multiple languages, so you only need a few to find one in common. But the more languages you know, the better you can travel and work anywhere in the world. Make learning another language a priority if you want to work globally.
Travel is another key consideration. I used to think of myself as an international worker, since I worked with a handful of different countries while I was at Audible (Amazon). Little did I know what global work looked like! Today, with ZX Ventures, I’m literally globetrotting all the time. I talk with colleagues in dozens of different countries every single day, and I travel all over the world. All I need is my laptop and my phone, and I can do business anywhere. If you’re not yet comfortable and adept at traveling to multiple continents, working on expanding your travel horizons may come in hand during your next opportunity.
Finally, I have to discuss time zones. They’re inconvenient, but such is the nature of living and working on a round planet. This business is truly worldwide, and while it may always be 5 p.m. somewhere, it’s also always 8 a.m., and the start of a business day, somewhere else. The reality of a flexible global schedule means that you may occasionally have to take calls in the middle of the night. It’s important to be accepting of working weird hours at times and be “always on” in order to work in a truly global business like ZX ventures.
If you embrace these challenges, though, you can become a true world traveler, comfortable and able to do quality work anywhere in the world. I love that I can expand our mission, encompass new global markets, and engage with new customers in so many countries, truly improving more and more of the world through great beer.