Author Archives: culturepearl

moving mountains!

The person who moves mountains begins by carrying away small stones

What does this make you think about?  Quite a few of you will recognise this Chinese proverb, and I think it is interesting to reflect on this as summer starts to draw to an end.

Now, don’t get me wrong – I still intend to go to the beach a lot this summer!  But I am also beginning to plan the autumn – that special time when we can feel inspired to make great changes.  Going back to school.  Looking for the perfect graduate job.  These start at this time of year, and we need to get it right!

Tell me what you will be doing to start carrying those stones!

I, for one, will be continuing to do more unplugging of my devices, eating more carefully, and enjoying more time with my family.

I will also be making a speaking tour of schools in China, and giving a series of classes and workshops in Singapore.  My book will be published, and I will be planning to attend an extraordinary conference for women in India, and an amazing event about education in Portugal.

What are you going to do to make sure that your life is as interesting for you as mine is for me when you are my age?

For more inspiration, don’t hesitate to subscribe to the premium monthly BecomingGlobal newsletter.  There, you will find ideas, wisdom, little-known facts, all designed to accelerate your chances of a great global career!

what makes great customer service? and why is this important to you?

Whatever career you end up in, you will have clients of some kind. They may be consumers, if you work in a company that makes chocolate, or they may be other businesses, if you work in a company that sells services. Indeed your clients might be internal if you are working in HR, Operations or IT. But we all need to consider how we can do our best for that client, if we want to have a job next year still!

What does great service look like to you?  In Japan, the salesperson will tend to kneel down in front of you out of respect.  In the US, hamburgers are delivered in less than two minutes, with a guarantee of not paying if this is not achieved. In some of France’s most luxurious fashion boutiques, the sometimes unsmiling “discreet” service does not suit everybody.

It is a matter of taste, but this is no reason for ignoring other people’s taste!

Indeed, it is crucial to try to understand the needs and tastes of whomever you are serving. If you fail to do this, you will eventually lose their business to someone who takes more trouble than you to do so.

Is this important to you in your search for an international career? You bet it is! Because if you have not already found a holiday or part-time job in which you are learning how to give good service, then it is time you did. And if you have experience of the world of work, then you will have great stories to tell your college or graduate job recruiter.

Tell me more about what you have experienced!  Write to me and give me the lowdown on how you rated the service at different stores and places you have been. I read every answer!

For more advice on how to integrate your early work experience into a convincing argument for recruiters, subscribe to BecomingGlobal now, and get ahead in the mission to accomplish great things globally!

Disagreement 101

Many of you come from cultures where you have been educated to be obedient, compliant and avoid disagreements and conflicts.

This may not be quite so simple to use when you come to study or work in other cultures, where we value constructive criticism and “thinking for yourself”.

So, if you want to get it right, wherever you are, then some flexibility will be required, and a new habit learned, to be used in the appropriate context.

Here is a classic video from the “Kid President”, with some top tips for how to disagree. Take a look!

Whatever our background, we can all benefit from being reminded of the points KP makes, and his shots of baby koalas are, indeed, awesome!

What will you say and do, next time you wish to disagree? Maybe you disagree with your teacher’s point of view? Or with me? Or with your mom? Find the way to do this with grace, and you are on a winning strategy.

For more winning strategies, sign up to BecomingGlobal monthly newsletter, and get the tips to help you win the battle towards your best career.

5 amazing lessons from being unplugged

We all KNOW we should spend less time on our phones, iPads and computers, don’t we?

But what happens when we actually do disconnect?



Recently an experiment was done, taking 35 CEO’s and influencers into the desert for four days, with no devices to connect to the internet, and the results were astounding…

Better Posture, Deeper Friendships
People’s posture noticeably changed. They started to look outward into other people’s eyes, instead of down into their screens. This had the effect of opening up their posture, creating more energy, and even encouraged deeper connections between them.

Google Is A Conversation Killer
The ability to use Google to find the answer to a question in conversation leads us frequently to joke “whatever did we use to do before we had Google?”  However, is it really a great solution?  In the unplugged desert, conversations continued, looking for answers together, telling stories, comparing experiences, and finding commonality, inside jokes and more.  The insight into the way the others’ minds worked was tremendous, engaging and memorable.

Enhanced Memory
Even with just a few days unplugged, memory of small details was improved, and the scientists believe this is because the individuals were more present and engaged in their conversations than they could have been with digital distractions present.  These small details are crucial in the process of bonding and learning about other people, and something not to be lost, if possible.

Better Quality Sleep
The lack of blue light, as well as the stress of checking email up till bedtime, seems to have contributed to shorter, but more restful sleep during the desert detox. Feeling rested and rejuvenated was commonly reported.

New Perspectives
One impressive finding was that people tended to make deep change when they were offline for a while.  Significant decisions were taken, whether about career, fitness, relationships or lifestyle, the lack of constant distraction seemed to enable big plans for action.

Will you give this a try in your life?  What could the benefits be?  You might like to know that today, as you receive this, I am detoxing digitally, while on holiday with my family.  No email checking for me, for 15 days, apart from half an hour, once a day.  I will tell you more about how it went when I am back!

To get more ideas to create advantage and happiness in your career, subscribe to BecomingGlobal here, and have fun while getting ahead!

The art of persistence… and how it is linked to KAWAII…

The Japanese economy may not be what it once was, but the allure of intricate arts and crafts in this enigmatic country has shown no signs of slowing down. The respect shown to the artisans, who train for long years so as to be able to create the sushi, the textiles, pottery and more that we can admire in craft shops (and restaurants!) the world over, knows no limits in Japan.

Take a look at this video of the incredible creations of one such artisan:

Sushi chefs train for 10 years, and Haruki Nakamura takes months on end to create a new penguin bomb or wolf in sheep’s clothing.  Do you have what it takes to persist this much? How would your world look if you persisted a little more?

If these cute, astonishing “kawaii” little creatures inspire you, then take that inspiration and run with it!  You may just reach your goals more enjoyably, and more successfully.

For more ideas on how to develop your persistence, and recover from failure, subscribe to our monthly exclusive newsletter, BecomingGlobal, and get ahead of the rest in your quest for an international career!

How cool is this?

Take a look at this creativity!  How utterly amazing!  And all for an airline safety video….

How would you like to work in a company where such creativity was commonplace?  It exists… but you need to start searching, perhaps not in the most conventional ways.

Perhaps you can search the web for the most creative advertising campaigns of this year?  Or indeed the most innovative inventions.  There are so many ways to identify creativity, and to track it down in your potential place of work.

If creativity is important to you, then get searching.. you never know what you might find!


And if you need a hand with the search, then sign up for BecomingGlobal’s exclusive monthly newsletter, in which you will find tips the others don’t get!


Messy or Tidy? And does it matter?

Were you the one with the messy desk in your class?

Or the one who was so tidy others found it scary?

And does it matter?



Einstein famously had a very messy desk indeed, and he was pretty successful.

In fact, when told that a “messy desk equals a messy mind”, he replied, “well, of what, then, is an empty desk a sign?”


To find the working style that gives YOU the maximum efficiency, then you probably need to subscribe to BecomingGlobal, to get the hints and ideas gleaned from coaching over 1000 students like you towards their first global graduate jobs!

Why you will fail to have a great career

What is YOUR excuse for not doing, or seeking to do, a job you LOVE?

Have a good listen to this talk – and read the transcript in your own language, for an additional boost of language learning!

When you are done, please let me know if you ARE doing something that makes you feel satisfied most of the time?  And how you got to that place…

To get more chances of finding a GREAT career for yourself, you can sign up and subscribe to BecomingGlobal monthly newsletter – to get ahead of the others in creating something amazing for your future!

how to stalk your interviewer

Do you want the very best results from your upcoming interviews? Of course you do!

Many people stress a great deal about interviews, thinking they are very unusual and difficult events.

I believe that interviews are fun and enjoyable. Am I crazy?  You might ask…

But, no, an interview is just an opportunity for two people to get to know each other, and to see if there is a fit between what each one wants.  Sometimes the answer is “no”, and sometimes, it is “yes”. I am not advocating not preparing, but I am advocating that it is not worth getting too worried about it.  Rather, use your energy to do great research and preparation.

One aspect of preparation for an interview, is to get to know as much as possible about the person who will be interviewing you.  You need to use Google, LinkedIn, Facebook and more to try to track him or her down, and to learn about her/his career, personal life, interests, awards, study and so on.  The more you can have, the more likely you are to be able to see connections between the two of you.  And of course, the more knowledge you have about this person, the better you will be able to target your questions!

All in all, stalking can sometimes be a good thing!

Even if you get the name of your interviewer only on the day of the interview, you still have a smartphone, don’t you?  Do what you have with the limited time available!

For more tips on how to improve your chances of success at interview, you need to sign up to our monthly premium newsletter, available exclusively to a few thousand across the world.  Don’t forget – there are millions of international students like you.  Make sure that YOU are GLOBAL!

how to make your brain work LESS well in just one day..

In the space of just a few hours, you can take steps to decrease your brain’s efficiency by up to 20%!

You can end up functioning like somebody who has had much too much alcohol to drink.

You will be in a bad mood

Your breath will smell bad


What is “it”?


Yes, if you do not drink the necessary 2-3 litres of water per day, you will not only be thirsty, but your brain will not function as well at all.

You take so many steps to improve your performance in other ways.  Why would you spoil it by not drinking?

For more information on how to get your brain in the best shape possible, sign up to get BecomingGlobal monthly, and stay ahead of the crowd in your preparation for the most amazing future!