Competencies are the knowledge, skills and attributes you can develop in every aspect of your life. As more and more supervisors focus on competencies in the hiring process, successful candidates will be those who can communicate their competencies in their résumés and at interviews.
Not sure where to start? Check out the roadmap to the competency kit.
- Understanding competencies
- Your core competencies
- Your program‑specific competencies
- Your professional competencies
- Your cross‑cultural competencies
- Competency kit learning objectives
- Index of competency kit resources
Your cross-cultural competencies
Are you interested in working abroad? Or maybe you're an international student interested in working in Canada? You can can develop the following cross-cultural competencies* when working in culturally diverse environments.
We've identified four cross-cultural competencies that you could develop:
- through an international experience OR
- by working in a culturally diverse workplace
You can work with a Co-op and Career staff member, including our international coordinator, to assess your cross-cultural competencies before, during and after your work experience. Developing international competencies will help you become a strong global citizen.
You are curious about new surroundings and cultures and actively seek out learning opportunities.
You demonstrate cross-cultural motivation when you:
- welcome the opportunity to learn more about the geography and culture of your work term city, region and country
- take initiative to explore your environment
- actively network with people from different cultures
- take interest in current events in your work term country
- engage with people in your employer organization and community
- network with potential international employers and inquire about the competencies valued by these companies
- recognize your strengths and seek areas to improve
You have a good understanding of how cultures are similar or different.
You demonstrate cross-cultural knowledge when you:
- recognize and respect cultural diversity
- learn appropriate, effective ways to communicate with people from different cultural backgrounds
- know how to be diplomatic and sensitive to the dynamics of a cross-cultural workplace
- understand how to communicate with people who speak or write a different language
- know how to be adept in a new environment
- understand ways to cope with constant change
- learn phrases in a new language, or learn a new language
You use your knowledge and understanding of different cultures to plan effective cross-cultural interactions.
You demonstrate strategic thinking when you:
- are conscious of your assumptions relating to cultural issues and question them at all times
- think about how you can take initiative to learn from co-workers from different cultural backgrounds
- plan how to pursue networking opportunities with people from different cultural backgrounds
- consider new strategies during each cultural encounter
- check for opportunities for cultural growth
- consider how your area of study is applicable in a global context
You demonstrate flexibility in your interactions and are able to recognize and adapt to cultural nuances in the workplace and beyond.
You demonstrate cross-cultural behaviour when you:
- display a positive attitude towards change and new environments
- adapt to different cross-cultural communication norms
- change your verbal and nonverbal behaviours according to different situations
- demonstrate that you acknowledge the human, interpersonal and technical sides of a problem
- show flexibility and explore possible solutions in an innovative and creative way
You can rate your competencies before, during and after your work and life experiences. Use the How to assess your competencies - info sheet to learn how to complete a competency assessment, and then use the Competency assessment - worksheet to:
- Document your current competencies
- Describe your competencies
These resources will help you find out where you fit on this scale:
- Beginning: You start to find opportunities to develop skills related to your competencies.
- Developing: You practice your competencies in the workplace, classroom and in daily life, and often think about how to develop your skills.
- Accomplished: You reach your competency goals and are always thinking about opportunities to use your skills.
- Exemplary: You’re a master—you completely understand your competencies and are constantly using them in all areas of your life.
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