Millennials Can Be Successful or Fail Abroad

By: Juntee Terrenal, GMS, Strategic International Business Leader, Adviser & Coach

Internationally, the impact of financial crises during the past years have challenged all generations in regards to opportunities that sustain stability, growth and advancement. The Millennials are the most challenged group, because they were just beginning after college life. Notwithstanding of the ‘boomers’ that are experiencing over 50 employment crises.  What is the promise of the future for the Millennials? With the current economic challenges of today, there is no strong evidence of sustainable tomorrow. With that said, there is a millennial behavior that stands out – it is Optimism about the future.

Millenials Opps

A recent study by Boston Consulting regarding global talents; it deciphered international opportunities for Millennials based on their manifested interests.  The illustrations provided demonstrate the evidence that today’s globalized world, people are working abroad and many signified interests in working abroad, including identified countries where people would like to go and work. Please note however, that the data was derived from sample size of 203,756 from various countries listed below.

As seen in the Illustration below, the participants in this study indicated the countries that attracts them. The United States of America tops, United Kingdom as number two choice; as the destination of adventurous youngsters from various countries. This study sustains the 2014 facts gathered within the International Workforce Mobility  industry, that United States (7%) and United Kingdom (6%) respectively host the most expats on current international assignments.

The study identified that 42 percent of  all respondents like to move and work in USA; they are coming from “many impoverished nations including Nigeria, Ghana, Nicaragua, and Honduras.”(source:

2014 intl willingness to work abroad-big3

Credit: bcg.perspectives

Quite interesting to see below, that there is 59 percent of young Americans (whose age range 21-30) are more than willing to go abroad.  The study showed that Americans find greater interests in non-traditional career abroad like temporary non-profit work. Participants indicated that they can’t get their careers start within the US due to the impact of the recession.

2014 intl willingness to work abroad2

Credit: bcg.perspectives

Indeed, the globalization of workforce is progressively trending and advancing. Look at the global average of 63.8 percent. In every column of the illustration below, it shows the countries that generate the level of interest of working abroad.

2014 intl willingness to work abroad-big

Credit: bcg.perspectives

What This Means Internationally?

The economic constraints triggered greater interests of younger generation to explore opportunities for career and better adventure abroad. Career opportunities at home are not challenging and not engaging outside the traditional business practices. Millennials are bound for greater challenges across borders and continents.

The globalization of workforce is in the upward swing:

Many industries must be ready in acquiring the talents of the Millennials. Organization’s management teams must gear up in advancing the competency in leading, managing and interacting with the Millennials. This group of generation do not curb into the mold of traditional business practices. The big question; is your organization ready in hiring the Millennials today and in the near future?

Leadership Global Competency that demonstrate successful work relationship with the Millennials:

global competency

Int'l HCM

In countries and organizations, where there are shortage of competent professionals in managing multi-culture workforce; the upswing of Millennials from across the globe will create greater challenges in the management of people.

Based on this study, the United States attracts most of the Millennials. An appropriate question that should be asked from executives, group managers, team leaders, is about the readiness of their organization in responding to the Millennials’ availability, aptitude and personal competence?

In the contrary, a recent article that I wrote indicated the evidence of inadequate strategic competency of Human Resources professionals. These were the main concerns of over thousand global executives that were surveyed. Please click on the link “Strategic & High Performing Organization for the 21st Century”.

Many managers and human resources professionals do not demonstrate cross-culture competency. Employing  multicultural workforce require strategic competency in supporting them cross-culturally and effectively. Notwithstanding, that these workers from other countries will demonstrate high proficiency, energy, think critically and they are a different generation, called Millennials.

Majority of their views, lifestyles and philosophies in life are not relevant to highly organized and structured organization. Their style of working do not conform to traditional ways and business practices.  Their interpersonal approaches in regards to business relationships within work environments as well as outside work premises are different.

Behaviors and characteristics of the Millennials:

The following traits are representative only based from various sources; such as Wikipedia, Deloitte and Pew Research from 2006 to 2014

  • They enjoy to be a part of certain society outside their family “civic minded”
  • They demonstrate strong sense of community both globally and locally, however relatively unattached with organized politics or religion
  • They have a sense of entitlement and narcissism, also demonstrate collaborative and innovative thinking
  • Their behaviors were mostly influenced by technological trends, gadgets, economic implications and the internet-at-large
  • Their motivation in pursuing career opportunities become frequent as they don’t see long term dedication to a particular employer
  • They demonstrate optimism about their country compared to their older generations, but has the highest level of student-loan debts
  • Their generation has the highest level of unemployment
  • They love conveniences that sustain their active lifestyles (source:

Who are Millennials? According to Authors William Strauss and Neil Howe, these are the people who were born between 1982 and 2004; source: Wikipedia

Millennials have the abilities to navigate ‘hard-to-answer’ questions by effectively searching digital interfaces and networks. These types of techniques produce positive results. Pew Research provided informative insights that relate to certain behaviors of Millennials.

Millennials Three Considerations when maximizing potentials professionally and personally abroad:

1. Millennials must acquire adequate cross-cultural competency in order to be successful abroad.

2. Organizations that wanted to be strategically prepared and be successful in working with Millennials; responsible employees must acquire strategic competency in managing multicultural millennial.

3. Inexperienced individuals who will work with Millennials can hire a Coach, who will provide guidance and briefings on many areas that will make you become effective. At ReloNavigator, we provide coaching and guidance to both individuals and corporate clients.


About Juntee Terrenal, GMS

Mr. Terrenal is your partner in becoming the “High Performing Organization” of 2014 and beyond; strategic international business Leader, adviser & coach, competent, human capital and resources management. Creates initiatives combined with business acumen and ROI integrating complex human capital and resources that clients seek, globally. With 20+ years of experience he brings many time and money-saving solutions to your complex business issues and problems particularly when operating internationally. Negotiator, communicator, proven track record in accelerating productivity, organizational effectiveness, talent management, service quality. Quoted to numerous international media outlets.

As an experienced global mobility management specialist, human capital management executive and management consultant, he and his team create solutions, converting client’s needs into actions, resolving their challenges. Mr. Terrenal and his global team have successfully assisted, implemented and accelerated businesses and personal successes of their corporate and individual clients by using their ROI-driven techniques in over 40 countries.


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