In general, there are the following types of firms that can now offer foreign trade positions:
Type 1: Professional/Comprehensive Foreign Trade Firm
They make a profit mainly by the price difference. Some firms make the corresponding products according to the inquiries they receive. Their products, industries, customers are more diverse. Some focus on specialized products or products in a certain industry, such as air compressors and stationery.
Type 2: The Foreign Trade Departments of Firms or Factories
Their business basically serves within the firm. Or part of the service is within the group; part of the business is the social business. Relatively speaking, they mainly sell their own products, or develop products according to the needs of customers for export. Import is mainly for the internal use of the firm.
Type 3: The Domestic Purchasing Departments of Foreign Firms
They procure in China for the firm’s headquarters and subsidiaries in various countries.
It is the above firms that can provide more foreign trade employment opportunities now. Generally, the threshold for global procurement departments of the foreign firms is higher. They rarely hire novices, but look for people with some experience in this industry. In this case, they can work independently after a short-term training.
Therefore, for newcomers, what they should consider is to choose a factory or a foreign trade firm. However, there are great differences between different firms. In this case, I can only introduce some commonalities.
Larger firms are more standardized. Novices can get more systematic training to understand the whole process of foreign trade. Novices will also have the guidance of experienced employees for gradually adapting to the position and the business. Certainly, some of them give top priority only to seniority in the selection. Therefore, it takes some time for novices to have a chance to work on their own.
Foreign trade firms have few opportunities to contact products directly. So they have less knowledge about products. They mainly transfer customers’ needs to suppliers. They have more communication work and diversified products that they know more people. Also, their working environments are better.
The products and customers of foreign trade factory are relatively simple. They are responsible for the production, design, and quality management of the factory. They take the road of specialization. Thus, novices become familiar with products quickly. But novices working in the factory will be toilsome. The management of many factories is not standard.
Moreover, the international operation ideas of many factory owners are not clear. Without careful consideration of product positioning and target customer analysis, they expect to earn money from foreigners. Novices don’t get much guidance. Many of them are learning while doing it. Although they have experienced many difficulties, their abilities have improved rapidly. They may soon become the backbone of the factory’s foreign trade business. However, some bosses directly give up because novices do not get orders after a few months of busy. Nor do they analyze the reasons, leaving employees not motivated.
There is no standard model. What suits you is the best. If you like to challenge, you can try to exercise yourself in a whole new environment. If you want to advance in regular order, you can choose a big firm for guidance. You need to select the right firm and the right position based on the firm’s actual situation and your own conditions.
You have to figure out what you need, what the firm can offer, and then make a choice. Then you need to work hard to create value for yourself and the firm.
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