Embracing Your Global Identity

shutterstock © Aleksandar MijatovicHow to Embrace Your Global Identity and Make a Difference

By Tayo Rockson

Global Living Magazine – Issue 14 | Sept/Oct 2014

TCKs, or Third Culture Kids, are world citizens. Their parents belong to a different country and in most situations they are brought up in different countries than their parents. This can sometimes make it difficult for TCKs to figure out their identity because of the nuances involved with all the different cultures they grow up in. They may look like one culture and sound like another and behave like another. Essentially their personalities and appearances don’t reflect one single culture, as they pick up things from everywhere they go. This all sounds like a big complex situation, but what if I told you that this isn’t such a bad thing – that it is in fact a great thing. Not being monocultural can lend itself to many advantages.

One such advantage is the ability to become a global leader. As a TCK, you might not have the experience, but what you do have are skills necessary to communicate with leaders of other cultures, and an understanding of what it takes to lead a team successfully. Here are a couple of your existing skill sets that you can work on right now:

Craft a vision and connect the dots: Because of your travels and interactions with all sorts of people throughout your life, you have a diverse background of friends, so whatever your vision is, craft it and then utilize people from your network to help make your vision come true. Think of yourself as the secretary general of your own mini United Nations. Let’s say you want to raise awareness about poverty in Sub-Saharan Africa or the inner city of Baltimore, Maryland; you can come up with a vision that will call on your Kenyan friend who has experience in building sustainable communities or your Argentinian friend who has worked with young kids through sports and therefore understands how to keep kids out of trouble by creating innovative after-school programs. The days of solving problems with one universal solution are gone. It’s now up to you as expats, Third Culture Kids, and global nomads to use your network of friends and understanding of the world to help solve some of the world’s problems creatively, because the status quo is not working.

Use media to educate and build your brand: Everyone has the ability to become their own media company now, so why not become one. Start a website or blog and write about issues that you feel need to be talked about, or elaborate on a solution you feel will solve many problems. Connect it with your social media platforms; build an email list using family and friends initially as your audiences, and continually create content. The key here is consistency. If your content is great it will attract followers and you will become a thought leader. Even if you feel like you are not skilled enough to write, you could use other forms of media to get your point across, such as using podcasts, YouTube videos, or hosting your own radio show.

The point is there are many ways to become thought leaders as global nomads; it is up to you to pick an avenue and run with it. I firmly believe we have the ability to educate the world on many issues, so we should do it. You may feel like you are not a born leader or that you don’t have the charismatic personality needed to win people over, but the fact of the matter is that you have a story to tell and media gives you different ways to do so. Everybody consumes media in some way, so you will definitely reach someone.

TCKs have the ability to make a difference in this world and the ability to be global leaders by virtue of the fact that they can be connectors, bridge builders, entrepreneurs, and talent finders. The world is becoming flatter and flatter every day and we are uniquely positioned to use this to our advantage. What way do you want to make your impact on the world?

Image courtesy of shutterstock © Aleksandar Mijatovic

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