Foreign Service officer Job Description
A Foreign Service officer is an employee of the government who represents his or her country’s interests overseas and provides policy advice to his or her government on foreign affairs and trade issues. Foreign Service officers help create their country’s foreign policies and work for the realization of the policies.
A foreign service officer should be patriotic, sagacious, tactful, adaptable, and good at organizing, negotiating and learning languages. They should be able to relate to people from a range of background and cultures, and willing to travel to any country they’re sent to. They should also be able to communicate effectively.
What does a Foreign Service officer do?
Foreign Service officers may do some or all of the following:
- promote their country’s interest and values overseas
- help their host country create a prosperous society
- study the social, political and economic developments of other countries
- inform their country’s industries about other countries trade policies
- help their country develop their foreign policies and trade policies
- plan and manage their country’s foreign programs
- represent their country in official events
- carryout research on relevant issues
- write reports on overseas missions
- promote understanding between their country and other countries
- assist their compatriots in difficulties abroad
Where does a Foreign Service officer work?
Foreign Service officers usually work normal office hours, but may sometimes work evenings and weekends. Their work is usually office based. They may travel to work overseas and be separated from their families for a period of time.
What is Required to Become a Foreign Service officer ?
To become a Foreign Service officer of a country, you must be a citizen of the country, and may be required to have at least a bachelor’s degree in Economics, International Trade and Investment, Political Economy, International Relations or a related discipline. Other trainings required are done on the job.
Secondary school students interested in the field should take preparatory subjects such as History, government, Geography, and Economics.
Knowledge, Skills and Attributes
Foreign Service officers need to have:
- good attention to detail
- good judgment and decision making skills
- analytical and problem solving skills
- time management and organizational skills
- leadership skills
- negotiation skills
- the ability to understand and adapt to foreign cultures and environment
- the ability to continuously learn new things and deal with new situations
- the ability to teach others about their country
- the ability to work well under pressure
- the ability to keep information private
- the ability to work well in a team
- the ability to stay up to date with current events
- the ability to make presentations and give speeches
- the ability to take initiative
- knowledge their country foreign policies
- knowledge of foreign languages
- knowledge of political science
- knowledge of relevant laws and policies
- knowledge of human behavior
Should I be a Foreign Service officer ?
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