Deepika Padukone's 7-step guide to building a global career
International careers capitalise on an ever-changing global climate. After Priyanka Chopra, it’s now Deepika Padukone’s moment to shine.
Born in Copenhagen, raised in Bangalore and currently living in Mumbai, the Bajirao Mastani actor has already been crowned as one of the Bollywood’s highest paid female star. Next stop? Los Angeles, where she’s been dubbed “Hollywood’s Next Generation” and her first crossover film, xXx: The Return of Xander Cage starring Vin Diesel, has already made a killing at the international box-office.
Taking a page out of Deepika’s global handbook, learn what you can do to seek career success abroad.
Think beyond local. The world’s your oyster
In India, Deepika went from modelling to music videos to making her debut opposite Shah Rukh Khan. It seemed to her a natural progression to continue to evolve, which is why she set her sights on Hollywood. “It’s all about taking and creating opportunities as they come,” the Piku actor said in an interview.
Takeaway: Having a global outlook – even if you haven’t worked abroad – is critical to growing a global career.
Build a global professional network
Deepika laid a good foundation for her Hollywood career by signing up with a big-ticket Hollywood talent agency whose other clients include stars like Jennifer Lawrence. She made that shrewd decision at a time when Hollywood is looking to produce films with strong international appeal, and it’s paying off.
Takeaway: Networking no longer implies meeting rooms; it’s possible to create a global career wherever you may be based. Use social media to make initial connections and turn them into interactions that can help move your career forward.
Test the waters
Working the logic that small steps lead to big success, Deepika chose to enter a new market with a big franchise movie with multiple stars. As Anirban Das Blah, CEO of talent agency CAA Kwan that manages her brand in India put it, “People need to know who you are before you start exploring more content-driven cinema.”
Takeaway: There are ways to predetermine if a global move will be a good fit for you or not. Start small by pitching for a short-term project. If possible, make a preliminary visit to the country to get a ‘feel’ for where you work. Taking a crash course in the language spoken is another way to familiarize your self with a new place.
Don't be shy: Promote yourself
Deepika made red carpet appearances galore, charmed crowds on The Ellen Degeneres Show and even made James Corden do the lungi dance on The Late Late Show. Her co-star Vin Diesel was so impressed with her professionalism that he said he would “do anything [in Bollywood] with Deepika Padukone in it!”
Takeaway: Learn how to market yourself, both online and off. Project confidence and poise in social settings and always dress the part. Online, engage regularly and be visible in discussions.
Be ready to take risks
Be it hitting her stride as an actress with Cocktail or opening up about her battle with depression, Deepika has never shied away from taking risks. Despite achieving a level of superstardom in India, she is willing to enter a new industry where her talents are relatively unknown and work her way up to the top.
Takeaway: Taking risks, big or small, is essential for personal growth. If you don’t push yourself to take risks, you’ll never develop new skills or know what you’re capable of.
Don’t let criticism weigh you down
The worldwide box-office success of XXX notwithstanding, Deepika's faced some intense scrutiny on the global stage. From her style choices to comparisons with Priyanka Chopra, she's fended off critics by maintaining a positive approach. “I took it as a challenge and as healthy criticism and worked on that,” she has said in an interview.
Takeaway: Never take criticism personally. Instead, be resilient and keep working resolutely towards a goal.
Inspired by Deepika to take the leap and chart global waters? Start your search here