Jobs That will Make Use of Your Second Language

You’ve worked hard to learn a second language and you want to use it to benefit your career.  However, you aren’t sure exactly which positions you should be targeting.   What jobs will allow you to use your language skills in a way that will put you further ahead?  Check out these positions:

Customer Service:  While customer service positions are often entry-level, customer service jobs that require a second language will tend to have a higher salary.  Often, employers find it difficult to fill these roles because it is hard to find applicants with the required language skills.

Translation:  It is possible to find translation jobs both at translation companies, and at companies that hire in-house translators.  The employer will probably require you to take a test in both languages, prior hiring you.  Often translation positions start out on a part-time or contract basis.

Social Services:  Since social service agencies are serving the community, they need to be able to speak the same languages as the people who are using their services.  If you can speak more than one language, it will make you a more attractive candidate than applicants who cannot.  Look for organizations that may be serving people who speak the same languages as you do.

Business:  Businesses also need to speak the same language as their customers and partners; their success depends on it.  Every language that their employees speak opens the door to more opportunities for that business.  Language skills can be an asset to any position in business, including marketing, finance, management, and communications.  Just browse through the job advertisements and see what is available.  If the employer is having trouble finding applicants with the relevant language skills, they may be willing to consider a candidate with slightly less experience.

Public Relations/Communications:   While some companies have an in-house communications department, others hire an agency to handle their public relations.  The ability to speak more than one language is considered an asset in these positions because it allows you to reach more people.  If you can speak a key language, it can make the difference between your resume being discarded and you being considered as a serious contender for the position.

It’s not easy to learn a new language, so if you have already put in that effort, you might as well use it to your advantage.  As Canada becomes increasingly multicultural, the ability to speak more than one language is more important than ever.  The key is to be creative, and to really think about how you want to use your language skills and what type of organizations would be able to use the languages that you speak.

(Written By: Karen Bivand)

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