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Career Ideas: Is a Bilingual Job Right for You?


Your career ideas may include working at a bilingual job. There are many different jobs where your bilingual skills would be appreciated, but it is not always the right decision to work a bilingual position from home. Below are a few considerations to contemplate when determining whether to accept a bilingual position.

Your Language Capabilities

There are different levels of being bilingual. Some speakers are fluent in two or more languages, while others are only able to listen or read in another language. Fluent individuals, moreover, must understand the different dialects and slang language to fully understand what a foreign-language speaker means. If your skills are limited, a bilingual job might not be the best one for you.

The Job's Duties

You should also consider how the job requires you to use your language skills. Is it merely helpful that you are bilingual or will you work entirely in the foreign language. Will your job include speaking to customers in the other language or will you need to write letters to send to foreign-language speakers? Analyze exactly how the job requires you to use your language skills and consider if you are able to properly complete those tasks. Struggling to perform your duties in the foreign language on a daily basis could become quite stressful and may override the job's prestige or income.

The Amount of Offered Support

A bilingual, work-at-home employee likely has no place to turn when language barriers become an issue. When working from home, there is no option of asking your co-worker to help. This could mean that you are unable to resolve a problem or make a sale because you and the customer are unable to understand each other. Prior to searching for or accepting a bilingual job, consider the amount of support the company offers. If you are easily able to seek assistance from other bilingual speakers, you can feel more comfortable accepting the position.

Time Differences

Consider whether the position requires you to be bilingual, or if it requires you to work with customers or clients in a different country. Many times, bilingual jobs require workers to follow another country's schedule. If you will need to be in contact with individuals in a foreign country, you must consider the fact that doing so may require you to work at strange hours.

Time differences and seasonal changes may impact your schedule or make it impossible for you to complete your job tasks. If you will need to work at odd hours to talk to customers, the job might not be a good fit.

Advancement Opportunities

While perhaps not your foremost concern, you should analyze whether you anticipate staying with the company for the long-term and, if so, whether you will be eligible for promotions. Promotions for bilingual individuals may require more skill in speaking or writing in the other language than you possess or traveling to the foreign country. If you are interested in staying with and being promoted within a company, make sure that you are interested in the potential opportunities.

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