You don't have to be a teacher!
At Euro London, every day we’re recruiting for a wide range of jobs involving languages. Yet we’re often surprised at the fact that many people don’t really know what opportunities are out there. Time and time again, we hear that people think their only option is to become a translator or teacher. We have run workshops with school students who didn’t realise what great jobs they could do if they continued to study languages and this proved to be one of the most popular discussion points among graduates at the Language Show, which we recently attended. Plus in our recent poll you told us what you wanted to hear about most was what jobs you could do with languages.
If there was more awareness about what exciting jobs multilingual people can do, in which you can really make a difference and more importantly earn good money, would it encourage more young people to learn languages? Well, we hope so, which is why we’re starting a series of blogs profiling some of the interesting jobs we’ve recruited for. If there are any you have in mind and would like more information on, just leave a comment below and we’ll do our best to cover it!
Look out for the “so you want to be a…” posts coming soon. We’ll also be posting links to the blogs on Twitter and Facebook to ensure you don’t miss a thing.
You may have read in the news recently that we have seen a sharp rise in the number of Japanese speaking roles in the financial services sector. We have found that the roles we recruit for in this sector are largely determined by the stability of the market, to see so many coming our way is a clear indication that the recovery is in full swing. We are also hearing from our Japanese clients that the strength of the Yen is encouraging more companies to invest in Europe.
However it is apparent that Japanese companies are not just looking for employees that can speak the language; equally as important is the ability to understand the culture and the way business operates. Candidates are now required to understand the pace of business in Japan and also how to interact with people. In fact there is a well known story of a multi million pound business deal in which an American supplier did not present business cards to Japanese managers in the correct manner, and toyed with them throughout the meeting. A major sign of disrespect in Japanese business culture, the deal fell through!
It is important therefore for applicants to understand a country’s culture– just speaking a language will not always get you the job.
We recently featured in an article in the Guardian discussing how learning a new language can really boost your career and that it is never too late to learn. To see the article and our comments in full click here. But here’s a summary of the piece:
- Speaking to people in their own language for business purposes will yield results; people are far more likely to speak freely and openly if you are speaking in their own language
- In jobs in sales, marketing or technical support, languages can really open doors. In fact it is estimated that having an additional language on your CV can add between 10% to 15% to your salary.
- For those looking to boost a career, and in particular the graduates that are currently facing a tough time getting work, learning a language is very beneficial.
- Most countries may speak English, and whilst some business may very well be completed in English to accommodate parties from across the globe, if you are seen to know a language and demonstrate this it can help to retain business. It is form of courtesy to show someone you can and are willing to speak to them in the native language.
- Cultural knowledge is just as important as being able to speak another language. If you know the way of life of the country you are doing business in or with it will really prove beneficial.
- The five most useful languages to learn currently are as follows: French, Spanish, Swedish, German and Russian.
What’s your experience? Can you relate with the points in this article or are you thinking about learning a language to boost your career? Let us know!
Ever heard of Esperanto? If not, you might be interested in an article I came across recently which discusses it. Esperanto is a language that was created over 100 years ago and is spoken by huge numbers of people across the world and was officially recognised by the UN in 1954.
Esperanto was introduced by Dr Ludovic Lazarus Zamenhof, a Polish doctor who wanted to devise an international second language to enable people to communicate worldwide. While the language may have declined over the years, with the increased use of the internet worldwide, Esperanto is seeing a comeback! Continue reading
We are always interested in hearing feedback from our new starters about their first few weeks at Euro London. Here are profiles of a couple of our new consultants and don’t forget if you like the sound of life at Euro London, we are still looking for extra members of the team so get in touch with Dawn on firstname.lastname@example.org or visit our Facebook page to learn more!
Laura Heaney works in our Manchester office:
How did you hear of ELA?It was a personal recommendation from a friend who had temped through ELA.
First impressions of ELA?I went to Salford University Career fair and that was really good for me as a newbie to get out and talk to candidates and some potential clients. Almost every candidate that came to speak to me wanted translation and then I spoke about what other opportunities are out there and people were amazed to find so many different career paths that would involve languages. I am also running the Race for Life in July with some colleagues which will be a nice team outing and for a good cause.
Tell us something about your home town? I come from a small town called Wilmslow in Cheshire where lots of WAGS live! Continue reading
I came across an interesting piece on twitter last week regarding bilingualism and it caught my attention for two reasons – firstly the very nature of my job means I am always on the lookout for stories regarding languages and secondly it reminded me of a post I wrote recently on disappearing languages.
According to researchers in Spain the dominating languages such as English have led to the decline and eventual extinction of less dominating languages like Scottish, Gaelic and Welsh. This, they say, is proven by mathematical models. Continue reading
I was pleased to see an article in EurActiv about the European Commission taking steps to promote language learning in school – a topic we have blogged about before and one that I feel strongly about.
According to the article, the European Commission has teamed up with several other international organisations to call for proper funding to be made available to schools for their language departments. Furthermore, they call for better funding and career prospects for professions like translators and interpreters which are currently facing a shortage and will continue to do so over the next 5 to 10 years. Continue reading
‘The useless modern foreign languages such as French’. That lovely quote was in an article I was reading in the Independent last week. ‘Ridiculous’ was my first thought (and still is) but let’s put it into context. The quote came from former government minister Chris Bryant when he was (we assume) trying to defend the actions of the previous Labour government’s failures to increase foreign language learning to school children. Chris Bryant wasn’t saying that languages shouldn’t be taught; on the contrary he was encouraging the teaching of foreign languages but just the ‘useful’ ones which he quoted as ‘Mandarin, Spanish, and Portuguese‘!
We’ve blogged before about the previous government lobbying to get languages such as Mandarin on the school curriculum but what amazed me was that a language like French that is so poplar and widely spoken was branded as useless by Chris! In our job as recruiters we see lots of jobs that specifically require French, which certainly shows it is not useless. More to the point shouldn’t we be encouraging the learning of languages whether it be French, German or Mandarin?
As pointed out in the article ‘according to some estimates it [French] has 265 million native or second language speakers, more than Arabic for instance, and is the most important trading language in large parts of Africa and elsewhere’. Clearly then in our opinion French is not useless and will continue to be an important language for the foreseeable future regardless of what an ex minister claims!!
We’ve got some exciting news we thought would be nice to share with our readers. We have secured a contract with the LEGO Company to provide them with staff for their European Contact Centre. The LEGO Company is looking for approximately 50 staff to work during their high season.
We will be providing the LEGO Company with Customer Service staff to work in their Customer Service centre in Slough which will deal with customers across the whole of Europe. So that means we are looking for candidates that speak a variety of languages including German, Danish, Dutch, French, Portuguese, Spanish and Italian.
This is great news for us and we are excited to be working with the LEGO Company to help them deliver an excellent level of service across Europe. If you are interested in one of these positions and have the necessary skills or know of someone who you think fits the bill then be sure to get in touch with Sarah Oades at email@example.com – and don’t waste any time – we are looking for candidates who can start in the Autumn!
We recently carried out a survey where we phoned up 116 companies in the UK, France and Germany to see how well their front line staff would cope when confronted with questions in a foreign language. The question? What their postal address was. You may have read about this is various publications over the last week. If not then here is what happened.
When we phoned companies in the UK the results were shocking – only 4 companies were able to answer straight away in the caller’s langauge, 12 put the caller on hold and found someone who did speak the language and shockingly 17 companies simply hung up! Of those that stayed on the line comments included “we only speak English here!”, “oh for gods sake!” and “if you can’t speak English I just can’t help you!”. Continue reading