As corporations struggle to meet the needs of the country’s booming population of Asian and Latino American consumers, bilingual jobseekers have a real advantage.
“My mother got paid less than co-workers from English speaking backgrounds; I find that the opposite is true for me. ” Says Orquidea Long, who works as a medical records technician in Eugene, Oregon.
Top bilingual job sites, like Bilingualcareer.com and LatPro, report that the medical field, specifically the pharmaceutical industry, currently has the fastest growing need for bilingual employees. Not a pharmacist or a doctor? Don’t worry, the most common openings in these industries are in:
As a matter of fact, in most industries these sectors offer the most bilingual job openings; this gives bilingual jobseekers a diverse range of options to choose from, and room to advance.
Although Orquidea’s job did not require official certification of her bilingual status, she says that she made sure to familiarize herself with industry terms in both languages before she applied.
“I grew up speaking Spanish around the house, but that doesn’t mean that I instantly knew how to say ‘donor’ or ‘cardiovascular’; I didn’t even know some of these terms in English. But it’s just like getting ready for any other job interview, it just takes a little research. ”
Before applying, Orquidea practiced her professional phone voice, positive demeanor, and other attributes that are considered assets in almost any job, bilingual or not. Although these skills are not connected to her bilingual status, Orquidea says that she still drew upon her cultural resources.
“I feel that my Latino heritage helps me at my job. Mexican culture is very friendly, outgoing, and family oriented. My upbringing made me more outgoing, which helps me make our customers more comfortable. Obviously the same would be true of someone from any background who was raised in a large outgoing family; however in this case the majority of our clients are Hispanic, and I do have an innate understanding of specific cultural etiquette and other customs. It's really just a matter of taking what you have and turning it into an advantage. ”