Make us your home page
Instagram

Job horizons grow when workers learn languages, seek overseas projects

Are you willing to work on a short-term project? Does the idea of working in another part of the country or overseas for a few months or a year or two appeal to you? If so, you are right in line with a major trend going on in corporate America these days. And, if you are open to learning foreign languages and cultures other than Chinese and Spanish — say Portuguese— you are also on the crest of a wave.

Short-term projects

Websites like www.skilledpeople.com note a growing trend among job seekers. They are taking on a short-term project. The site says, "Project Assignments may be more available than full-time jobs and you should look for them whenever possible, for the following reasons:

• They create some income while giving you the opportunity to continue your job search.

• You can put them on your resume so you do not look like you have not been working.

• They provide something interesting to do as looking for a job full time is not a very rewarding experience; a better frame of mind during an interview will reflect a more favorable attitude.

• You can work nationwide from home as many projects are not site-based.

• They may extend to longer assignments or full time positions."

These short-term assignments are especially good for older workers because they are more experienced. This group often requires less training and is more accustomed to taking on these types of projects. And, because many older employees are having a tough time finding full-time work, the short-term assignment may be just the thing to get them back in the job market with an enhanced resume. The site includes project opportunities in marketing, training, sales, engineering, finance and human resources.

Unusual language skills: Another trend shows that while English dominates the business world, and Spanish and Mandarin Chinese are still important languages to have under your belt, others, like Portuguese, are coming up fast. Why? American companies are quickly expanding into Brazil and other countries where Portuguese is the native tongue. Brazil makes up 48 percent of South America's economic power. And. while the country has had its economic ups and downs, oil, mining and manufacturing are fast-growing economic sectors.

Most people in large cities speak English, but once you are assigned to a smaller or more rural area, there are fewer English speakers. You'll have to communicate in the native language and understand native customs and cultures. For example, the website www.internations.org/brazil-expats notes: "Expats should be especially aware of the fact that working in Brazil is usually possible only with sufficient knowledge of Portuguese." Even in some sections of the People's Republic of China, Portuguese dominates. For example, in Macau, where tourism, textiles and finance are major economic drivers, Portuguese is the dominant tongue.

And remember if you are doing business in countries outside the United States, attitudes, backgrounds and culture will be different. Negotiating with people who speak your language when you don't speak theirs means they understand more about you than you do about them. That can be a huge business disadvantage.

Marie Stempinski is president and founder of Strategic Communication in St. Petersburg. She specializes in public relations, marketing, business development trends and employee motivation. She can be reached at sstratcomm@cs.com or through her website: www.howtomotivateemployees.

Job horizons grow when workers learn languages, seek overseas projects 10/14/12 [Last modified: Sunday, October 14, 2012 4:30am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Heights Public Market to host two Tampa Bay food trucks

    Business

    TAMPA — The Heights Public Market announced the first two food trucks for its "rotating stall," which will feature new restaurants every four months. Surf and Turf and Empamamas will be rolled out first.

    Heights Public Market is opening this summer inside the Tampa Armature Works building.
[SKIP O'ROURKE   |   Times file photo]

  2. Author Randy Wayne White could open St. Pete's biggest restaurant on the pier

    Food & Dining

    ST. PETERSBURG — The story begins with Yucatan shrimp.

    St. Petersburg Deputy Mayor Kanika Tomalin, pilot Mark Futch, Boca Grande, St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Kriseman, and author and businessman Randy Wayne White,  Sanibel, exit a Maule Super Rocket seaplane after taking a fight around Tampa Bay off the St. Petersburg waterfront, 6/28/17.  White and his business partners are in negotiations with the City of St. Petersburg to build a fourth Doc Ford's Rum Bar & Grille on the approach to the St. Petersburg Pier with a second event space on the pier according to White. The group met near Spa Beach after a ground breaking ceremony for the new pier. "We want to have our business open by the time the pier opens," said White. Other Dr. Ford restaurants are located on Sanibel, Captiva and Ft. Myers Beach. SCOTT KEELER   |   Times
  3. Guilty plea for WellCare Health Plans former counsel Thaddeus Bereday

    Business

    Former WellCare Health Plans general counsel Thaddeus M.S. Bereday pleaded guilty to one count of making a false statement to the Florida Medicaid program, and faces a maximum penalty of five years in federal prison. A sentencing date has not yet been set, acting U.S. Attorney W. Stephen Muldrow of the Middle District …

    WellCare Health Plans former general counsel Thaddeus M.S. Bereday, pleaded guilty to one count of making a false statement to the Florida Medicaid program, and faces a maximum penalty of five years in federal prison. A sentencing date has not yet been set, acting U.S. Attorney W. Stephen Muldrow of the Middle District of Florida stated Wednesday. [LinkedIn handout]
  4. DOT shows alternatives to former Tampa Bay Express toll lanes

    Transportation

    TAMPA — State transportation officials are evaluating at least a half-dozen alternatives to the controversial Tampa Bay interstate plan that they will workshop with the community for the next 18 months.

    Florida Department of Transportation consultant Brad Flom explains potential alternatives to adding toll lanes to Interstate 275 during a meeting Wednesday at DOT's Tampa office. Flom presented seven diagrams, all of which swapped toll lanes for transit, such as light rail or express bus, in the I-275 corridor from downtown Tampa to Bearss Ave. [CAITLIN JOHNSTON | Times]
  5. Claim: State pressured CFO, used secret recordings to shut down Universal Health Care

    Banking

    ST. PETERSBURG — The founder of St. Petersburg's Universal Health Care alleges that Florida regulators conspired with the company's chief financial officer to drive the once high-flying Medicare insurer out of business.

    Federal agents raided the headquarters of Universal Health Care in 2013, ordering employees to leave the building. The insolvent St. Petersburg Medicare insurer was then in the process of being liquidated by state regulators.
[DIRK SHADD   |   Times file photo]