Best Careers for Bilingual Latinosa

1. What kind of leverage does the language and culture provide for a job seeker?

In a totally interdependent global economy, few –if any—organizations can thrive unless they go global. Thus, employees who speak more than one language and understand different cultures have quite an advantage over those who do not. Bilingual and bicultural employees can be an asset to the multicultural and multinational teams needed to succeed in a global economy. They can provide insights into consumer and other business-survival behaviors that others cannot.

2. Tell us a little about some of the issues involved in 'being the diversity at work.'

Feelings of isolation, misunderstandings, inability to connect with others in meaningful ways. All of these are typical of people who are the only—or one of the very few—diverse employees in a particular company or at certain levels of an organization. But it is up to the diverse employee to take the first step to connect with others so they can learn about each other's cultural roots. Prejudices are almost always based on ignorance.

3. Can you share one little-known job area that many Latinos are not aware of?

No. Given the diversity of the Latino population itself, suggesting that most Latinos aren't aware of any particular job area would be a huge generalization.

4. What kinds of success stories have you heard about because of your book?

My book was the first one to focus on bilingualism and biculturalism as advantages in the workplace. People have told me that, up until they read it, they had never seen a list of cultural advantages Latinos bring to the workplace. Others related that my book motivated them to find their passion—a rare thing when we Latinos are raised to put our families first no matter what.

5. Is there a geographical element to finding jobs for bilingual Latinos?

Only to the extent that bilingual Latinos whose professions provide direct services to Latinos (health care, education, social work, etc.) have been more in demand in areas that have the greatest concentrations of Latinos (such as NY, IL, CA, FLA). But Latinos live all over the US now and such services are often needed with more urgency in newer areas of concentration such as the Carolinas and Georgia.

6. Has there been a boon in technology careers?

In general, yes. There are lots of technological specialties that didn't even exist five years ago.

7. What about service jobs?

Over the last 20 years the service industries have been growing the fastest while the manufacturing industries have been in steady decline.

8. Are there jobs that you advise Latinos to avoid?

I never advice anyone regarding what job to take or what career to choose. I can only provide them with the facts about what skills are needed in the job market and how to go about deciding what's best for them. Good career choices are based on personal values and interests (in addition to the skills one develops over time). What's exciting to one person may be impossibly boring to someone else.

9. What kind of careers are there for Latinos who can write well in both Spanish and English?

Beyond journalism (which is not a growth area), good bilingual writers are always needed in the fields of law, education, sales, marketing, and health. But most businesses need to have a strong web presence to stay relevant. Anyone who can address the needs of the English and Spanish-speaking communities in writing and through the web is an asset to any field that serves them.

10. Is there anything else that you would like to tell readers of this website?

Learn to take charge of your career. If you don't, someone else will and it may not be what you want or need.