Tinker, tailor, soldier... interpreter?

Tinker, tailor, soldier... interpreter? Chocolate Mousse-testing by colonnade

This article was written by Global Graduates, published on 21st June 2010 and has been read 27351 times.

Aside from the usual translator or teacher jobs, is there much you can do with languages? People are always quick to reply in the positive, but you've inevitably got that voice in your head going 'Really? Like what exactly?'. Because, let's be honest here, there doesn't seem to be much on offer apart from TEFL. Not that there's anything wrong with that - the British Council language assistantship definitely gets the thumbs up if you want to combine work and leisure in some really exotic countries, but we've been doing some research...
You might be contemplating studying languages at uni, in the process of the 4 year-long course, or about to finish up with your finals; either way, thinking about the job prospects is something you'll have to face, at one point or another. So what are the options out there? Euro London Appointments have got a list up on their blog of what kind of jobs are on offer for language graduates. Just to cite a few, they mention international assignment managers (so, that's helping people relocate, to you and me), tour organisers, press conference assistants and even video games testers (yes, this is for real) as a few avenues you could explore, having studied a language at university.

The long and short of it is that languages do offer a wider scope than the classic interpreting route. You only have to look at sites like Euro London Appointments, Multilingual Vacancies and Top Language Jobs to see how many different posts and positions are on offer. We had a random search and found these kooky jobs:
Working for Bloomberg as a government and economy reporter Living the high-life in Paris as a travel agency manager Scoffing your way through macaroons, truffles and figures in French luxury food retail  Working as a personal assistant to international clients  And even working as a bilingual fraud investigator... You don't have to stick to run of the mill jobs just to get by and use your language degree. Big companies such as Dell, Bosch, Panasonic and the like have offices around the world - you can start off interning with them and see where that takes you; generally if they like your work, there's a decent job at the end of it. Retail, commerce, marketing, merchandising....the list goes on and on, and so do the job possibilities.

Whether your affinities lie with the art world, fashion, culture or jet planes, you can make it happen, you just need to think slightly outside of the box - just take a look at Languages Work's website and pick from either language or sector to see some examples of what you could do. From football journalism to supply chain coordinators for The Body Shop to working for an NGO in Nicaragua, you'll soon see that the world's your oyster. So get out there, get some CV help and get networking! Why not take a look at our work sections to see where the golden brick road could lead to?

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