When I went to Barcelona earlier this year to attend the Women In Localization Catalan Chapter for their Careers evening, I came back with some fantastic advice given by the other speakers. Here are some of the best ones.
- Learn business language. In many cases the company language is English in our industry, so a high level of command is important for non-native English employees. When we recruit for international companies, we and our clients often start the screening process of shortlisted candidates with an English test. This can be informal, via calls and emails, or a more formal test which typically consists of tests in speaking, writing, reading, listening and grammar. In some countries the failure rate is really high, especially where English is taught in the local language. Yes, that is right. This means that the students will not be immersed in the foreign language. This is more prevalent in countries that dub foreign films and programmes, making matters even worse. The failure rate can be as high as 80% in some countries. Here is an example of such a test: https://www.itepexam.com.
- Public speaking. Most of us start out by being terrified of giving a presentation or speech, that is perfectly normal. But needs must if you want to advance your career and be able to stand up and present your point of view, findings from a project or a process, or promote your department or indeed company. There are lots of tips available online and here is one http://www.lifehack.org/articles/productivity/exclusively-for-introverts-10-powerful-tips-improve-your-public-speaking-skills.html
- Use psychology. Some points one presenter mentioned was that you want to make sure that your colleagues look good, and that includes your managers too. Find out what people’s aspirations are and how you can help them towards achieving them. Psychology is often used by sales people, for instance by finding out what will make their clients look good and how your services can help them. Also, when dealing with people you normally struggle with, for instance shy introverts who won’t speak up in a meeting, not even to make an important point the participants need to know about, or – equally annoying – people who seem to enjoy making others look bad in meetings (thinking that it makes themselves look superior by comparison). In cases like that it is often better to meet these people one on one before the meeting and get their views in a relaxed and collaborative environment. As for the ones who like to make others look bad, the best turning of the tables is making sure they look good. That will make you look extra good 😉