Starting A New Job in a Foreign Language

Let’s say that you just got your first job in your second language. You feel confident that you can do it because you are mostly fluent in it. This new adventure is to be taken as a new challenge and a new positive experience, in which you will improve what you already know and learn many ways and common idioms and interactions with natives of the language. Nevertheless, there are going to be some obstacles along the way that can prove a bit tall to surmount, but worry not, here you have some advice and tools that might help you get to the finish line!


You have to expect that at the beginning it will on occasions be a challenge. Every branch of work, regardless of what you already know, will have many new terms and acronyms that may be unknown to you. You have to be prepared, for the first month or so, to hear things and entire conversations that might not be able to grasp the entire meaning of it. It’s a good idea to keep an English vocabulary book on hand in your bag at all times. However, also remember that not everything is always vocabulary because it is sometimes culture. But if you are steady, and study a little after work, it is most surely achievable. One thing is certain, you musn’t let frustration take the better of you and quit; just keep rolling and be very open minded.


This has nothing to do with you being mad, on the contrary. Although you might be hearing this language all the time at the office or workplace, it doesn’t mean that you are significantly increasing your knowledge. You’re missing key factors such as grammar and spelling feedback that you would gain in language classes. It is the time then to get help. There are many tools that can assist you: For instance, you can get in contact with a native teacher, with whom you can arrange courses where you can review in more detail and intensity many grammar rules or idioms, or even help you with your social skills within the culture; do’s and don’ts etc.


Try not to be too eager to learn everything fast. Maybe if you go bit-by-bit, problem-by-problem, it will be much more productive than trying to understand everything in two weeks. Perseverance is a great trait in someone facing new challenges and wanting to discover a new life, a new culture, so be patient. Set some realistic goals and start accomplishing them one at a time. Every week learn a new subject or get into one particular work-related theme that you might want to attack, or if it was mentioned in your weekly meetings. You can also get help from your work colleagues because there is always someone willing to help. Remember that this new job is an opportunity to improve on what you already know so give it a chance and let yourself go!

And if you’re in the process of considering a career in your second language but haven’t yet fully committed, try this international job website for inspiration!