Fitness Minutes: (78,465)
2,953 1/25/13 6:29 A
I speak French and English and in Canada we have 2 official languages. Yet on my CV I don't have a 2 language profile as my French is conversational french, the writing is now where near where it should be.
I am better now, I've dealt with so many people, agents, schools etc that I think my brain is bit frazeled.
To answer your question Anarie, I use the European Union framework A1-C2 to explain my language(s) fluency, it's not a flawless model by any means but it gives everyone a good idea of fluency level to expect. I think in my case I pretty much just short circuited.
As for practice...not much outside of Germany (I return once a year.) Unfortunately that language isn't like Spanish where opportunities are ample but it's ok...through concentrated study I can get the rusty bits like writing down.
Do you have it on your resume/CV that you speak German? If you have it there but you can't speak it at a professional level, take it off or make it very clear that it's just a social language for you. That should save you from any surprises in interviews (unless the reason they wanted to interview you in German was that it's the only language you and that interviewer have in common, or your German is better than his/her English.) And be careful about applying for jobs where German is a requirement, because what if you did get hired? You would have a job you couldn't do.
I actually have known quite a few people who were in that situation, and it never has a good ending. In one case, a woman applied for a job as an editor in English. Because her last name was Hispanic, a division supervisor offered her a job editing bilingual Spanish-English works. She said, "I don't really know Spanish; I just know what I learned listening to my grandmother." The supervisor said, "It'll be mostly English, and you can learn the Spanish you need." She accepted the job, it turned out to be 80% Spanish, and within a year they fired her for incompetence. Because she'd been fired for cause from an editing position, she couldn't get another job in publishing.
It's better to wait a little longer to get a job than to accept one you can't do. I hope that's not discouraging, but I suspect you already feel that way and just need to "hear" the words from someone else.
Now, are you living in a German-speaking area, or near one? Any chance you could do some volunteer work or get a lower-skill job that would give you the opportunity to practice and maybe develop the professional language skills you need? What about teaching English (or Spanish) in Germany? If you can come up with something to pay your basic bills for a year in a German-speaking environment, you could probably move from social language to a wobbly level of professional ability in the space of a year. If you get to the point where you can do an interview by phone, even if it's not perfect, the fact that you have two other, stronger languages would probably make up for the remaining gaps in your German.
After interviewing you usually write them a letter, since your interview was interrupted, I'll ask for a follow-up interview to complement the first one.
Fitness Minutes: (221,990)
21,709 1/22/13 4:24 P
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You've got to hang in there. It's not you. It's the economy. Don't take any rejection personally.
Even though I'm not applying for a bilingual job, I too am having a hard time finding full time work. I was laid off in July 2012 and I'm still looking. Like you, I've had a handful of interviews, but nothing that led to an offer. not yet. It really is frustrating and some days, it's hard not to get depressed.
We both need to keep plugging along. We both need to stay positive to the best of our abilities. For now, while you look for full time work, could you take a part time job for some supplemental income ? That would be something to do while you look for full time work. And having something to do even part time would help pick up your spirits.
Also, do they have recruiting agencies in Germany ? If so, look into recruiting agencies. It can't hurt.
Fitness Minutes: (48,285)
4,874 1/22/13 2:48 P
don't give up! The job market is really tough right now. I'm sure it's easy to get discouraged but do your best to "pick yourself up, dust yourself off, and start all over again."
great. Now I'll have to watch "Swing Time' when I get home! Great soundtrack
I had a skype interview last night and it went terrible. First there were huge technical issues with my microphone and then out of nowhere before I actually got the chance to ask the very necessary questions about this job and get more information---they wanted me to interview with someone else in my third language which is German! I never got a chance to do this because technology failed us at that point but I would have bombed (likely) because I don't have the professional vocabulary; this is to say I don't have the means to do my job in that language which is teach.
Can of you bilingual people relate? I hear from a lot of Spanish speaking people, including those who grew up in Spanish speaking homes that might be really strong in one area (speaking, casual speech) but struggle with writing or intense professional oriented language.
I am in the laughable position that despite being half German I actually speak/write much better in Spanish (and could easily interview) because I grew up in the United States and we all know what the demand here is :) Not sure if anyone can relate...I understand what is being said to me in German but struggle to respond.
I am feeling like a failure and just confused....what the hell do I tell them?
I am also quite tired of all this. I have been interviewing, and most have been very good and in English since October but some piece of useless government buracracy always kills the final offer. I had a great interview last week but the place responded that they would hire me but cannot get my qualifications past the politics. Maybe I am just tired.
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