Across the world, there are approximately 335 million French speakers in total, including in parts of Canada and Africa, plus several Mediterranean countries. There are many places where, despite the growth and spread of English, French is the preferred language for conducting business. It’s also the case that multilingual vacancies are becoming more numerous, so adding French to your existing language(s) can bring major career benefits. Here’s what you can expect to find in the wider world of work, beginning with UK based posts.
- UK based companies often seek French speaking employees for a variety of roles. Advertised posts may include a French speaking mathematics specialist who is able to write and edit content for materials aimed at both teachers and pupils, or a French speaking PA.
- Export businesses frequently require French speaking administrative and commercial assistants to support export sales teams, and often a certain amount of international travel is available. In many cases, companies can be flexible to suit employees’ needs.
- Customer service teams working across Europe often recruit French speaking employees as customer service advisors.
- There are always posts available for interpreters, translators, translation checkers and translation project managers.
Vacancies regularly crop up in Poland, Ireland, Greece and Brussels among others. Posts in Romania have become increasingly common and often combine a requirement for fluency in English and French with a technical or scientific background.
- In Bucharest, employers are seeking data managers and report analysts, so that English speaking people with a technical background will have all the required experience and knowledge and need only have French to qualify.
- The same is true of qualified accountants, even at basic level, as straightforward bookkeeping is in demand alongside an ability to develop good customer relations.
- As ecommerce becomes increasingly prevalent, so European countries are recruiting additional French speaking employees who also have excellent English. There are exciting opportunities in some of Europe’s capital cities, such as Lisbon in Portugal. With computing skills and the ability to speak and write in French many posts are available, particularly in customer service.
- If the bright lights of Paris beckon you may want to take a second look at some of the jobs advertised by software companies, such as Adobe. Business French and English are required for a range of professional roles including in account management, marketing and sales.
Teaching is one of those professions that can take you all over the world, especially if you have an additional language. In the USA, for example, there is a continuing demand for French teachers and lecturers and the terms can be extremely attractive. California, Michigan and Florida are among many states advertising French teaching posts and the same is true for Canada and across the continent of Africa.
Travel and tourism
The hospitality industries are growing as the scope for travelling becomes ever greater. As a result, more tour guides, restaurant and hotel staff members who have at least two languages are being recruited. Jobs at ski resorts and campsites tend to be seasonal, depending on where you are.
One of the great things about learning French is that it helps you to understand the cultural background that accompanies the language. This means in any French speaking environment, whether business premises, educational establishment or tourism centre, you can quickly assimilate your surroundings and gain a clear understanding of how things work. Such skills are eminently transferable and likely to have a positive influence on your professional skills overall, thereby enhancing your career, no matter where you work.