Q: I’m bilingual and second-generation American, but I’ve never worked overseas. My skills and experience will transfer to a variety of industries. How do I begin the process of finding companies in any industry that are Spanish-speaking? Central and South America would be fine. So would Spain.
A: Explore two avenues, companies here with markets in Spanish-speaking countries and companies based in the countries that interest you.
Look at the cities in this country with large Hispanic populations – New York, Miami and Los Angeles. Don’t forget the state of Texas and the rest of the Southwest. Companies that sell Spanish products or services could provide excellent leads. So could recruiting firms and immigration attorneys in those areas.
Meanwhile, find an association of Hispanics, preferably those in your field.
After you’ve gained confidence in gathering information and speaking with people in the United States about working abroad, identify companies in your chosen countries. Make Google your friend. Search in Spanish in the appropriate countries. Remember, there are companies in Germany that do business in Spain. Limit your search to the last year. Hone your skills by researching and contacting companies in your least favorite country first.
PLUGGING THE DIKE
Q: I let a trade secret slip and lost my job. I’m afraid that when employers call the company, they’ll find out why. On top of that I don’t know how to answer the question of why I no longer work there after seven years with excellent performance reviews. How do I handle this?
A: It sounds as if you understand why you were fired. Did the incident occur when you were tired and not operating on all four cylinders? If so, make a good case for yourself.
Acknowledge that you shared information you shouldn’t have and that you’re now operating in “lesson-learned” territory (delivered with a smile).
State that the breach was an isolated incident. You were tired and your judgment was clouded. To assure that this doesn’t recur, you’re monitoring yourself. Now you’ll make certain that when you’re tired, you’ve developed and memorized questions to ask yourself when you’re on the telephone, on email or face-to-face with someone not on a need-to-know basis. Then begin with “Am I tired and on automatic?” If you answer, “Yes,” immediately ask yourself, “Is this information proprietary?”
(Dr. Mildred Culp welcomes your questions at email@example.com. © 2013 Passage Media. The opinions are solely those of the writer.)