Are languages essential for job success?

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  1. #1

    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Posts
    115

    Are languages essential for job success?

    Hi all,

    I was wondering whether someone could shed some light on some issues that I am having.

    I have a dependent visa to work in HK and am going to be looking for admin/secretarial work in the coming months (although I am qualified as a physiotherapist). I have been told that to be able to get a job I need to be fluent in cantonese/mandarin (neither of which I am). Does anyone know of anyone who doesn't have these langugage skills and has managed to gain employment?

    I've looked into a job as a physiotherapist, but not many of these seem to be available. And it seems difficult to find any vacancies that do exist.

    Any help on this topic would be most helpful.

    Thanks


  2. #2

    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    Hong Kong
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    23,217

    There are jobs out there that don't need Chinese, but they are few and far between and I've only ever come across them by personal contacts (Mrs PDLM had an admin job for a while working for a small company run by an Australian without speaking or reading Chinese).

    But you're competing against Filipinos (or whom there are many in HK on dependant visas) so the salaries are quite low - HK$7-8K/month.

    The alternative is the food & beverage field (bars, restaurants, some upmarket supermarkets) - there are jobs there. Again if you know someone you might be able to get into a supervisory/management role where the salary might get above $10-11K, but the hours are long and anti-social.

    Last edited by PDLM; 11-03-2009 at 06:29 PM.

  3. #3

    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Hong Kong
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    there are quite alot of people (especially on this forum im assuming) who are working in HK but cannot read or write chinese (i am one of them, although i can speak cantonese) but the problem is probably that u are looking for admin jobs... and most hk companies do require language skills.

    probably best to look for international companies or those in hk that cater mainly for expats.

    and do you have a university degree? and past work experience apart from physiotherapy? bceause these maybe able to help with applying for other types of jobs too


  4. #4

    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Posts
    8

    If you intend to find a job that is related to physiotherapy I would suggest perhaps you should check out the local health ministry to see if there is some qualification you need to fill in the gap first. Since every country have their own standard and qualification, so you may need to see if there is some gap you need to fill in between the country you attain your qualification with HK ministry before you can practice physiotherapy in HK. In terms of locating jobs relating to these field, truly this is a professional skills, so its already an advantage for you to look for this field, wasn't like this is some job that random people can apply. I would suggest you consult the health ministry or agency for options you can do to go around this option. Surely even hospital would require non-chinese speaking pracitioner


  5. #5

    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Gold Coast Marina
    Posts
    17,939

    I was just wondering if private physiotherapy was an option? If you have a dependent visa then you are able to work ... just an idea, others might tell you the admin hoops you might need, but I knew plenty of physio's in Aus who were just "one-man-bands" - perhaps you could advertise on the classifieds here and other English speaking places, offering to come around to homes to do physio (save you renting a place), sports injuries etc? I wondering writing the previous sentence if there were any risks involved in going to folks houses, in the USA I might be concerned about that, but here I guess it's ok. Just an idea anyway. Lots of us here are always asking "do you know an english speaking dentist/doctor/ etc etc in my area". I guess if there are legal constraints (like you cannot practise as a physio without some particular piece of paper) that you can always advertise as a 'sports injury practitioner' or something "less" that us expats can just look through... or like the lawyers put on their business cards "Overseas Qualified Lawyer" or such like.

    Last edited by MovingIn07; 28-04-2009 at 09:04 AM.