IDENTITY FORMATION AND CAREER PROSPECTS OF BILINGUAL PROFESSIONALS: BLENDING LANGUAGE SKILLS TO CREATE NOVEL APPLICATIONS TO CAREER PURSUITS
Keywords:bilingual identity, bilingual professional, career prospects, identity formation, linguistic capital
The most widely believed misconception about bilingualism purports that exposure to a second language within the community will automatically yield bilingual children, who can apply their balanced language skills in every domain of their future employment. However, this misconception does not represent the real-life experiences of most bilinguals. Through a pivotal focus on individual cases, this study was designed to manifest (1) bilingual identity formation and (2) career prospects of early and sequential bilinguals. The study analyzed collected data from individual surveys and in-person interviews with bilingual professional adults. Findings revealed that conscious engagement with the languages they were exposed to as children plays an active role in a bilingual speaker’s identity formation process and influences their career pursuits, instead of the common notion that being exposed to a second language is adequate to embrace bilingualism. Hence, this article brings implications to consider on career pursuits of bilingual speakers as the results indicate bilingual career pursuits transcend language-related occupations.