Regardless of your industry or position in the workplace, it can be a great advantage if you learn a second language. This is especially true considering the several barriers that have been demolished thanks to the advancement in technology. It is easier than ever for companies around the globe to do business together. Here are the benefits of learning a second language for your professional development:
Learning a second language creates more career opportunities
Being bilingual or multilingual opens up the door to more job opportunities. It gives you an edge over monolingual candidates. These opportunities exist in government, transportation, retail, banking, marketing, public relations, law, communication and tourism, among others.
The world has become more global, and the demand for professionals who are fluent in more than one language is increasing.
Attending evening or weekend classes to learn a foreign language can be hectic, right? However, you can study languages online. You can find a French tutor, Spanish or Italian teacher, among others, online and learn from the comfort of your home.
You stand out in interviews
Your ability to speak a second language will land you a job. All things being equal, it sets you above all monolingual candidates. Your second language may be the only skill that separates you from other candidates with similar qualifications.
Companies are expanding and want to do business worldwide. Therefore, employees who can communicate with foreign clients are more attractive.
Even domestic-based companies still require employees who can speak a second language. In the United States, for instance, over 50 million people speak Spanish as their first language.
This is basically a demand and supply issue. There is a high demand for employees who can speak two or more languages because they are few. Consequently, the ability to speak a second language comes with higher pay.
Employees working in the federal government or U.S military can earn up to $12,000 more every year for speaking a second language.
Increases career growth opportunities
The advantages of learning good language skills do not end when you are hired. Being able to speak a foreign language fluently, and understanding foreign cultures set you for promotions and higher-level positions. A second language may be your ticket to in-house promotion or better opportunities elsewhere.
Large multinationals require workers who can travel in foreign countries and close deals. Small companies need employees who travel to foreign countries to explore business opportunities.
It helps in building work relationships
Learning a second or third language goes beyond the spoken word and enables you to relate well with people from different cultures. Speaking to people in their language eliminates barriers and makes them feel more confident and comfortable; you relate in a personal manner. These types of relationships are good for any work environment or business setting.
Communicating in your client’s first language elevates their business and professional relationship, which can result in better business results.
Improves the ability to make good decisions
Language learning helps people improve their decision-making skills. Apart from the vocabulary and the grammatical norms with any language, there exist regional expressions that any keen learner will grasp. A bilingual employee can use this to judge inner feelings. They are, thus, able to make better decisions compared to monolingual employees.
Decision-making is vital in a work or business setting, especially for managers. Companies may, therefore, give preference to bilingual and multilingual employees for managerial positions.
Learning a foreign language helps you to understand people’s culture to a great extent. Seeing things from a different perspective and understanding people’s diversity helps to eliminate some biases that otherwise bewilder our decisions.
Earn other people’s trust
How much more confident and comfortable do you feel when you are in the middle of a group that you understand what is going on and what is being said? This applies to the workplace or any business circle. Speaking a second language can enable you to double your professional network easily. This, in turn, increases your business and career opportunities that would otherwise not be there.
Additionally, if you speak the language of your clients without the help of a translator, you may have an easier time creating trust between you and them.
Improves brain functionality
Speaking more than one language improves cognitive abilities. Switching between two or more languages and focusing on concepts in a different way is a great workout for the brain. A mental gymnastics routine can help you become an efficient and effective employee.
These are some of the benefits of learning a second language. And it’s evident that learning a second language can really benefit your professional development. Set yourself above your colleagues or candidates by learning a second language. And what’s better? You don’t have to attend classes. Just find an online tutor.