The world of work has become more than just a means of financial stability. People are driven by a desire for new experiences and are exploring roles that they find professionally fulfilling. Research has found that today, the average person changes their job ten to fifteen times during their career, one of the main reasons being for better opportunities in different locations.
Evidently, the job market is becoming increasingly tougher and more competitive. There is a constant demand to find different, new and creative ways to make yourself the most employable. With a rise in applicants, employers have the challenging task of sifting through hundreds of CV’s, making quick judgements on your ability and key differentiators. Therefore, it is important to have skills that set you apart and display personal and professional qualities that are valid for the role.
Learning a new language is a great way of highlighting your determination, flexibility and desire to work on a global scale, and it doesn’t have to be as difficult as it sounds! Luckily, with so many easily accessible opportunities such as online learning courses, anyone can become a subject matter expert within a few weeks, clicks and hours. In fact, research in our latest how to learn a language blog has found that it takes 480 hours to reach basic fluency in languages such as French, Spanish, German and Italian.
5 reasons to learn a new language for your career development:
- Having a language on your CV is a great way to make yourself stand out against others. Research has found that in the UK, three in five people cannot speak a foreign language. Considering this significantly high statistic, being able to add this skill to your CV instantly looks impressive and differentiates you from others when applying for jobs.
Even if the language you have learnt is not applicable or required for the specific job in question, it nonetheless shows that you have gone that extra mile and dedicated yourself to a valuable skill outside of the work place.
- Being able to speak another language is also great for relationship building. You could potentially be the employee to go that extra mile for a business by building more relationships and relating to different cultures in a more personal way. Breaking down communication barriers makes a client or customer’s experience that little bit more personal, and could even lead to more sales for your business.
Research has found that 60% of companies want to globally expand their services and do business in other countries, yet are restricted by language barriers and the ability to properly communicate. Having another language on your CV can therefore help you stand out as that potential relationship builder and generator for more sales and expansion for a company.
- Foreign language fluency could lead to more exciting professional opportunities within a company, such as travelling for business purposes. If travelling is an important aspect of a career for you, then having another language is likely to boost your chances of being selected for business travel and representing a business in other countries.
In a world where connectivity and expansion is becoming more essential for the success of a business, travelling to other countries for this purpose is becoming more of a necessity. Research has shown that on average, about 1.3 million business trips occur each day in the United States alone.
If a company is looking to globally expand and generate business internationally, they will need employees to travel. Those with language fluency are able to connect more personally with locals, and can therefore hold more complex and deeper conversations, which is particularly crucial for generating new business.
- Learning another language shows dedication. Although the difficulty of language learning is entirely dependent on what language it is and to what level of fluency you intend to achieve, one thing is for certain – learning a language shows commitment to something outside of work.
It has been found that if you dedicate 5 hours a day to learning a simpler language such as French, Spanish, German and Italian, it would take roughly 96 days to get to grips with the basics. This highlights perseverance and proves that you can commit yourself to a task that you have gone out of your way to take on yourself.
- Language fluency has also been thought to improve decision-making skills. Research has found that people who speak a foreign language are capable of making more analytic and rational decisions when thinking through the problem in their non-native language, than those who can only speak their first language. They are less likely to condition a situation and act on impulse, as thinking through a situation in a different language allows a certain amount of distance from the problem.
In terms of your CV, decision-making skills are an absolute must for any employer. Being able to speak another language gives you that edge and proves you are capable of making decisions in a conscientious way.
It is undoubtedly clear that being able to speak a second language can set you a part in your career, as well as providing you with potential opportunities such as travelling and building closer relationships with other cultures.
Already know another language? Why not start your linguist journey with thebigword today and utilise your skills to engage with global brands. Check out our linguist zone for information.