The effects of globalization on the job market make things more competitive for both entry-level professionals and those looking to advance their careers to the next level. International experience on a resume can give you one type of advantage, but you can also up the ante by deciding to expand your skills and learn a new language.
Polyglots are attractive to a corporation for their flexibility in communicating across various languages, and thus also possess the ability to relate to the cultures of the countries they may be working in. Effective cross-cultural communication is vital for building, growing and solidifying successful businesses.
You Might Get Paid More
Native English-speaking individuals stand to make about $600 more than their peers. This might seem like a small amount, but factor in average salary growth over time and that stands to give you a long-term advantage of better pay.
The per cent increase also varies depending on which language you choose to learn. For example, learning German has a larger return on investment than Spanish or French. Learning multiple languages is a lucrative investment.
It’s A Way to Keep Your Brain Working
Once you get into your daily work routine, it’s easy to get accustomed to the mundane repetitiveness of it all. Learning a new language is a great workout for your brain, and can keep those cobwebs from forming. There is something to be said for continuing to learn and hone new skills as you advance your career.
Having the goal to learn a new language or expanding your knowledge base in your field can help keep your professional momentum from stagnating. Not only is there a monetary benefit to broadening your language skills, but it’s also a great mental workout.
You Won’t Pigeonhole Your Work Location
Diversifying your professional background by adding a foreign language to your list opens up a world of possibilities – literally. You are no longer only searching the job market in your home country, but across the globe for opportunities. This is especially valuable if you’re an individual that also loves to travel.
You’ll be able to work in new places and also be constantly mobile, discovering the world. What could be more exciting than that?
You May Want to Consider Mandarin or German
Though Mandarin-Chinese is an extremely difficult language to master, the ability to speak this language is incredibly valuable professionally, as is German. Goldman Sachs cites it actively searches for job candidates that can speak German, and 50 percent of its employees speak more than one language.
If you’re looking for a job in a high-profile firm; learning a second language is not just a suggestion – it’s becoming a necessity.
Learning a Language Offers a Glimpse Into Another Culture
If you are considering studying Mandarin, it can be a huge help in understanding cultural differences in Asian cultures. Communicating effectively in a foreign language allows you to understand nuances that may not be visible or noticeable.
Successful cross-cultural communication is extremely important in today’s business world. It allows you to understand formalities and company hierarchies, as well as the negotiation process. Your ability to break down barriers through language will increase your effectiveness and percentage of company success, which makes you a valuable asset.
There are so many benefits for people who learn a new language. You’ll give yourself professional opportunities that are not accessible to everyone, and you’ll also keep your mind moving and growing. Increasing your language skills also has the residual perks of global locations. You won’t ever have to stay in one place – if that’s what you’re looking for.
There really isn’t a negative to learning a new language, so make it one of your resolutions, and broaden those horizons!
Kayla Matthews is a technology and personal development writer who regularly contributes to The Daily Muse, MakeUseOf and The Huffington Post.