Learning a new language may be a rewarding experience. There are factors contributing to this. Having the ability to speak a language not enables you to effectively communicate with individuals, from diverse cultures but it also enhances your career opportunities significantly. We firmly believe that language proficiency plays a role, in achieving success and can greatly facilitate the accomplishment of your goals. So let us prove how it works for unlocking international opportunities.
Why Language Skills Matter?
Having proficiency in a language can give you an edge in terms of securing a job or advancing in your journey. Research conducted on a scale indicates that 25% of job opportunities require individuals who can effectively communicate and engage with customers, colleagues or partners from countries, across the world. There is an ever-expanding list of nations where you may find new clients and partners. And in order for you to interact effectively with them, you should know their native language.
The number of languages that businesspeople should study depends on the nature of their employment and the country they work in. You never know when your next journey or enterprise may take you across borders; if you’re not prepared, you risk getting left behind or missing out on significant chances. Though English is widely regarded as one of the most significant languages for business and employment, there are several other foreign languages that provide companies with a distinct edge when conducting international business:
- English — English is widely considered the most important language for business. It is spoken by around 1.35 billion people around the world as a first or second language. Many top economies also use English as an official language, including the United States, United Kingdom, Australia, and New Zealand.
- Mandarin — Mandarin Chinese is the world’s most spoken language with over one billion native speakers. It is also a significant language for business due to China’s heated economic expansion and vast population, making it a top business language.
- Spanish — Spanish is spoken by over 460 million people worldwide and is considered one of the most important languages for business. It is also the second most spoken language in the world by the number of native speakers.
- German — German is a dynamic language of growth and is considered important for business. It is spoken by over 310 million people worldwide and is a significant language for businesses and major economies. So if you want your company to enter new markets, then corporate German training can make this mission easier to accomplish.
- Portuguese — Portuguese is spoken by over 220 million people worldwide and is considered one of the most important languages for business expansion.
As you can see, learning a second or third language may give a lot of benefits to both individuals and employers, increasing productivity as well as your company’s total development potential. So here are some of the best things that language skills have to offer in the business world.
#1 — It opens avenues for nations and individuals
One of the most significant career benefits of becoming bilingual or multilingual is an immediate increase in the likelihood of conducting business or obtaining employment abroad.
Literally, language proficiency unlocks doors to new opportunities. Proficiency in multiple languages enhances one’s comprehension of the international marketplace and facilitates insight into the desires and requirements of international clients, suppliers, and collaborators. Direct communication improves precision and prevents potentially expensive misunderstandings; it also reduces translation expenses.
Research has indicated that nations with a significant percentage of their labor force proficient in a second language derive a greater proportion of their Gross Domestic Product (GDP) from international trade. Switzerland is particularly notable for this: due to the country’s multilingualism (German, French, and Italian are all recognized as official languages and are widely spoken), multilingualism is estimated to now contribute up to 10% to the country’s gross domestic product.
Monolingual nations that discourage early language acquisition, such as the United Kingdom, may forego potential earnings and international opportunities, notwithstanding the advantage held by those who are native English speakers. A lack of proficiency in foreign languages may cost the British economy up to £48 billion ($80 billion) annually, according to one study.
#2 — It enhances your potential for earning
Organizations recognize the positive association between employing individuals who are bilingual or multilingual and expanding their presence in global markets; consequently, they are inclined to allocate resources towards procuring personnel who possess proficient language abilities.
An American study estimates that bilingual workers earn an additional $3,000 annually compared to their monolingual counterparts. A second US study found that acquiring German can increase income by up to 3.8% in the United States, given that Germany is a major participant in European markets despite the fact that it is rarely spoken.
And it doesn’t end there; Euro London, a recruitment agency in the UK specializing in foreign languages, even estimates that being bilingual can increase your salary by up to 15%.
#3 — It increases your effectiveness as a communicator
Multilingualism or bilingualism distinguishes one. Language proficiency is highly valued by employers who are striving to establish a competitive business and is a factor in career advancement interviews.
Fluency in a second language can assist you in obtaining a reputable position with a significant international firm. In the United States the demand, for employees who’re bilingual has increased significantly in the five years. Studies indicate that 40% of businesses plan to hire individuals who can speak more than one language. When faced with two candidates interviewers often show a preference, for those who are bilingual.
In the end, everything hinges on proficient communication. Mastery of a second language enhances the efficacy of networking, enables one to capitalize on advantageous circumstances, and initiate potentially fruitful dialogues — benefits that extend to the individual as well as the enterprise.
Additionally, it is not solely for financial gain; the ability to engage in conversation in the native language of the host country during pauses is regarded as courteous and contributes to the development of more enduring interpersonal connections.
Additionally, it has been demonstrated that proficiency in multiple languages enhances creative thinking, empathy, and open-mindedness, all of which are crucial for professional advancement and success, irrespective of one’s proficiency level.
#4 — It improves your leadership abilities
As one advances to positions of management, the significance of these skills gains further. According to the annual EF English Proficiency Index, employees who demonstrate superior English proficiency are promoted at a higher rate.
A comprehension of the culture is a prerequisite for acquiring proficiency in a new language; therefore, managers who are multilingual frequently exhibit enhanced interpersonal and communicative abilities with colleagues – a critical competency when overseeing personnel hailing from diverse cultural and historical contexts.
The criticality of communication skills increases in significance as one ascends the executive hierarchy. Notably, administrators have a tendency to speak the language less proficiently than management-level staff; therefore, it is especially crucial for a manager overseeing a group of individuals who may well speak the language better than themselves to improve their English.
#5 — It ensures your future security
A high level of English proficiency correlates with higher national GDP, average income, and innovation, according to the EF EPI report. Undoubtedly, nations endowed with more proficient language abilities, specifically in English, amass greater power and global interconnections.
However, this assertion is equally valid at the individual level: in a world where menial tasks and operations delegated to robots and artificial intelligence are replaced by those that do not demand human connection, creativity, and understanding, not only will the future of work be global, but strong language and communication abilities, along with the capacity to bridge cultural gaps, will become even more critical.