When it comes to boosting your career, it’s important to not only focus on developing your hard skills but also your soft skills – and language and communication both fall into this category.
While English is the most widely spoken language in the world, with over 1.5 billion speakers, there are tons of foreign languages that people can learn to unlock personal and professional opportunities. For example, making an effort to speak to a new client in their language will quickly put them at ease and start your relationship on the right foot.
But before choosing a language, it’s a good idea to do some research, as many industries have their preferences. It’s definitely worth checking that the language you’re interested in is useful and appropriate for both your own geographical location and that of the company you work for.
Benefits of Learning a New Language
Communication is key in the workplace and being able to understand another language will make you stand out from the crowd. In terms of personal development, learning a new language not only broadens your mindset but stimulates your brain, enhances your memory, and improves your problem solving and decision-making skills.
Being able to communicate with a group of people in a language that isn’t your own opens up a vast new network for you. Furthermore, your general communication skills improve and your cultural awareness grows as you speak to people from different cultures.
The world will be your oyster since you’ll be able to connect with people from all over the globe, and your new language will make you an even more valuable employee. Plus, if you’re looking to change jobs, there will be a whole new part of the market you can now scour for opportunities.
Best Tips for Selecting a Language
When choosing a language to learn, it’s crucial to find one that truly appeals to you – if you already have a passion for a certain language or culture, learning it will seem a little less daunting.
It’s also best to start off with a simpler language before moving onto a more advanced one. For instance, it’s easier for English speakers to learn a language like Norwegian or Dutch since they share some language roots. The same goes for Spanish speakers, who’ll find it easier to learn a Latin language, such as French or Italian.
Also, if your work requires you to take trips abroad, consider learning the language of a country you visit, so you can practice your skills every time you go. While acquiring a new language isn’t a piece of cake, setting goals along the way will help you evaluate how well you’re doing.
Learning a language can be a valuable asset in your professional career, helping you land your dream job or achieve the promotion you’ve been fantasizing about. However, this is no easy feat as it requires a significant amount of practice and patience.
Fortunately, there’s a ton of software out there that feature interactive learning activities like games and quizzes that can help people master new languages in no time. Popular apps like Rosetta Stone and Babbel even provide business-related courses to help companies support their staff in international workspaces.
Recruiters’ Preferred Languages
Since many businesses have international customers and operations, recruiters are constantly on the lookout for candidates that speak multiple languages. The top ten most sought-after foreign languages include:
Being bilingual opens doors to a wide range of job opportunities in fields like business, translation, teaching, and customer service, giving job seekers a competitive edge in a tough global market.
Language Learning Is Rewarding
It’s clear that learning a language is incredibly advantageous. Not only does it allow you to connect with the rest of the world – meeting new people and potentially visiting new places – but it can also give your career a boost.
Acquiring this new ability will take time and effort, but it’s worth it. A new language will make you professionally more desirable – resulting in increased business opportunities – and will broaden your skill set, both at work and socially.