Because everyone should dig their job

The Importance of Learning Another Language for Career Growth

By Debra Wheatman

As a writer and career coach I have made more than a few observations over the years. Having dealt extensively with people in both the US and international locations, I have noticed some very important cultural, professional, and personal differences. One thing that I think is particularly noteworthy to reference is the globalization of the workforce. In reviewing the way companies are operating, global expansion is happening more rapidly than ever before; and with the prevalence of not only international offices, but the significant increases in diverse business operations throughout the world, it will be important – no, mandatory that people speak more than one language to maintain a competitive advantage during career search. Yes, it is true that business is often conducted in English. The global business landscape is changing, though. In the not to distant future, fluency in one or more languages will enhance your professional prospects.
Knowing different languages serves to help improve communication, but also drives cultural awareness – something that will continue to grow in importance in business. Why is learning another language important? Here’s some food for thought.
  • International businesses prefer to hire people who speak more than one language.
  • Knowing one or more foreign languages may give you an edge when competing for an important position.
  • Opportunities abroad will continue to grow. Being able to communicate in another language will make you more marketable with companies doing business internationally.
  • Being able to communicate with people in their language also demonstrates that you have some knowledge regarding the culture and rituals of those people.
 
There are so many languages to explore! The world is full of rich and diverse cultures. If you consider how much you would learn and understand, the benefits are immediately clear.
 
Why should you learn…
 
Spanish: Spanish is the second most spoken language in the United States. The company that you currently work for is probably doing business in many Spanish speaking countries. If you look around, you will probably notice that many signs are written in both English and Spanish. When conducting business, people tend to trust those that speak their language. Since Spanish is so pervasive, this might be a good place to start.
 
Mandarin Chinese: With the growth in China’s economy, it is predicted that China’s economy will overtake the US economy. While learning Mandarin is quite the challenge, knowing the language will certainly provide some valuable benefits – not the least of which is that major deals are not closed in the boardroom, but rather, in restaurants. Opportunities will be available for people who can communicate in Mandarin and serve as value representatives on behalf of a multinational corporation conducting business in China.
 
If you want to get started on learning a foreign language you might want to start here. (http://resumesdonewrite.blogspot.com/2009/02/continuing-education-part-i-foreign_21.html).
 
“A different language is a different vision of life.” Federico Fellini, Italian film director.