In addition to being rewarding in its own right, learning to speak another language is one of the more useful things you could be doing with your time career-wise. Knowing a foreign language can open many doors, and waiting behind some of them are opportunities for work. Not only are languages useful for finding a new job, but they can also improve your standing at your current place of employment. At its core, a language is a tool for communication, and the ability to get your point across and exchange information effectively is crucial for accomplishing work-related goals, whether you are self-employed, or a member of a company.
If you are still unsure on how to leverage your language skills to further your career, why not take a look at the guide which we prepared below? It will give you some ideas to ponder over while searching for those Spanish textbooks you have lying around somewhere in your room since high-school.
Broadening Your Skill-Set
The great thing about learning a language is that you are simultaneously expanding your knowledge on a number of additional topics, all of which can be useful for finding a job. For example, if you learn English, you are bound to gain insight about British, American or Australian customs, culture and climate, giving you a better understanding of what it means to work companies that operate there. Advanced English learners will also have access to untranslated reading materials that are relevant in their profession, giving them an edge over their monolingual colleagues.
More Companies To Choose From
Knowing multiple languages directly affects the number of job opportunities available to you in virtue of being able to access more job markets. In today’s global economy, there are many companies around the world which might be looking for your particular skill-set, provided you are willing to move to a different country, and are able to speak the language. Complete fluency is often not required, and there are ample opportunities to brush up on your knowledge once you prove you have a core competency.
Readiness For Team-work
Employers treat language competency as a sign that a candidate is willing to devote more effort than usual into improving their communication skills. And since proper communication is vital for teamwork, polyglots are highly sought-after by companies that work on projects that involve large teams. This is especially true for multi-national corporations, which often have regional departments that require multi-ethnic, multi-lingual staff to operate. On a smaller scale, knowing an extra language can be very useful when a company is dealing with non-native clients.
An additional motive to learn English or another language that’s in high demand is the option to engage in a number of side-hustles for extra income. These include managing social media profiles for clients, writing articles, translating literature and documentation, blogging, giving local tours to foreign visitors, etc. The great thing about using your language skills for side-hustling is that it is not a full-time commitment. You are simply using your spare time to brush up on your skills, while making a bit of cash along the way. The sheer number of side-hustles you can engage in also means you can always switch to a new one, if you get bored.
Another opportunity to flex your language muscles is teaching abroad. There are many exchange programs that allow competent speakers to give conversation lessons at a school, in exchange for accommodation, an allowance, and the possibility for future job opportunities. While teaching is not the most lucrative line of business, the opportunity to speak with natives on a daily basis, along with the potential for growing your social network, make it all worth it. Once you return to your home country, your first-hand experience of language will give you the option to teach as well.
When it comes to job-hunting, there are practically no downsides to learning an extra language or two. While it may not be obvious at first glance how to monetize your language competency, with a little bit of creativity, every single language, no matter how obscure, can be put to good use. Happy learning!